Being a black woman in America who is blessed with radio and social media platforms, I can’t remain silent any longer.
While still wrapping my head around the death of Ahmaud Arbery and how a young man can get murdered while jogging, I’m now watching madness unfold that I have never seen in my lifetime. Let’s take race out of the equation. Someone places his knee on a man’s neck while he’s on the ground, on his carotid artery. All of that person’s weight is pushed behind the knee cutting off the air supply of the man on the ground. Did I mention the nonchalant attitude and hands in the pocket of the person pushing the knee? The man on the ground screams, “I can’t breathe” MULTIPLE times. The knee stays on his neck. He even calls on his “Mama” who has been dead for two years. The knee is not removed. By-standers plead. The knee stays on the man’s neck for nine minutes. The man dies before us. For those of you rolling your eyes, what if this was your son or husband? What would you do? What would you say? What kind of emotions would you have? What if the police officer didn’t look like you? Would your thinking change?
Now, please allow me to answer those questions from MY point of view. As a black American female, I feel that’s all (some) people see. They don’t see my Irish, Italian and Native-American heritage. They only see my Black heritage. A light-skinned black woman. I fear for my sons because I know someone fears them and fear brings about toxicity. I fear for my daughter and granddaughter because I know how hard they will have to fight for what they deserve. As they break those glass ceilings, I know the ugly names they will be called just because they are smart and ambitious. I know how many nights they will cry themselves to sleep because they don’t understand.
In 2020, I see myself telling my children the very same things my grandmother told me back in the 60s. I had to tell them what to do when they are pulled over because the number one goal is to make it home alive. I’ve had to tell them…in 2020…not to be in certain areas after dark because (again) the number one goal is to make it home alive. What kind of emotions do I have? I am angry. I am angry that in the 21st century, I am seeing the same racism that I have experienced amped up to full throttle. I am angry that there are so many hashtags with names behind them and they are all people who look like me. I am angry at the injustice that is still running rapid in this country. I am angry that I see people of color targeted for no reason. It’s not right. It just isn’t right. I am angry that I am seeing ugliness that has remained dormant for decades. Yes, I am angry because it feels that black Americans and people of color have a bullseye on our backs.
I believe in prayer because I know that prayer works but one or a few people praying for this country ain’t gonna cut it. Not when I see evil and ugliness taking over. As a black American woman, with multiple heritages, I can’t remain silent any longer. I have platforms (plural) and I have to speak on the injustices I see.
Please stay safe and take care of yourselves family.