It started with Trayvon Martin.
We were on Twitter, bullshitting and the news hit and within hours it was an internationally trending hashtag. (I’m not taking credit for anything,I’m using the collective “we”) Social Media started to become “more” for young, minority (black) americans who were starting to understand the depth of the problem that the generations before us are leaving behind.
Since Trayvon Martin was murdered, there have been countless acts against black men and women by Police Officers / Authority figures that it’s become common place. Movements like #NMOS14 started by FeministaJones became an easy trolling ground. It was easier for most to make fun of the hashtags or use them to sell their soundcloud mixtapes.
No, GZ was not a cop but he was a self-appointed law enforcer using the guise of protecting the community to further his need to exert his idea of what safe meant. I won’t get too deep into GZ’s many issues but I will say that I’m disturbed by the trend of folks who killed black men and women, making money and being able to support themselves on monies raised for them by their supporters. GZ passed the million mark and DW made a pretty penny; he was able to get married comfortably and has a baby on the way. He resigned and will not have to work for a while he waits for the arrival of his first child.
DW will never have to worry about his son being randomly executed by a cop in the street. While I would never wish harm on anyone’s child, I feel like this stark difference is the most hurtful. You take away someone’s child and by the grand jury indictment, you are expecting one. I hope that he is able to reconsider his actions on that day and see that a young man is nothing like a demon and Hulk Hogan just because he was your height / weight.
I’m not a revolutionary…not by any means. I recognize this and I’ve made peace with it. I don’t have the answers. I can’t quiet the pain and silent rage that the community holds to it’s chest in place of their lost children. However, I do what I know I can. Everyone can’t be a soldier or a speaker; some folks need to be able to feed those that are marching, others need to clothe them, encourage self care, check up on them. I know my anxious heart is not built for the front lines but I will retweet, I will read, I will share and I will breathe this in and out until the day I die.
We should not be afraid of those meant to protect us. I shouldn’t have to have “the talk” with younger family members about how to be the most passive version of themselves whenever a state official presents themselves in uniform. Those who wear the uniform, those who vow to enforce the law should be able to uphold the law in their own communities. These are not unreasonable wants and desires. We are people, we hut, we bleed and we are crying out for some understanding and a bit of compassion.
Leaders are stepping up and we need to support them and find our roles in this. There is no need to be at the fore front; there is room for everyone. This is not a one point issue. This seemingly recent uptick in violence against the unarmed is just a symptom of a more alarming sickness that is most comfortable when black folks are not. As we try to correct the manifestations of institutional racism let’s not get too focused on one on one instances of racist behavior. We have the will, the strength, the intelligence and the voice to make a difference for ourselves and our children.
And they said a revolution could never come from a hashtag.
50k protesters shut NYC down and there have been protests nationwide and worldwide in support. Yes, Black Lives Matter and we’ll scream it with our last breath if we have to.