I heard about another shooting and I was again hesitant to look up the details. I had good reason, but how could I avoid it. Alton Sterling’s picture was plastered everywhere. The video capturing his murder quickly going viral…the outrage escalating…the pain eminating through a people…silently and aloud: Do Black lives really matter? Alas, a notable pastor’s words served as my alarm. His words stung more than salt in an open wound…rather the impact sizzled as if I were one of the thousands of slugs on the sidewalk of our color-blindless society…a culture bred by hate with a motive to search and destroy…but weren’t we found here against our will anyway…were any of us ever really granted permission to dwell here…to work here…to live here…to fear here? To kill or be killed here? We as a people have made due…we’ve climbed latters where rungs were added to impede our ascent…we’ve endured lashings with the tongue and with whips…and this is what we came here for? We aren’t bullet-proof…ad they know it…there’s no superman to deflect a bullet…once released, it adheres to its assignment…it searches and destroys…the heart, the mind, the family, the culture…to a lone bullet..Do black lives really matter?
The words burn because they are true…pictures don’t lie, but the verdict of cases passed tell another story…rather, I suppose even a lie is truth so long as you believe it…Grief has its place, but what happens when grief has no target…in a time where our society should be flooded with supposed upstanding civil servants we are faced with a reality quite the contrary. Does the mere presence of a black man give credence to “the kill or be killed” excuse that so many are claiming after candid camera reveals what really happened? Should a mistake be a large enough bandaid to heal the gaping hole between race relations now? I’m seriously disturbed because just last week my own son was in Baton Rouge. Now I realize why my brother reminded me to ensure he had ID before I sent him to work at the Essence Festival with him. His words make too much sense now but not enough…”yea…you don’t want to be a black dude around New Orleans with no ID.” Would the mere reason be to identify a body? MY GOD!!! How many have to die! I almost wrote about BLUE LIVES MATTER WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE AMBUSH OF THE OFFICER LAST YEAR…I never got around to it because news of “our” cases took my attention. Now I’m glad I didn’t. It’s not that the lives of officers don’t matter..in fact I have a few friends in law enforcement…it’s just not the same…there’s no invisible system in place to take cops out for any reason out of the blue…Yet, this seems largely the case with black lives. It seems that as once before, those with hatred in their hearts for blacks have traded their sheets, hoods, and horses for titles,badges, and squad cars…news of Alton Sterling’s murder hurts my soul, but sadly I’m not surprised. It makes me wonder what will be said in the new history books of black lives..stories like Emmit Till and Nat Turner missed notoriety when I was in highschool…I only learned of them later…I wonder if that will be the case for my children’s children with Travonne Martin, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling and every other black life taken in between because at least to racist cops, apparently these black lives just didn’t matter.