To the people who are circulating the post about how Syville Smith got exactly what he deserved — I’m not speaking on behalf of my Black friends because I will never understand what it’s like to be in their position, but I do know that they’re tired of having to respond to all of this garbage while their non-Black allies sit around and “like” their comments instead of actively calling out racist trash posts on social media.
Note that if you are Black in America:
You can be on the ground, but they can shoot you anyway, like they did to Alton Sterling.
You can legally carry a gun, but they can shoot you anyway, like they did to Philando Castile.
You can be unarmed with your back turned, but they can shoot you anyway, like they did to Walter Scott.
You can be nothing but a child playing in your front lawn with a toy gun, but they can shoot you anyway, like they did to Tamir Rice.
You can stay home, but they can shoot and walk past you anyway, like they did to Akai Gurley.
You can already be immobilized on the ground, but they can continue to shoot you and then engage in a systematic cover up to ease their consciences and save their careers anyway, like they did to Laquan McDonald.
You can be injured while arrested and be in their own car, but they can let you die anyway, like they did to Freddie Gray.
You can be a college-educated sorority girl with a spotless record, but they can throw you to the ground and nitpick a reason to throw you in jail anyway, like they did to Sandra Bland.
You can tell them you can’t breathe, but they can strangle you anyway, like they did to Eric Garner.
You can already be immobilized on the ground, but they can continue to shoot you and then engage in a systematic cover up to ease their consciences and save their careers anyway, like they did to Laquan McDonald. tweet
It doesn’t matter whether the person in question has a criminal record or not — it is not the police officer’s duty to determine their guilt or innocence; if it were, there would be no reason to have courts or a justice system.
We can’t even decide how we feel about the death penalty when it’s administered by courts — why are we okay with it when it’s carried out by the police? And to those of you who are so vocal about gun rights — are those rights only applicable to those of us with no traffic violations — as was the majority of Syville Smith’s record — or those who fall below a certain percentage of melanin? Does our right to life cease existing once we leave the womb?
It doesn’t matter whether the police officer was Black or White or Chinese or Indian or Mexican or what have you — the systemic problem of excessive force used by the police particularly against young Black people exists regardless of the race of the officer whose hands you die at.
We say Black Lives Matter because Black Lives DON’T Matter in the eyes of the institutions at play. The statistics prove that Black lives are merely seen as disposable.
We say Black Lives Matter because Black Lives DON’T Matter in the eyes of the institutions at play. tweet
You say rioting and destroying your own property is for “thugs,” but y’all at Duke will burn benches when you win a basketball game (or throw bottles and set fires when y’all lose at Kentucky). You have a problem with stopping traffic to bring awareness to civil rights issues, but when Cleveland wins a championship, storming the streets and climbing on firetrucks is suddenly okay.
You say you love Martin Luther King Jr., but you’ve whitewashed his memory so much that you forget he too broke the laws to create change for Black people especially, but also all of us that fall under the umbrella term “people of color.”
You forget that he did not condone violence, but he understood how people who are consistently disenfranchised by the systems at play can be driven to it (go read The New Jim Crow, look up information about voter ID laws, and find information about the school-to-prison pipeline) when he said “a riot is the language of the unheard.”
For the record, Black Lives Matter also condemns rioting and violence, and their peaceful protests are often winding down when people who just come to cause trouble begin making a mess of things. To automatically assume that all black protestors — violent or nonviolent — are part of the Black Lives Matter movement is just lazy and racist.
I wouldn’t be popping up on y’all’s newsfeeds, because I wouldn’t have been allowed to go to school with you — if by some crazy chance my family would even still have a reason to come to this country without integrated education systems — if laws hadn’t been broken.
No one, unless you are Black, has any right to voice any opinion about Black anger, Black frustration, Black pain, Black suffering, Black grief. tweet
And they had to be, because the oppressed never won any room to breathe from their oppressors by asking politely for it please pretty please with a cherry on top. But this isn’t about me, and this isn’t about White people or non-Black people of color (from your fellow Muslim, please hop off with that co-opted #MuslimLivesMatter garbage).
No one, unless you are Black, has any right to voice any opinion about Black anger, Black frustration, Black pain, Black suffering, Black grief. We can have a million Black friends and be close to all of them, but we will still never know what it is like to be Black. We can be uncomfortable, but we will never truly understand what it is like to have to be afraid for our lives when interacting with those whose duty it is to protect us.
Unfriend me if you wish — I’d rather not be the token Brown friend that you need to assure yourself you aren’t racist.