It’s Exhausting

I’m so very tired of having to explain the death of another kid getting cut down by a police officer.

Deadly force was used on another unarmed kid of color–keyword–”another.”

Tony Robinson was killed on Friday in Madison, Wisconsin.

Just Thursday night, Shonda Rhimes tried to unpack a version of Michael Brown’s shooting on an episode of Scandal. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it until the weekend; it hurt too much.

I don’t get the deadly force thing.  I don’t understand why, in the rock, paper, scissors game of life, a kill shot is needed when a leg or arm shot will do.  I don’t understand the comfort in training law enforcement that seems to surround the use of deadly force.

And as always I don’t understand why it seems to be necessary for me to teach my kid to how to not get shot by law enforcement, especially when she feels some kind of way about them anyway.  It’s getting harder to believe that her sassy personality and extraordinary height won’t be found threatening by someone, so threatening that she could lose her life behind some absurd ish.

The mental gymnastics involved in explaining the significance of commemorating Blood Sunday in Selma, Alabama this weekend, keynoted by the first African American president while also explaining that another unarmed African American was shot and killed the same weekend is…exhausting.

It’s depressing.

Oh, we can all say, “Well, let’s wait for the investigation and see what happens.”  Sure, of course, I’m reasonable in this and I’m glad that the police chief has responded so differently.   He clearly learned what not to do from the Ferguson police department.  But, inquisitive, invested 13 year olds who don’t miss ANYTHING in the news like this don’t wait to start asking questions or expressing frustration or proclaiming that police don’t like people like us. She wants to talk about this ish now, right now.

And frankly so do I, but like I”ve said before, I don’t know what to say.

About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted a tween daughter 7 years ago, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2021. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

13 responses to “It’s Exhausting

  • SerialAdopter

    Liking this seems like the wrong thing to do, but I hear ya.

  • Caitlin

    Ugh. I watched Scandal last night, and it was so hard. I tried to imagine that it was Shonda Rhimes’ way of telling law enforcement, government, and people HOW to own blame. Like, these are the words you use, this is what it looks like, and it has to be done. I hope we start to see some accountability (and NO MORE murder at the hands of law enforcement).

  • My Perfect Breakdown

    I find these situations just heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking. Oh, and completely preventable, which just makes it even more heartbreaking.

  • Belladonna Took

    They’re not always black. In Pasco, a town next to where I live, a Mexican guy was shot just recently … for throwing rocks. The common denominator is cops with guns instead of training. It’s disgusting.

  • Mimi

    It’s getting harder to believe that her sassy personality and extraordinary height won’t be found threatening by someone, so threatening that she could lose her life behind some absurd ish.

    – This right here is where I’m concerned. Just your child’s presence can be considered threatening…when can our children just live?

  • Valarie Johnson

    “I don’t understand why, in the rock, paper, scissors game of life, a kill shot is needed when a leg or arm shot will do.” – just to address that, the reason officers usually ‘shoot to kill’ is because the torso is the biggest target. They simply don’t have good enough aim to expect a leg or arm shot to disable a (legitimately) threatening person. So the real concern is, why do they use guns at all when the criminal does not have a weapon. Surely a taser would suffice. Or, in the case of us foster parents who are not allowed to restrain violent children, WTF do you think we do? It’s called blocking and our kids can’t kill us quickly with their bare hands, come on. Police officers have grossly overestimated criminals these days.

    Did you see that the City of Cleveland blamed Tamir Rice for his own death? Even knowing that he is 12 years old, apparently pre-teens are now responsible for serious consequences. I guess we should let them vote and drive! And yes, if the kids I adopt are black, I will be moving out of Ohio.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I understand shoot the biggest target, but really, as you say, why are we relying on shooting?

      Cleveland…when I saw that the city blamed this kid for his own death…WTF? The mayor came out and said sorry, not sorry since we need to use that language in the litigation. Stop the madness. 😥

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