There are a lot of stories about police brutality that have come out in recent years. Some of them end in death, some fare a little bit better. With all of the news it’s hard to be burned out and exhausted hearing about all the injustice. This usually happens with a milestone that most black people have: the story that shook them to the core.
Mine was Sandra Bland.
I remember hearing about the case because #SayHerName was all over my timeline. I checked it out, read some articles, and then the waterworks came. Something about that story resonated with me; something made it personal. Whatever it was, it hit me hard. It was like my heart had been ripped out. It was so obvious to me that the circumstances of her death were, at the very least, questionable, but they were sticking to the story of suicide.
The other day I listened to Vic Mensa’s new EP, There’s Alot Going On. In it he dedicates an entire song to police brutality and how he dealt with the specific case of Laquan Mcdonald.
There are specific cases that affect people differently. Every black person has a story/care that resonated with them. Something that made this very, very, very, real. Before that case it was mostly anger and frustration. I was more willing to argue with people about it and let some opinions slide, accepting that I may be wrong. But after that case, after Sandra Bland, something broke inside of me. Something also activated. It was a kick in the ass to remember that none of this is a game. My life and countless others are on the line, so if I’m going to give a shit, I really have to give a shit.
There comes a point in a black persons life that they lose their innocent veil over the world. When that breaks they see the oppression in everything, they don’t want an olive branch they want the whole damn plant. It’s the culmination of a lot of pain, and the only way that can be expressed sometimes is through anger and denying compromise. It really is all or nothing.
Black people being angry at white people and non-black people of color isn’t racism or ignorance; it’s a pot that’s finally boiled over. We’ve had to deal with so much, and we’ve had enough.