You know, I wanted to continue writing about my doctoral experience and the journey to inspire you, the reader. It’s important for these narratives to be shared because they’re rare and I want those after me to know that this is a possible journey. However, as of 11:02p on July 6, 2016, fcuk it. In a matter of 28 hours or so, I’ve had to relive a narrative that is becoming a tired trope in my community. Two Black men, gone. Two BLACK lives gone. A number of children are going to grow up without their fathers. Birthdays, weddings, divorces, first kisses, dances, and more will no longer have the presence of a father’s smile and grace.
Alton Sterling and Philando Castille are the latest victims in the “Boys in Blue are Killing our Men in Black”. Both follow a familiar theme that has grown over the last 5-10 years: Police are yelling and/or physically handling an unarmed Black body, officers fear for their lives for whatever reason, and shots ring out, Black body stops moving. There might be a few short breathes, a couple of body twitches, and a whole lot of profanity yelled by the officers. Understanding what they’ve just done. Understanding the shitshow called their lives just became a must-watch. Understanding their families, jobs, livelihoods are at risk. They know that they just fcuked up. They’ll go on administrative leave while the blue brotherhood will espouse all of the reasons why the shootings was justified and the Supreme Court (insert another Gov’t agency) will hold some type of investigation or trial. Marches, protests, tears, and more will reign supreme over the media. The media will share past photos from the victims’ lives, possibly fulfilling a stereotype or paint a threatening picture to further justify the officers’ actions. Within less than 48 hours, I’ve received a huge fcuk you very much from this country and understand that MY BLACK body is under assault. This country just celebrated 240 years of existence a few days ago and everyone was feeling so damn patriotic. Looking back at the past and saying: “yes, we are the greatest country ever. Red, white, and blue”. But, when examples of that ugly, forgotten past pop up, there’s no acknowledgment. There’s no acknowledgement of the systemic oppression these damn institutions that was put in place so many years ago continue to impact communities of color more than ever before. This shit is as real as it gets and there’s no decorum anymore. We have no rights in this country. We can get killed for selling CDs, walking in the toy section with a toy gun, being 12 years old walking a park, defending ourselves from our oppressor himself, in the car with our damn children, and we die. It doesn’t matter anymore. Yet, there’s people out here providing all these reasons why its not real. Undermining my communities experiences and negating our thoughts and minds.
My G, this shit is fcuking real. There is a war going on outside that NO person with Black skin is safe from. It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 ft. or 8’1. I’m hurt. How much longer until a sleeping giant is awakened? What will it take for us to fight back? Do I have to become a hashtag to make a change? I won’t lie, I’m lost and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt completely this way. I’m too Black to be aggressive and be upset and I’m too Black to be quiet and humble. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. How long? My degrees, good character, work ethic won’t save me from the system. There’s no amount of hotep that will safeguard myself or my family from the assault on our BLACK bodies and minds. Yes we are magic and that doesn’t mean that we aren’t real, but at what point will they understand this?