As I sit here and try to gather my thoughts, so I can properly convey my emotions, I realize that I don’t care what emotions I elicit—nor should you if you’re a person that believes in justice and equality for all.
For quite sometime I’ve been relatively quiet when it comes to the discussion on police brutality (and America as an institution for racism). I say “discussion” because it certainly isn’t up for debate. Not any more. We’ve witnessed far too many cases where people—and let’s be up front and transparent about this—white people have used the “but” rebuttal for far too long.
“But he didn’t have his hands up…”
“But he was selling something illegal…”
“But she resisted arrest…”
“But he ran…”
“But his parents shouldn’t have allowed him to have a toy gun…”
You see where I’m going with this, right?
Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Tanisha Anderson, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile. We can go back to Sean Bell if you want…or to Emmett Till if that doesn’t tickle your fancy.
The stories get sadder and more sick. The lists grow longer and the wounds get deeper. Yet and still the results stay the same: No charges…if there are charges, no convictions. The silence of “justice” is deafening.
In 2015, only 10 of the 102 cases in where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved.
Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends.
When it comes to black and brown lives, rarely do we see justice where it needs to be served the most.
If I were selling dope, you couldn’t lock me up fast enough.
We’re graduating from White Privilege to unfiltered Black Annihilation.
What’s most troubling, in the midst of all of this, is the silence from the middle ground. Not the abrasive, iniquitous and—quite honestly—reprehensible rhetoric from a Tomi Lahren, Bill O’Reilly or any other extreme leftist that decides to irresponsibly label BLM as a terrorist or hate group or tries to deflect the attention from the OBVIOUS system that fails to hold these people accountable for their actions.
No, it’s the person we call our “friends” yet who refuse to speak up with us. For us.
It’s the guy who would rather you shut up and play football than speak out because “social issues don’t belong in sports.”
It’s the person that tells you they “understand” but would rather you protest differently because it doesn’t fit their idea of what a protest is.
It’s the talking head that brings up Martin Luther King Jr. as the “end all, be all” subject on how black people should act, forgetting that MLK’s nonviolent protests were still met with vitriol and hate.
Remember during the Jim Crow era when black people had sit-ins to protest the JC Laws and were beaten and berated and spit on? As they did their protests peacefully?
Yes, I’m looking at you, silent white people.
For too long, you’ve stood by, not even on the fence…just kind of looking at the world through your bubble, simply because it doesn’t directly effect you.
Let me be perfectly clear: this isn’t to stir up a race debate or say that I hate white people. If you think so, then please excuse yourself from reading anything ever again since you lack comprehension.
This is to say that I HATE your silence. It’s disgusting. You’re either for justice for all, or you’re not. There’s no middle ground. No fence to teeter on. No “sitting this one out.”
I have fantastic friends and I’ve met fantastic people who speak out fervently in support of stopping police brutality, who scream “Black Lives Matter”, unafraid and unabashed by the backlash that’s sure to come their way for being so outspoken. But even they are in the small minority.
The blatant systemic racism that exists is far more harmful than that of the overt variety. And yes, you are contributing to it when you’re silent or you’d rather silence our cries with ideals on how we should act, instead holding hands with us, marching with us asking that we receive the same justice that you’ve had since the day you “founded” this country.
It truly hurts and frustrates me when I see people that I’ve befriended act or appear like what’s happening to us isn’t something they should speak on.
Why are you not outraged to see a man walking with his hands in the air, not a threat to anyone around him, murdered? A 12-year-old son killed without warning for having a toy gun? A sister murdered in prison (where the murder was covered up)? A father shot to death with his hands already behind his back, subdued?
Why does the continued destruction of a people not piss you off?
It pisses you off when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee or if someone raises their fists in protest of the discrimination of an officer’s bullet, but it doesn’t when those reasons for protesting are shown and shared to you on a daily basis?
Why does it feel like we’re preaching to the choir here?
All we’re asking for is for you guys to stand with us. Stop playing by the wayside.
That is, unless you truly don’t want to. Then it’s obvious your allegiance doesn’t lie with “freedom and justice for all,” but just for those you deem worthy to have it.