As I’m sitting here reading these tweets and still trying to wrap my mind around the grand jurors’ decisions to not indict the killers of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, I am on the verge of breaking down in tears. Not from sadness, but from the fear of the unknown.When Black males are being gunned down in our streets, it makes me question if this time next year, will I be on stage supporting my mother and father as they talk about our family grieving my brothers’ death.
When I was younger, my mom told my 2 brothers & I, if we were ever in trouble to call 911 and try to find the local authorities as soon as possible. It never resonated with me to do otherwise, until my mom told me while watching the news a couple of months ago “Moriah, I use to tell you and your brothers to call 911, but now they’ll shoot you dead and leave you in the street to die too.” That moment forever defined how I viewed safety, and from that moment forward, I considered the people that were given a badge to protect and serve, a threat to my life.
I always use to say F*ck 12, but I never fully understood what that meant. I use to sing along to the lyrics in Boosie’s song “Fuck The Police” and laugh with my friends while doing it, now when we sing his song or Tink’s new song Tell The Children, even if you barely know our backgrounds, you can hear the anger in our voice. You can hear how our voices tremble from sadness when we talk about all of the things that the police have done to people we know. Now, you can see the pain and devotion in our eyes when we say ‘F*ck 12’.
No, I never had a police physically harass me or beat on me like some of my friends have, but I have been racially profiled in my own neighborhood. My brothers have been racially profiled. My brothers were playing at the basketball court in our neighborhood (predominately white upper class) when a neighbor walked up to them and asked to see I.D. He asked to see I.D as if that was his neighborly duty. When my brothers refused to show I.D., the neighbor called the cops. Now one may ask, what’s the importance of this… but when someone looks at the color of your skin and automatically assumes that you can’t stay in a certain neighborhood, what message does that tell you? Not only did this man racially profile my brothers, it was his 2nd time doing it over the course of 3 months.
2nd incident: Going to a predominantly white high school. My parents have always striven to provide the best for their children. We were taught how to dress properly, talk properly, given names that would one day get us a job interview… but still, once they see the melanin in our skins, it’s like none of that matters. I remember my senior year in high school (last year), I was accepted into several amazing colleges in North Carolina, but my accomplishments were greeted by much astonishment from my non-black counterparts that I was accepted into those schools – even though I graduated high school Summa Cum Laude and had a 4.33 G.P.A. In high school, everyone liked me. I was cool to talk to and super laid back. I remember when my white ‘friend’ came up and told me that he was happy that I didn’t act like the rest of them. When I insisted on what he meant by ‘them’, he told me “Niggers” and proceeded to tell me the difference between a black person and a Nigger. Honestly, I respect all opinions, but I REFUSE to tolerate any derogatory terms against any race. I still remember the look on his face when he didn’t understand why I didn’t understand his comparisons.
Now, I’m not asking for a purge on police, the last thing I want is more blood shed, I just want equality. I want to know that the next time I walk in my neighborhood exercising, I don’t have to worry about looking behind me and the police following behind me in an unmarked car (most likely a Crown Vic). I want to know that the day I do have children, I don’t have to get a call from the police saying that they thought the cell phone in his pocket was a gun or see a video online of my child saying “I Can’t Breathe.” I’m also asking that my white counterparts understand the importance of this. Although you may not agree with the police’s actions, when you turn your head and ignore the situation, that’s just as bad as consenting it.
#EricGarner #TamirRice #MikeBrown #TrayvonMartin #NextYearsVictimIfThisDoesntStop