For a long time I have wanted to speak on this debilitating issue, but I didn’t know what to say or how to say it without spewing out venom, without being hateful, without wanting vengeance; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood. However, I knew, I knew all those things will not be the answer. Will it make some pay attention, definitely, but will it bring about lasting change? No.
Every time I hear or see news about the unnecessary violent shootings taking place across the pond, I grieve. I look at the details and can never quite finish reading or viewing before my eyes start to well up and gush out tears. Not on the one or two incidents, every single time, tears.
Woefully, it has become an epidemic: death by being black.
“People die every day for xyz…” please spare me this spiel, there are many causes to take up, this happens to be one of mine and even still, are they dying for something as superficial as the colour of their skin? It is utterly abhorrent .The worst part is that it’s something that could be prevented, something that should be controlled, something that should be punishable and most certainly not happening in any year, least of all 2016.
It’s a sad dire state of affairs, where a man, woman or child may not come home that night, because they were walking while black, driving while black, buying sweets while black, at a pool party while black, selling cigarettes while black, had a broken taillight while black, had a broken down car while black, waiting in the car for your son while black, because you woke up black, because you were born black…
Imagine that?! Purely based on the shade of your skin can determine your fate, whether you live or die. Criminalised for carrying out normal activity like the rest of the world does, except everyone does so freely without fear of suspicion or in this case death.
Some of the Americas and its police force is diseased and needs curing. It as if some have been bred to see Black, kill Black, is there a quota? This can be the only reason why Terence Crutcher is killed after his car broke down, whilst psychopath Dylann Roof shoots 9 (Black) people dead and walks out in hand cuffs and a bullet proof vest, a bullet proof fucking vest. Or why Eric Garner selling cigarettes to make ends meet would be squished to death like a bug, yet George Zimmerman is acquitted of murder and walks around freely and is STILL permitted to be in possession of a gun. Or why Philando Castile who does exactly as he is told is shot dead in his car, point blank, with his girlfriend and a child in the back, A CHILD IN THE BACK. * sigh * The list is endless.
The land of the free, home of the brave, where black people are seemingly deemed less than cattle, to be branded, killed and disposed of, might as well start eating us while you’re at it. It has to stop.
The multiple video evidence has done nothing to convict them of their crimes, the burden of proof is right there. The accountability or the glaring lack thereof, rings clear as day and the message is this, your life is worthless.
We all deserve to be treated equally, fairly. Justice in every case should be, no, must be served.
I know there are good police officers and people, but where are they when these things are happening? They can’t always not be around when these things are taking place, can they?
You might not have picked up the gun but you’re right there with them if you do not see that there is eroding problem with the (in)justice system that so long as you wear a uniform and have a badge, you can do whatever hell you want and go scot free. You’re there if you do not stand up to combat the prejudices of people that are suffering at the hands of others, solely attributed to the colour of their skin. The institutionalized racism needs to be weeded out from the inside out starting from the higher levels down, all the way through into the judicial system, because if the people who are supposed to justly protect and safeguard our society are failing, what more its constituents?
I have spent so much time thinking about what can be done, how can we change? I still don’t have a clear answer. What if we lived separately, each “race” to their own? maybe it would reduce the conflict between us all, you know ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of thing, ‘you do your thing, I do mine’. As you can see, that notion is flawed from the outset because the world we live is mixed, not black, not white, mixed, so it would never be favourable for anyone. I used to think it was about controlling power and wealth, that if we could just acquire a higher percentage of these things, we would be more respected, more valued, but we do have wealthy and powerful people, I mean they had President Barack Obama… so that view is also null and void.
The underlying problem here is stereotypes, prejudice, and ultimately racism.
So here’s what I say we do in our own little way: in our communities, in our homes, we teach the young and old to think and see differently- By changing perceptions one person at a time
Don’t you say it’s not enough, it’s a start, it’s where it all begins. Upstairs, where the ideas are formed and the controlling stakes claim. If you can intercept and disturb one person’s idea of who and what we are, it may mean the difference in them picking up a gun, a knife or hurling racial slurs and instead showing compassion, working together and rebuilding.
Perceptions and beliefs come by hearing and seeing, and in order to affect that then we must control what is happening in our communities, in the media, in the office, on public transport, at the doctors, and wherever else we come into contact with others, and be more responsible. Protests are great for increasing awareness but it’s the people who don’t turn up to those protests that need infiltrating, it’s the people who are far removed from society that need engaging, it’s the ones who own guns who need challenging, it’s those that create the “system” that need reeducating, because the system is broken, and all of those people exist next door to us, so start there.
Challenge people’s perspectives. If I rock a teeny weeny afro, no it does not mean I am aggressive and unapproachable, if a guy wears a hoodie, it does not mean he is dangerous or a delinquent, if she has on a burka, she’s not automatically dubious, if he raises his voice, he’s simply expressing himself, let’s break down these flawed concepts. No matter how big or small the act is, it can make a difference. How many times have you or I judged a book by its cover and been wrong? I can tell you for me, way too many times to count.
Change is not overnight, change is overtime.
And if yet and still there is little change, there’s an old African saying that goes like this, “every day for the thief, one day for the owner”. A time will come where it will be time to pay the piper.
Normalise being black, not criminalise.
P.s Dr Martin and all the other dead Civil Rights Activists did not die in vain for this sh*t