We Deserve to Live, Too!
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some would argue that the deaths of Black men at the hands of law enforcement or those who take the law into their own hands and are protected by law enforcement shouldn’t affect those who have nothing to do with the cases.
The fact of the matter is that when the victim is relative, it’s easy to empathize. When the “Stand Your Ground” law was denied for Marissa Alexander, an abused woman who fired a warning shot to ward off her offender, while it was used to vindicate George Zimmerman for killing an unarmed Black teen, it showed abused Black women that they could lose their lives (that’s essentially what prison is) for defending themselves-- even when no one is killed –and at the same time, their sons can be “justifiably’ killed because he’s walking in a neighborhood where a resident doesn’t recognize him.
There have been numerous instances where the greatest crime committed was being born in the wrong skin… It’s that very skin that creates a fear strong enough to see a civil person as a threat.
“Comply,” they say.
Tell that to Philando Castille.
When 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed while playing with a toy gun, we were taught that not even our children are safe.
The list goes on.
So, what makes us hurt so badly for people we don’t know? It’s because we easily see how we could be in the same positions. What makes us think this? It’s mainly these facts: 1- It is a systemic, ingrained ideology that somehow our skin makes us worse, and 2- the defensive response to our outrage lets us know that our neighbors and “friends” see nothing wrong with the “innocent until proven guilty” concept being neglected. There is often no arrest and no trial but an immediate verdict and sentence: You’re guilty, and you die!
Black men are incarcerated at greater rates for far inferior crimes, often leaving families behind. Women seek public assistance, and they’re granted; but once the man returns, he isn’t welcome to be with his family. Many sons get jobs to help support the families their fathers were forced to leave behind; and EVERY DAY, mothers worry about whether their sons will return home safely.
We fear our fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, and nephews succeeding because they can’t appear to have more than society expects them to legally obtain. That makes them a target. If they work out and take care of their bodies, looking strong strikes fear; and they become targets. We can’t even run the risk of having faulty hazard lights because being pulled over could result in death!
So, what do we do? How do we raise our families? How do we teach our children to trust those who are supposed to protect and serve when they see the same thing we see? That their skin could be seen as a threat!
The darkness is analyzed as being related to savagery. Why? Because dark-skinned people fought to be free from their oppressors? Because they were able to endure beatings, rapes, and having their families torn apart? Or is it because the spirit of the warrior does not die?
The thing about the warrior is he never fights until he is threatened. So, if you don’t want to see the warrior, stop fighting him!
How many more children have to see their fathers killed? How many more mothers have to bury their sons? How many more women will become single mothers all because those who CAN stand up WON’T?
BLACK SKIN IS NEITHER A CRIME NOR A THREAT! To believe it is only proves the perceived superiority proclaimed by those who subscribe to such stupidity is merely a bluff.
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