Black Deaths…A meal for America’s consumption.
I decided last summer to no longer partake in the disgusting feast that is the dehumanization and murder of Black people by police officers. Reports of murder after murder after murder: Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alfred Olango such was the case that the names became a blur. It was hard to keep track of what city a black man or black woman had been killed by a policeman recorded on tape.
On tape. This was by far the scariest part. Watching these policemen and seeing the different choices they had felt so unreal and yet they were real. Seeing the several opportunities they had to spare a soul. To spare a son. To spare a father. To spare a friend. To spare a sister. And knowing that they chose the most damning choice of all — murdering these Black people.
I’m tired of reading the statistics. I’m tired of all the videos. I’m tired of all the anecdotes we write to justify our lives. I’m tired. So tired of reading the lives of these men and women as hashtags.
I want to honor these people. I want to get justice for them. I want to protest. I want to help reassure their parents and family and friends that their loved ones who were murdered matter. But I’m tired. I’m tired of how these lives are reduced to nothing. How they become nothing more than a debate. Liberals vs conservatives. Black people vs the police. Gun Control vs Conceal Carry. Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter. Debates so absurd in the face of the murdered ones. How can anything matter more than the life of one murdered in cold blood?
As an African immigrant, I struggle. I struggle with understanding a hate against one’s skin so deeply rooted in another’s skin. I struggle to understand how my darker skin condemns me to a life of systematic oppression that it seems money merely reduces the effects (and so arguments condemning Black folks for identity politics irk me).
Philando Castile deserved better. All the black men and women murdered deserved better. They deserve better than these hashtags and dehumanizing conversations. Black lives matter.