Being Black in America

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On Tuesday we saw videos ( two different angles) of Alton Sterling being pushed down by two Baton Rouge Police Officers and then shot to death.  From the videos, I didn’t see signs of him resisting arrest or anything.  Re-winding to the beginning, before Mr. Sterling was shot to death, he had reportedly threatened someone while selling CDs in front of a convenient store (which he had the permission to do so from the owner of the store).  The said person who was threatened called 911 stating that Mr. Sterling had a gun and threatened him.  Now, I am going to assume that the dispatcher informed the Police Officers that Mr. Sterling was carrying a gun because of the said callers statement.

In one video, you can see Mr. Sterling getting tackled to the ground and a gun pointed at him at close range. I could also hear one officer yelling “I swear to God if you fucking move” and then “He’s got a gun” and then two shots.  The second video, again, which is at a different angle, you can see sort of the same thing but more clearly his hands being pinned down by the police and more shots.

Going back to my assumption, didn’t the dispatcher tell the cops that he had a gun? Lets say that they did tell these Officers that he did in fact have a gun, shouldn’t they have used another tactic to get him to surrender?  Just yesterday I saw three different videos of white men waving a weapon at police officers and they were living after the cops apprehended them.  Therefore, why is it that a black man being arrested by two cops die?  Why is it that they get to go home on paid leave, kiss their family and all of that jazz but Mr. Sterling cant?  You can see his oldest Son on national television crying into his shirt because he witnessed his father being shot by two police officers on social media.  Five children are now without a Father because  of this.

So now let’s fast forward to Wednesday in Minnesota, a black man by the name of Philando Castile was shot while being pulled over for a broken tail light. The officer who shot him asked him for his license and registration so his girlfriend said in the video footage, he told the cop that he had a weapon and she interjected saying that he was licensed to carry and conceal a weapon.  Therefore, in the action of reaching for the information that this cop asked for he was shot 4 times in his arm.  You can clearly see in the video that his arm was bloody and dangling from its socket and you can hear him moaning and almost gasping for air.  Now what really bought me to tears is that you could hear him take his last breath.  The girlfriend kept recording and she stated that the officer shot her boyfriend (Philando Castile) while her 4-year-old daughter was in the car.  Why should a child have to see something like that?  Philando didn’t have a record, and he was complying to the Officer’s request yet he is another victim of fatal police brutality.

All in one week we have to face the fact that two black men are now dead because of police Officers. You can ask a child today how they feel about this and they will tell you sad or outraged or angry. You can hear young black boys stating that they don’t trust police officers and that they are scared of them. If our children are scared of the Police who can they call for help?  If I am scared of someone I wouldn’t ask them for help.  How can we teach our children that there are cops out here that may want to harm you so comply to their every word yet you see for yourself that means nothing.  I am afraid for my brothers, my cousins, my uncles and for my friends every day because they are black men.  Why should our black men be shooting targets for our police departments?

I may have never said this before but, today I stand for change.  Today is the day that we as a community take action.  Lets start by taking action in our own cities and in our own neighborhoods… Building our communities up to rise up to concur this evil world we now live in.

One thing we should not do is proceed with violence because that will not answer a thing.

Kiss your loved ones each and everyday… tell them that you love them and you appreciate them.  I know this isn’t something that I would normally blog about but these events really set home for me.  I am truly disappointed to see the tally of black people being killed this year alone by people who are supposed to protect us.

 

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