A reflection on police brutality 

Social Justice

As I become increasingly involved in “The Movement”, (through writing, planning and carrying out events, and speaking engagements) I have become bogged down by emotions and it’s made it harder for me to write these days. And it’s hard because I see myself, my family, and friends in these victims. I even took it upon myself to watch the “The President and the People”, but it only made me increasingly angry and upset. Because we continue to ask for support for “Blue Lives Matter” and we want people to go above and beyond to prove that they are not anti police. `But whose proving to us that they aren’t anti black? I see the anti black rhetoric ALL the time. Who is choosing to stand up to their peers and family members at our expense? I’ve heard people say I’m afraid to send my children out because the Black Lives Matter protestors are out creating a ruckus, or they’re afraid of what will happen to their family members who are police officers.
This is my entire life, except I’m not afraid of protestors because I’m out there with them. I’m afraid of police officers, I’m afraid of what will happen to my husband or child, even my sister or mother. I just recently spoke at candle light vigil for the victims of police brutality(organized by UTEP’s Black Student Union which I’m a member of), where we also gave respect to the police officers in Dallas. I wasn’t a big of some of the things we did but when are we ever all on the accord? Nonetheless I spoke about being fearless in the face of adversity, and by that I meant stop encouraging our children to be victims because this is “A MOVEMENT”. I can’t send my sons out into the world ill prepared: this isn’t the 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s I’m not going to tell my sons that they need to hold their heads down and avert their gaze while speaking to a white person or police officer, Or get caught up in respectability politics and compliance. My son shouldn’t have to do more to avoid being shot by police or vigilantes. We have to stop ruining the childhoods of children of color by telling them not to be too black or brown, and not to have pride in who they are. So many people have to have hard conversations with their children at such a young age. My son cant play with toy guns like most little boys because I’m afraid he’ll be shot within seconds of a police encounter, and the community wont protect him they’ll talk about how he looked so much older and menacing(did you know that’s a problem for children in schools too?) than he actually is and how he shouldn’t have had said toy gun in the first place.
Personally I’m done with the apologist rhetoric, my family is done walking out into life afraid. I can’t constantly be plagued with fear because I see my loved ones in these victims, because at this point we are only accepting accountability for these actions. It has become recklessness with no regard for human life. What’s even worse are the people trying to justify the behavior and the deaths, people that I’ve considered friends.
A disturbing statistic that I’ve come across this week after viewing a video of a North Miami behavioral therapist being shot in front of his patient (whom the police later said they were aiming for), Up to half of victims of police brutality are disabled individuals. For me that’s exceedingly terrifying considering my little sister falls into this category, and like many disabled individuals she has an occasional melt down. If my parents were to call the police for help that would put them all in danger! How disturbing is that? Not only that but my best friend works in a group home with disabled individuals and I fear for her as well, because with a heart similar to my own she would do what she could to protect them if she needed to. I shouldn’t have to worry about her life or the life of my parents for simply doing their jobs, much like this Blue Lives Matter theme we have going on. But your employment and job are temporary, my friends and family will be black forever.
Phillando Castille was simply out with his family when he was killed because he had a registered fire arm which he expressed in the video. That could easily be my father or husband, and society would justify that too. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be bothered by this? I don’t understand how you can call yourself a friend then justify murder of my people? Because you aren’t truly a friend, you still separate my family and I into the “Other” group, a group you cant really identify with. You just keep us around for entertainment.
Everyday we draw a little closer to an age of disconnect with the black community, and people hate it. They don’t understand why we would separate ourselves when we fought so hard for integration and equal opportunity. We still don’t have it, and honestly black people thrived during segregation because we had to be self-sufficient. As we speak black dollars are being withdrawn from major banks and deposited into black owned banks, children are being withdrawn from school and parents are teaching them at home with amazing black home school communities, black people are quitting their 9-5’s and starting their own businesses. This is the turning point a real revolution, as much as you want to overlook it and turn your head it wont stop. The train has already left the station.