Oakland, Cleveland, Ferguson and so many other cities and towns and now, Baton Rouge. Another Black person dead under questionable circumstances involving the police. Another life taken too soon. Another family left to grieve. Another community wanting answers. Wanting justice and knowing it’s unlikely to come. We have been down this road many times before and the sad reality is that without systemic change that also involves accountability, we will go down this road again.
In too many instances, the dead person is accused of having brought their death upon themselves for a litany of reasons. The specifics don’t matter because when we have a system that is desensitized and sees Black and Brown bodies as inherent threats, our lives as disposable any excuse or justification for our murders will do. This year alone reports indicate that in excess of 120 Black people have been killed by the police. These are not isolated incidents, especially when the fallout affects all Black and Brown people.
How do you trust a system that is indifferent to your humanity? How do you teach your children that police officers are people who will help them when you know that is not a universal truth? When you know that Black children have lost their lives at the hands of the police. How do you have hope in a world that is indifferent to Black pain and suffering only when it can be consumed as trauma porn as people watch and share videos of our killings and yet do little or nothing else beyond that?
Whenever one of these shootings goes down, it is not only the deceased’s loved ones that feel the pain and void; it is also the collective Black and Brown family that feels the pain because never is the thought far away that it could be your family next. Whether you live in the hood, the burbs or the country. Whether you are blue collar, white collar or rich as hell, you know this so-called random happening could just as easily happen to you and yours.
Raising Black children in this day and age is an act of courage because you wonder: How do you keep them safe? How do you keep them open and loving in a world that can snatch them away from you at any moment? When you see the mothers and wives grieving openly, as a mother, you feel their collective pain in your body as surely as you felt your own labor pains.
We will Facebook, tweet, write our think-pieces, march and maybe even raise some money to help the family out but it is never enough. It is never enough. Until the day when the collective human family that involves our white brothers and sisters feels this pain and rises up to demand accountability that starts locally and spreads outwardly, we will be here again.
Black Lives Matter and so do the lives of all non white people who are too rarely acknowledged as part of the greater human family.
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5 thoughts on “Here we are again and why we say Black Lives Matter”
Thank you. It shouldn’t be, but I’m afraid you are right. I am checking out SURJ and seeing if it can help. Also forwarding to my friends who are mothers to encourage.
Got the answer ! Sugar ! In all seriousness, at Boston’s South Station this very pm asked a young white, student like , twenty something woman about the horrible event in Dallas and what did she think was the cause of all the violence in the United States. She thought for a few seconds and said sincerely — the sugar that we eat ? Astonished by her answer. But is not this the answer. The stupidity of American whites ? But ACTUALLY SHAY I DID NOT KNOW IF I SHOULD LAUGH OR CRY,.
Long ago, as an undergrad, we were all required to take pretty confrontational classes on Race and Racism. This was the early 90’s and was the result of clashes with the White Student Union and various groups. We must demand that police be educated about the racial mental illness that lurks in their subconscious before they are given a badge. All of us are affected/infected. Some prospective cops will of course, not make the cut. We will all be safer. Psychiatrists who can treat Racial Mental Illness (Racism) are needed I am guessing.
Hello, there, to you!!!!! Wow, your words are just so beautiful here, so full of strength, and of such courage and spirit!!!!! My very heart is just saddened, just angry, just exhausted as a black woman who I am with yet saying to myself yet again, “Not again!!!!!! Not another police shooting!!!!!!” This senseless and endless morbid parade of death upon death upon death very egregiously just continues to go on, sister!!!!! You are such a precious soul and spirit, and I want to thank-you for being there for all of us and with your very powerful, enlightening, and encouraging blog post articles that are filled with such great insight from such lived experience!!!!!! You are for certain my and our very joy and blessing, and so are all of your astounding writings!!!!! Thank-you so, so much!!!!! YOU and your great writings are such a blessing and such a gift!!!!!!
Peace and God’s Love To You, sister Shay,
Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa
I saw this tragedy on the local news tonight and my initial reaction was, no, not anotger one! It breaks my heart.
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