There isn't a day that passes that race doesn't come up or become a thought in my mind. It's in our faces everyday. I'm taking this time now to share a chunk of a piece I wrote that I was going to submit to the scholastic arts and writing scholarship contest. I wasn't able to submit this (RIP to the $$$ I could've pocketed :/) but I HAVE to share this somewhere, so here I am.
The Shots Heard Round The World
It was a dull pang. That's what I remember from those heart pounding, desperate nights. A dull, ringing pang that was introduced by a blue glow that would sometimes flicker red, emanating from the headlines on the TV screen.
"GEORGE ZIMMERMAN NOT GUILTY"
" NO INDICTMENT FOR DARREN WILSON"
A curdling sickness, a red rage, a dull pang that hit my heart as I looked at the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the protesters on the streets of major cities and small towns, my family sitting on the couch alongside me, my reflection when I looked at my brown skin for too long in the mirror. I remember sitting there on those nights asking myself " Is this some Inception-style nightmare or am I really witnessing a ludicrous world?"
I've concluded that this world is ludicrous because here is an abbreviated version of the updated list of suspicious behaviors that could land you in a grave as a black person in America: carrying a bag of skittles, carrying an Arizona ice tea, carrying cigarettes, wearing a hoodie, napping, listening to music, playing outside, and having a conversation with a police officer. Gravelyly, the list goes on, but the longer this list stretches, the more we should wonder if these actions and behaviors are merely just substitutes. Excuses or names given to something much more simple. Is it such a far-fetched notion that your life is inherently more at risk for simply being black?
Trayvon Martin was just walking home to enjoy the snacks he had just purchased.
"But, he couldn't have been doing just that. No one was there to witness it."
Michael Brown was just walking home from the corner store-walking because he had no reason to run.
"But, he couldn't have been doing just that. There was no good footage, and the footage we did see was blurry."
Eric Garner was just walking out of his store to answer questions by the police. Eric Gardner said he couldn't breathe eleven times.
"But, he couldn't have...it was the asthma! He had a coincidental asthma attack at the moment of his death."
12 year-old Tamir Rice was playing in a park with his toy. Playing pretend guns just like his friends and like so many other children before him.
7 year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping.
Timothy Stansbury Jr. was standing in a stairwell when he "startled" a police officer.
Victor Steen was riding a bicycle.
And we won't ever really know what Lennon Lacy was doing in North Carolina this past August because we just found him, hanging on an unfamiliar swing set by an unfamiliar belt wearing unfamiliar shoes in an unfamiliar, predominately white trailer park late at night.
Again, the list goes on.
And this is all to say that I'm tired of seeing Reverend Al Sharpton show up on the news for the tenth time in only one month, not because of Sharpton himself, but because of what his presence represents. Seeing him is like feeling the dread that must thrush through one's veins when they hear a firm knock on the door in the early hours of the morning when their loved one hasn't come home yet. No, this isn't a descriptive simile to get you to understand what I'm trying to convey. This is almost the exact reality of Black America today. Almost, because police officers aren't knocking on the doors of these families anymore; they're still back at the scene of their own crime, searching for a way to cover up their tracks.
64,000 black women are currently missing in America right now, and I am not making this up. If this number seems unbelievable to you, you are not alone. 64,000 black women who will continue to be unknown and continue to go unfound because American media outlets have to make air time for a Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard to choke on his words and try to convince the public that what he is doing is for the betterment of American society. 64,000 missing black women, but let's direct our attention to what a member of one of the world's most infamous terrorist organizations has to say.
This series of tragic events surrounding police corruption and race relations in America have re-awakened the black community and should-if it hasn't already- awaken the white community as well, for we are currently living in a state of affairs that can easily be dubbed as an inevitable second wave of the Civil Rights Movement, an ugly evolution of racism swept under the rug that is steadily beginning to surge.
These are the facts; this is our American reality. These are the things that cannot be disputed. So, if you still feel the urge to minimize or degrade the dire matters at hand, then perhaps the only thing of question here is your humanity.