What should I call this grief and rage I’m feeling this morning? What should I do with this state of staying on the verge of tears and awareness while trying to forge on when it seems hopeless?
While we were still reeling and mobilizing around the Alton Sterling murder, while I was embroiled in another circular conversation with some white man fully cloaked in his privilege telling me that “race isn’t real”, while I was preparing for bed I watched live as a man died. Philando Castile was gunned down in his car in front of his four-year-old daughter and girlfriend. I watched a mother and companion try to calmly document what was going on LIVE so that someone might come help her. Her keeping her head maybe the only reason she is alive this morning. She probably didn’t know if she would live through the encounter so Facebook Live was the only way to make sure that even if the officers destroyed her phone there would be some evidence of what happened.
That is what we have become present or future evidence in a grand jury trial to see IF charges will be brought against our murderers. Some of you, like me, probably held on to some hope a few years ago that once we had these heinous acts captured on camera that we would finally see some justice. Turns out we are nothing more than a ratings booster until the next shooting hits the new cycle. We are fodder for an industry that glorifies violence and dehumanizes brown bodies. We are nothing more than the stars in publically shown Snuff Film. We are slabs lying in morgues while facebook lawyers and supporters of domestic terrorists in blue, comb over video after video, playing and replaying our deaths until we are all numb to it.
Undoubtedly, today I will run across someone donning their cloak of white privilege who will tell me all the ways this man was at fault for his own death and the posts will flood my timeline on how we have to support our police officers “because they have a hard job” but what is harder than being killed because of who you are and the skin that you are in? What is harder than burying sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers, snatched from us too soon?
I will ask you again what should I do with this grief and rage boiling inside of me? How many times can I attempt to turn a tragedy into a turning point where something starts to change when I don’t even get a chance to fully process what happened in one case before the next one hits the airwaves. Tell me what do I do?