140 characters is not enough to express my frustration tonight.
Tonight another black man was killed by the “police“.
But tonight is different. I hear about this shit all of the time, I see this shit on the news all of the time ( and by all the time I mean EVERYDAY), but tonight I am living in this shit.
Today as I am leaving class, I check my phone to see messages saying “Old Concord is blocked off, police up and down”. I’m thinking, “wonder what happened, hope everything is okay.” None of my thoughts were that a police officer just killed another black man, On the same street that I live on. Nobody ever thinks that it’ll happen to them, happen where they live, happen down the street from their house, at the hands of the “police”. But this afternoon it did.
We are confused. And tonight opened my eyes, I’m at the point where I am no longer confused, I understand. This place is not for us (and yes by US I mean black people). The same people that we entrust with our safety and protection, are the same people that can decide to view us as a threat, kill us, and receive a paid vacation for it (“Administrative Leave” is the term they like to use).
They say that they want us to protest peacefully, “use our words not our fists” etc etc. But when we do, what happens? Another black person dead, the VERY next day. 68 dead at the hands of the police in the 22 days since Colin Kaepernick began his non violent kneeling protest. They aren’t listening to us, they don’t care about what is happening to us. It is not affecting them in any negative way WHATSOEVER. What happens to the “police” community when a black man is killed by the police? “Aww thats awful, that sucks, we need to do better” and thats it! What happens to the black community when a father of seven is murdered by the police, while waiting for his kid???? There are too many answers for that, and none of them are positive. A kid getting of the bus to find out his parent can’t pick him up anymore because he is DEAD, at the hands of the “police”. And they want us to believe all lives matter and that the police are here to protect us. FOH.
I’m at the point where I believe joining the police force is the equivalent of joining a political party. Yes all of the members of the police aren’t the same clearly, but as of now they represent the same thing to me, because they all have the same capability to kill with the protections to do so under law that is supposed to protect ALL people. The race of the police officer is irrelevant, the entity that is the police, that SELECTIVELY protects and serves, is. The African American community that is clearly being targeted is. Do you think the officer that killed Keith Scott, knew he was going to kill Keith Scott today when he woke up? No, but one thing he does know now is that he will be accepted by the police community as one of their own, doing their “job”. Who’s interests are they really protecting? Who are you serving by killing a man waiting for his kid? What harm was he presenting to the public? Answer that.
We as a group of people are being pushed to the brink. We protest and it doesn’t work, they don’t listen. They want us to react. They want us to radicalize. It’s as if they want us to get violent so they’ll have a real reason to kill us. It’s honestly a hopeless situation, and I hate to come to the realization that there is no positive outcome for the entirety of my community. I wish we could all be one, I wish we were all represented, I wish there wasn’t a target on my back because of my skin color. I wish my mama didn’t HAVE to tell me to be on my P’s and Q’s around the police, too keep my hands out of my pockets, too look harmless.
Tonight I can’t go home because the police have blocked off the same road they killed yet another black man on. They want to blame the people protesting for the unrest, but how can you do that when it’s your fault the people are out there in the first place?
Today could’ve been normal.
“Not In Service”. This picture says it all.
By Keith Haynie, Editor in Chief