And I’m tired…sick and tired of being sick and tired, in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer. I’ve had enough. More than enough.
Another police officer in a scenario we Black people know all to well: Brother encounters the police, and the police become the judge, jury, AND executioner. MY GOD…when will it stop?! If you are a Black man (or woman) and you leave home and encounter a police officer…you may not make it back. I remember posting something where I wondered what we could do to ensure we make it home to our families if we are stopped by the police. We need to appear to be damn near docile. Compliant. Submissive. Weak. Obedient. Accommodating. And not just in the “regular” sense of respecting authority but going out of our way to appear to be non-threatening so that we don’t end up dead.
And then Philando Castile, while sitting in a car, was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota. His hands were up…and he was reaching for his identification. The beloved cafeteria worker was shot by a police officer, and he died right in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter.
I have no answers on what we can do to ensure we don’t end up the latest story on social media.
And then on Friday, Terence Crutcher had his hands up as well. Reportedly, he had just left night classes at a community college. He ended up shot to death while being called a “bad dude” in a video recording shot from a helicopter over the scene. Why he was a “bad dude” is unclear but at this point, one can only assume big, Black = bad dude.
And then today, a disabled Black man – Keith Lamont Scott – was killed while waiting on his son’s school bus in Charlotte. His son will never see him again because he was shot and killed by the police.
So, I have no answers on what we can do to ensure we don’t end up the latest story on social media…no answers on how not to have our names in hashtags next to #BlackLivesMatter….because everything I thought would save us….did not.
Sadly, the only answer I have for saving ourselves is to turn white when a policeman pulls you over. Since that won’t work as a practical matter, I would remind everyone to vote in your local elections. Get involved in the political process. Understand who appoints the police chief and figure out how to be a part of that process. Figure out a way to come to some type of mutual understanding in meetings between citizens and the officers in blue who solemnly vowed to serve AND PROTECT.
March and protest peacefully for required training for officers that include sensitivity, diversity, and race relations. That could be a real start. We have to do something, though…because at the end of the day, EVERYBODY deserves to either come home or go to jail (if a crime is committed). No one deserves to be handed the death penalty without a trial. Black Lives Matter. They do. Black Lives WILL Always Matter. Maybe if we say it enough, the rest of America will catch on. Or they just may be too busy being mad at Colin Kaepernick for kneeling on the truth.