Over the weekend most of us celebrated with our families. While I personally don’t believe in “Independence” day, it was reason enough to stand close to my loved ones and cherish their lives. Most of us went to barbecue’s, shared food, laughter, joy… Some went out and bought special outfits to represent our country. Matched their new $190 red and white Jordan’s to their complementing blue jeans. We bought fireworks, clothes, food, gas, alcohol; we purchased an abundance of things to assist in our celebration….
Money out, money out, money out.
Very few of those dollars and very little of the production went into or came from our community. Imagine the irony of a father of three, turned faced down, hands tethered, and shot five times in his back the day after we celebrate our “freedom”. Imagine how Alton Sterling’s 15 year old son laughed with joy as he lit bottle rockets with his dad the day before. We don’t have to imagine his suffering after his father was robbed of his life, because it is displayed on every television station. He sobbed for the loss of his leader, his father, and his childhood. His freedom along with his father, was stolen from him.
Happy fucking Fourth of July.
Seeing the Powers That Be destroy black bodies is nothing new. The video of that father and husband being shot in the back 5 times is passed around facebook to numb hearts. So many of us are used to unjustified violence. We know how this goes. Black man shows hesitation to an unlawful arrest, beaten, murdered with no attempt of de-escalation, media circus, and NO indictment. The same country that we celebrated just a day before is going to justify the murder of your brother.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Do you know what this is a sign of? Louisiana is an open carry state. You are legally allowed to outwardly carry a gun as long as you are licensed to do so. It cannot be the sole reason that you are stopped because it is in your right. This is saying if you’re black and male and you have a gun, we will kill you. Fight back, nigger, and we will steal the life of you AND your family. If you think these laws were made for you, nigger, we’ll prove that it’s not. And we’ll get away with it.
This isn’t going to stop with marches. They don’t care. You’re just giving the boys in blue a bit of overtime. We can write songs, we can give speeches, we can hold fundraisers, but the truth is we can’t TALK our way out of this. The only way to change things is by refusing all of the things they gave us as a distraction!
We won’t be allowed to vote their power away! We can’t pray goodness into a murderer’s heart. We need to fight fire with fire, but not the way that they do it.
As her child soul wept for the loss of his father, Alton’s wife remained steadfast and finished her speech. I then realized something. I truly understand why black women are so hardened, so tough, so strong. When they kill you, black man, we MUST continue on. When they beat you, burn you, lynch you, hurt you, when they try to destroy your manhood… we have no choice but to pick up the pieces.
We have to fight back in a way that they never expect. We have to turn our backs to this system and create an infrastructure of our own. We must adhere to our own social norms and codes. We must hold each other accountable. We must no long look to outside, external sources for gratification. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If we must work for them, then we will take their money and not give ANY of it back to them. It might take years, decades. But it’s worth the fight.
We need to come together and know and say each other’s names without our blood spilling the ground. Death shouldn’t unite us. Life should.
“Negroes – Sweet and docile, Meek, humble, and kind: Beware the day – They change their mind.”