When did we become endangered species?

The emotional reaction to the senseless murder of ALTON STERLING.

Today I woke up to the news that another black man has been gunned down by the police. At first I said “it can’t be. We’re way past this.” But then I watched the footage. Why? Because I needed to see it for myself. I needed to feel the pain and anguish. A 37 year old husband and father of five is no longer on this earth. He woke up like we all do and now he’s no longer on this earth. We’re asked to exercise calm. How come were always asked to exercise calm when the officers that are asked to protect and serve us never exercise calm when it comes to the Black and Brown folk. A little over 2 years ago Tamir Rice was gunned down in less than 2 seconds by cops. Jesse Williams speaks on the fact that black lives count for less and a petition was instantly brought for his firing on ABC.

The footage of Alton Sterling’s murder is troubling to say the least. Now we add another name to the hashtag. How disturbing is it that we have to remember people through hashtags because that’s what the black life has been resorted to. A hashtag and a prayer that there is footage and people who will push and fight for justice. The officers are put on paid administrative leave and there is a narrative being pushed.

I’m a 30 year old husband and father of two brown boys. How do I tell them that hands up don’t shoot isn’t a joke? How do I look them in the face and tell them they should not even attempt to be play cops and robbers because they might be assassinated. I’ve preached to my boys to trust the police. They’re nice guys. DON’T GET ME WRONG. NOT ALL POLICE OFFICERS ARE WRONG. THERE ARE MORE GOOD THAN BAD. But how do we tell the good from the bad.

There is a broken infrastructure that continues to be allowed to go on without any proposals or plans to fix the system. Our police system is a militarized system not a community system. It’s benefits only one group of people while stomping on the necks of minorities. I’m not sure why when something like this happens people are immediately quick to want to find the negative about the murdered but the positive about the murderer. The narrative becomes he was resisting arrest, they were in danger and feared for their lives.

Why does our blackness scare you. My parents raised us to love ourselves but as immigrant Nigerians we looked at other African Americans as we weren’t like them. A sad reality but the fact is the cops don’t know the difference. All they see is a black man. We have to change the narrative. We have to educate our elders as well as our offspring. We need to come together collectively because we are an endangered species. My life is worth less than a gorilla at a zoo. No one can tell me otherwise.

I’m not an activist. I’m not here to uproot the system. I truly believe the system can work but I’m not sure how you want me to look you in the eye right now and say the system works. I don’t know how you want me to look at a police officer and tell my heart to slow down and say everything will be all right. I don’t know how you want me to not hope that someone has a camera and is recording the cops at all times. I don’t know how you want me to look at the people who look up to me and say I believe a change is gonna come. We’ve been waiting for a change since Lincoln freed the slaves. The scary thing is that they more things change the more they stay the same.

The death of Alton Sterling was nothing more than a modern day lynching. And if you think otherwise. Watch both released footage with your family and you try and justify the police action. I dare you. If you can justify the police actions then you have no heart. Plain and simple.

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