I woke up today around 7:30 a.m.; groggy and lethargic and with a slight pain in my back again. First thing I do is turn off my pesky alarm, as I have slept through my first alarm for 7 a.m. As I gingerly sit up, I look at my phones notifications. Usually I just hit the cancel button and keep it moving and try to begin my day. But something catches my eye. The caption was to the degree of “another unarmed Black man was killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma…” I, then immediately open up my social media apps to scroll through the half-truths and full lies, I then stumble upon a video of the incident. In Tulsa Oklahoma a Black man by the name of Terrence Crutcher was gunned down by several white police officers, all captured by the police helicopter flying above. While this unarmed man was walking with his hands up toward his vehicle a voice is heard saying “oh he looks like a bad dude too…” [Looks like they are about to taser him] another voice says. The body of Terrence Crutcher falls so it is assumed that he was tasered; however the shrill of a female’s voice ring out, shots fired! Shots fired!
And my soul cringed at this video. Another Black man gunned down, meanwhile in New Jersey a potential terror suspect survives a shootout with police and is captured alive and well. Let me repeat that, an ARMED TERROR SUSPECT survived a shootout with the police. A man with the intent to kill mass amounts of people with bombs was taken into custody alive. And another unarmed Black man was killed in cold blood. And just last week another young Black male was gunned down by police in Cincinnati, Ohio and so on and so on. These reports of police violence against Blacks are becoming weekly events. I fear that I have become desensitized to it all, trying to come up with excuses as to why he/she was gunned down. Until I realized there is no F***ing reason to kill and unarmed person even if they are disorderly, we expect the police being paid from our taxes to figure it out. We are not paying you to kill us!
As a man of color I am worried, I worry about my safety and how I move in this society. I worry about how I move in the United States of America, because I know that at any given moment if I am stopped by the police on a bad day, it could my last. In a conversation with some of my peers we discuss how these instances are not new, these killings and the mistreatment of the Black people in America is just now being documented and uploaded via the news outlets, both mainstream media and social at incredible rates.
These killings show a blatant disregard for Black lives and the way of life for Black people in this country. Again how does an armed terror suspect engage in a shootout with police and survive while unarmed citizens of this country are gunned down. There are a myriad of ways to subdue unarmed people, yet the first resort seems to always be two in the chest or back of Black people. This country takes everything from Black people. They take our culture, our style, our language, our women and s**t they even take our lives; all without batting an eye, officers get raises or a suspension if that.
The conversations had in this country stemming from the mistreatment of Black peoples always run in a circle. We are killed, we hashtag, we protest, we talk and repeat. The Garvey in me tells me to leave this country and take all my brothers and sisters with me, the Martin in me tells me to speak, protest, and come to a peaceful understand (although towards the end of his life Martin was becoming radicalized) and the Malcolm in me tells me “By any [f***ing]means necessary…”
I am tired of this cycle of violence that is besieging the most endangered species in America, the Black man. I just want to ask the question, what now am I supposed to do when we are gunned down while being peaceful and in the rights of the laws that are suppose to protect us? What now!?