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Thursday, July 7, 2016

The World We Live In

My brother's wife is due next week.  They will have their second girl.  And I had a thought this morning that sickened me.

"How lucky are they that they don't have boys?"

That thought sickened me for two reasons.  One, I should be happy that they have 1.99 healthy children, that they will grow up in a happy home, far from most of the struggles that we had to deal with in our youth.  They will grow up without the crushing feeling of wanting -- of needing -- and not having.  They will grow up without having to "make do."  I should be thrilled at that.

Two, it doesn't matter.  My brother's children are still Black, even though their mother is as fair-skinned and red-haired as can be.

It's a sad reality that it is open season on us, and increasingly has been since January 2009 (wonder what happened in January 2009 that suddenly made Black people a target?).  Since January 1st, 2009, according to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 290 (and counting, because today ain't over yet)unarmed or legally armed African-American men and women have been either killed by, or in custody of law enforcement.  The majority of these cases have seen the officers escape indictment and keep their jobs, and those that have been prosecuted escaped punishment and are quietly swept under the rug.  And while the overwhelming majority of the victims are male, there are a not-insignificant number of females in there as well.

Last night, we were shown in brutal detail the police execution of two African-American men, legally armed, without just cause.  One man was tackled and restrained by four men, shot in the chest at point blank range, and then had his gun removed from his pocket.  The other was in a car with his girlfriend and daughter and shot to death in front of them.  These are images that won't -- that shouldn't -- leave our collective consciousness anytime soon.

I'm firmly aware that not all cops are out to get us.  The ones that aren't should stop protecting the ones that are, and until they do, they are part of the problem.  And to those who fall back on "All Lives Matter..."

Well, apparently not those 290.

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