I am overwhelmed with grief and anger. My mini getaway was marred by Black and blue death. My heart actually aches.
Hope is away at band camp; she hasn’t been online in a couple of days now. I was bothered because I hadn’t heard from her, though I took it as a good sign that she was having fun and making friends. Now I’m relieved that she is cloistered away from the internet and news. I hope it stays that way until I pick her up.
It gives me a couple of days to figure out what to say to her about two more black men dying at the hands of police.
I’ve written a lot on my fears about being Black and raising a Black child in an age where the incidence of police brutality seems to be increasing.
I’ve gone back and forth on what I wanted to use this platform to say about the deaths of Alton Spalding and Philando Castile and now the officers slain in Dallas.
I don’t know what to say or even where to begin.
I can say that this is the terrorism that I am most afraid of.
I am grateful for friends of a many races and backgrounds who reached out, who commiserated, who were experiencing the same anguish I feel.
I am also acutely aware of crickets chirping in areas of my life, where nothing was said, nothing was acknowledged, or where Black humanity was seemingly ignored. #iseeandhearyou
I unplugged for a while because the anger and sorrow was just too much.
I am actively pondering what would people say about me if a traffic stop ended in my death or that of my daughter.
Would people look for a mug shot of me to use in the media?
Would people recast my diversity and social justice educational work as militant?
Would people dig into my background to find mistakes that would cast me as worthy of death by police execution?
Would people gaslight my family by saying, “Well, we don’t really know what happened; let’s wait for all the details?”
Would the body cameras mysteriously fall off or fail to record what happened to me?
Would there be anyone around using a cell phone camera that showed what happened to either of us?
Who around me would be silent about my death?
Would I be cast as the exception rather than the rule because I’m middle class, educated with no record?
What would they say about me?
What would they say about Hope?
Would the failings of her first family be used to crush her and explain why she was wothy of police execution?
Would my parental failings be broadcast widely in order to justify her execution?
How would the privacy of her story be violated, because we already know it would be?
Would they say she was troubled?
Would they say that she was angry and disobedient?
Who would stand with me as I grieved my child?
Would our deaths help the deniers get a clue about state sanctioned murder?
Would there be indictments?
Would anyone even really expect indictments?
If there was a trial how would our executions be portrayed in order to justify our deaths?
Would anyone give either of us the benefit of any doubt? Any reasonable doubt?
If there was a trial does anyone really think there would be a conviction?
Would our lives matter beyond a hashtag, some good speeches and a protest or two?
Would our deaths change anything?
Would our living have been in vain?
Have you ever had to ask yourself these questions? Have you ever needed to? Have they ever even crossed your mind?
I’m just pained, from the inside out.