I have been uncharacteristically silent on the police takings of black lives, male lives in particular. While acutely aware of the structural forces disadvantaging black people in America, I’ve always been hopeful. I speak about it because I believe, piece by piece, day by day things can change.
But when a child is stalked and killed, and his killer is released; when a man’s neck is gripped tighter when he says he can’t breathe; when a police officer shoots one his citizens in the back without a second thought; when our protectors see no problem shooting a man during a traffic stop with a child in the back seat…
It makes me feel like the destiny of blacks in America is actually fated. Out of our control. And I shouldn’t be posting anything when I feel that way.
Black lives matter.
Why do we need to tell people that? In every other post on this blog I’m like- hello! It’s ok to depict stories about black life. People can relate to us because we’re humans! See our humanity! I say this frustrated, but hopeful that the tides are changing.
But then black men (women too, but I think the relationship between black men and police is unique one, worthy of distintion) are literally just shot, killed, for no f-ing reason. And I realize, people really can’t see our humanity.
As Obama said in his Howard commencement speech, “the tie that binds blacks in America is the particular awareness of injustice and unfairness and struggle.”
When people in 2016 are killed by state actors due to the color of their skin, it’s hard to be hopeful. It’s hard not to see slights and injustices everywhere. It’s hard not to be angry. It’s hard not to feel desperate. If you’re black.
That’s how I feel.
What I think, is that there are things I, and others can do. We can tell the stories of black lives. We can read the stories of black lives. We can run for office. We can support organizations combating structural racism. That’s what I think, and what I know. But I feel numb.