Philando Castile’s murderer was acquitted yesterday. When a disappointing, yet predictable ruling like this happens, the Black community goes through the same pattern of emotions: Shocked (but not surprised), saddened, outraged, tired.
Then we go to work. We physically and metaphorically come together as a community and respond to another blow of injustice. We gather in prayer, we gather on the streets, we gather on Facebook and Twitter. Because we must do something. We can’t let injustice slide. We must stand up for our right to exist.
But year after year, shooting after shooting, hashtag after hashtag, I’m starting to think no matter what we do or how often we do it, there’s nothing we actually can do to make that will make Black lives matter. I’m sometimes tempted to just give up this exhausting fight, accept the way things are and let it go.
And that’s just what they want us to do: Let it go. Continue reading
My mom has always tried her damnedest to raise me to err on the side of caution. When I started school, momma told me that if my teacher said something to me that was mean or if I was treated unfairly, never to talk back and to go to the main office when I got the chance and call her so she could handle it. When I started growing breasts, she used to make me wear sweaters over my tank tops (sweaters. In JULY!) so I wouldn’t catch any unwanted attention from “nasty” men. When I started driving, mom made sure I remembered that if I ever got pulled over for my reckless driving habits, to drive to a well-lit public space before stopping so there will be witnesses should things escalate.
Since seeing the Sandra Bland video, I’ve been asking myself what I would’ve done if I were in her shoes. In my mind, I hear my momma telling me, “That’s why I always tell you not to talk back to authority.” “Remember what I told you about police?” I hear my her warnings and I begin to think that if it were me, I wouldn’t have been dragged out of my car because I wouldn’t have said or done anything. Continue reading