Can I live?
Yes, everyday black people breathe differently than others. Because breathing differently means knowing and acknowledging we don’t have the same experiences as others on a day to day basis. We walk around with 10 ears and 20 pairs of eyes. I as a black woman can only say and say what I see from my perspective. My perspective of what I see wreaks of racism behind these brown eyes, curly, and coarse hair. And it hurts some of the stories my mother tells me.
But it’s been reworked, rinsed, and washed out in this life. In this lifetime I see everything she saw but in different scenarios. The blows hit differently but the blows still hit. Everything is undertones. My head spins at some of the stories my mother tells me about how she grew up. I just want to make sure my future children get a fair shake out of life. The life that he or she will have will be made with care, love, and attentiveness but when I am not around treat my future child, my color, my life, my being, my seeing, and my hearing with respect.
Why is this so difficult?
It’s a rinse and repeat situation with the murder of young black people. Racism, it’s a pandemic. It’s the second pandemic and it began here in America. It has been like the tail of Satan when Satan was pushed out of heaven but he took some people with him to hell. So it’s tail stretches across days, months, and years and it reaches anyone who lets it reach them.
Murder happens, video of murder in progress, raid leads to shooting, and its horrific nothing gets better because there will be another Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Ahmad Arbery, Jordan Davis, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Kathryn Johnston… and now George Floyd. There are many, many more names that could be added to this list. Names, murders, that don’t get the attention they deserve so much of. Each life is important.
But every black life isn’t treated as though it’s important hence the hashtag Black Lives Matter. The movement is not saying and has never said that white people’s lives don’t matter. The movement is not saying and has never said white lives don’t matter. The point of the movement is to state that the same way white lives are treated as though they matter, black and brown lives would like to be treated as though they matter too.
No one’s life is less important than the other. This is not an anti-police piece.
So if you read it as such you’re not listening. George Floyd was not supposed to die. He was not supposed to be treated this way, inhumane. His life mattered.
Racism is racism. But it’s something worse because the video showed that the police officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, had no regard for his life. The three officers had no regard for his life either. His death was completely avoidable.
It’s events like these we should never see. But since we do on a repeated basis, it sets off a chain reaction in black homes. Mothers and fathers ask “what if this were my son?” Siblings, who have black brothers ask, “What if this were my sibling?” Another chain reaction in black homes is the question of “What do you tell your children?” How do you tell them to act around police officers?