Uncomfortable and unequivocally confused I sit pondering who will be the next victim. What age they will be, what gender, what neighborhood will they be from, but race has yet to play the guessing game in this disgusting nightmare of a reality. For black and brown children, once again our biggest fear in life is being pulled over, traveling home alone, or asked to see ID by the same people sworn to serve and protect our citizens. In 2015, it hurts to say that a month hasn’t gone by when an innocent life was taken by the police.
Fact: Sandra Bland died in high security police custody. Fact: Oscar Grant was shot in the back after he was already handcuffed. Fact: Trayvon Martin was an unarmed teenager coming home from a trip to the bodega. Fact: Sean Bell was shot 50 times the day before his wedding and nobody was convicted for his murder. Fact: Amadou Diallo was reaching for his wallet when he was shot and killed outside of his home. The thought of these stories is disturbing, but it’s even more discerning that most of the police officers involved were either set free or given minimal time in prison—fact.
It’s hard to idealize what the motive is behind these deaths and which people are being protected when every time we flip to the breaking news station another person of color is being abused, attacked and murdered by the ones we once called on for help. The nation is in a state of rage and although they point fingers at African Americans and their riotous behavior, how can our society’s leaders blame them when they appear to be the target of injustice.
654. That is the number of people that have been killed by the police this year so far. 157. That’s the number of days left that we have until this year is done. Denial of racially-driven circumstances and deliberate class separation is being displayed to us on a daily basis. We are being reminded that the 400 years of scrutiny and torture hasn’t ended, the five-decade journey to freedom was a waste, and our law systems are still unjust. We live in a society where we aren’t safe in our own neighborhoods, our homes and even in a place of worship—a new world order where criminal intentions are labeled as insanity and where the “New Jim Crow” is really a thing.
Instead of counting down until the new year, we’re counting up the numbers trying to figure out who will be the next victim. Will it be an “unruly” pregnant woman who “started a fight” in a grocery store? An unarmed man selling loosies on the corner? Or a woman arrested and put in prison who “hung” herself while behind bars? Or will it be me?
How many more, America?
Photo Credit(s): NBC, CNN