We Cannot Rest
Sometimes we "stay woke" because we quite simply cannot rest. Too sick, too anguished. Too many bodies, too much blood. Breaking news - Black people are still being destroyed. News of Delrawn Small, killed by an off duty police officer in New York, is vague at best. Officers shoot and kill Alton Sterling, then keep their guns pointed at him as he lies still on the ground. I am wailing with his son. Lavish Reynolds is traumatically calm as the officer who shot her boyfriend - Philando Castile - screams at her to keep her hands visible. I wail with her as she is taken out of the car.
Quinyetta McMillan - you and your children are in our fervent prayers Lavish Reynolds - you and your daughter are in our fervent prayers
Charles Blow highlighted the fact that in the killing of Alton Sterling and many similar cases, officers “lack the basic human empathy” to offer immediate aid to the person that is clearly incapacitated. I sit in this. And I am nauseated by my own lack of surprise at this fact that I had not fully considered. Why am I numb to the void? Humans emptied of empathy; this should be a bigger shock - but it is not.
Blackness deemed disposable has long been punishable by death. Can you hear us crying out? Any struggle for life might bring our last breath. If only humanity had the will to kill hostility instead of our neighbors. Equity birthing liberation; Life lived to love, to look upon each other with favor. Until then, implicit bias dictates the definition of “justifiable” behavior.
Complying with a police officer while Black: punishable by death Standing in front of a convenience store while Black: citation for loitering Entering a swimming pool while Black: body slam, dramatic public humiliation. Selling CD’s while Black: punishable by death Being poor while Black: detained in medium security lock-up, debt arbitrarily assigned Forgetting to signal while "driving while Black": mysterious death in lock-up Seeking medical attention while Black: care refused, indignity infused; imminent death. Running while Black: five slugs in the back
Blackness has always required bravery, though we wish that it did not. Perhaps we are “magic” because it is a miracle that any one of us is alive.