A/N: I understand that this is a rough draft. It's currently thirty minutes after midnight and I wanted to type this all up before I headed to bed. If you feel that a section could have been stated more clearly or if I need to expand upon a certain section, then those critiques would be greatly appreciated!
I also apologize for the grammar, since I threw the grammar books out of the window. Whoops.
I live in a world in which the color of my mother’s skin is a crime. Every time she goes out to work, I pray that she’ll get back safely; she doesn’t talk about the times when she met an officer on the road, but when she does, she just rambles on about how the only thing she wanted was to get back to our apartment alive.
The route on her way to work is a long country road. If she meets an officer, then there will be nobody around to film her. It’s likely that I won’t know of her being detained or her supposed “suicide” until it’s too late. For this reason, I want to purchase a dash cam for my mother. Despite all of the stuff that goes on in our lives, I want her to come home safe.
Every single day, I go over what will happen if she died. I wonder if someone managed to film it, if she would go “viral” like the rest of the deaths of black people.
There’s no respect in their passing. They’re shot, it’s filmed, it goes viral. Like a cat video, only less cute. We’re not human, we’re entertainment for the media to dissect. I wonder, if the media would look at my mother’s mental health records, and talk about how she obviously deserved it. I wonder if they would delve into my grandfather’s past and pin all of that on her. That’s obviously why she was shot.
The officer "feared for his life".
Despite the fact that the officer in question would probably have a gun, a taser, and body protection. They would probably have a body camera. It would “accidentally” turn off. A whole crew of people ready to vouch for them if something went wrong.
I feared for my life, he says standing behind his own gun. She was reaching into her glove compartment because I asked her to pull out her registration. My mind stopped. I thought she was grabbing her own gun. So, I did the most rational thing and I shot her. Please let me keep my job.
These scenarios go through my head, over and over.
My mother didn’t choose to be black; whenever she drives on the road, she doesn’t automatically put on a skinsuit that makes her a target (#DrivingWhileBlack). When she walks down the street, she doesn’t decide to put on darker foundation in order to look more suspicious. My mother did decide, however, to twist her hair into locs.
I fear that the police will try to search her hair for marijuana. I fear that they’ll detain her. I fear that the low-maintenance style that she chose years ago will get her killed.
Anxiety builds up in the pit of my stomach, crawling up to the back of my throat, leaving in the form of a sob whenever I think about this too much. It’s dangerous and it’s always been dangerous.
Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. All lives matter.
Life has value. I’m not denying that. When I say that black lives matter, the entire statement should read something like this:
I believe that all lives do matter but it appears that with the recent news coverage that some lives are treated as more precious than others for reasons both in and out of their control. With the treatment of black deaths and how they are presented, along with the fact that our pasts are scrutinized to the point where news anchors and the general public themselves are looking for an excuse to say that we deserved to die, I would like to remind everyone that black lives do in fact have worth and matter. So, to put it simply: black lives matter.
However, that’s a little long to say and for the sake of listeners, it’s easier to condense that down into three key words that promptly get the point across.
Police officers are important and I respect them for doing their jobs. I’m just afraid of those who can get acquitted even though they committed murder.
So when I’m saying that #BlackLivesMatter, I’m not saying that we should kill all cops. I’m not saying that we should kill anyone. I’m just raising awareness to the fact that we’re dying.