I Can't Keep Silent
I posted a few articles that I read on my Facebook page regarding the Ferguson tragedy. We all know the story of the unarmed18 year old who was shot dead for stealing from a convenience store. We have seen the looting, we have watched the news, we have looked at the autopsy reports, and we have heard countless opinions about the "rightness" and "wrongness" of the entire situation.
It leaves such a sore spot in my heart. I can't even explain it. Something that hurt me even further was people who I thought were close to me, people who I thought were my friends posted things on my Facebook page that were so ugly and rude, and let's just say I had to take down what I posted because it got so out of hand.
One thing that stood out for sure is that we are so slanted by what the media portrays to us. To me, as a Black woman, and as a mother, I don't care what the autopsy reports showed, I don't care if he stole from the convenience store, I don't care if it was a pack of gum, a cigar, a soda can. What I do care about is that a family is without their son right now.
I care that a mother had to bury her 18 year old son. It doesn't matter to me if he was Black, but it does matter to the police, and racial profiling and hatred DOES take place. This was a city where 2/3 of the population was Black, and guess how many cops on their force are black.......ummmmm not even 5.
Am I saying an 18 year old should get away with stealing? Absolutely not. I would be the first person to take my son or daughter back to that store to return what they stole. I would be the first person to say he deserved a consequence for his behavior. But did the police officer take this too far? I believe he did. I believe this young man did not have to die for stealing. His gun should have come out as a last resort.
The looting, the riots...necessary, no!
But why? Why do you think this is happening? Because people get fed up when they are treated like garbage. People act out, people do stupid things when they are hurting and angry. Should military force have to come into play? Do we use tear gas on innocent people? Only if they are Black apparently.
I do not have a rebellious bone in my body. I follow the rules of the law. I do it because God says to do it. I can not fathom stealing from a store and not getting into serious trouble. However, when did it become okay to shoot people who are unarmed, and only a "threat" because of the color of their skin?
People on my Facebook wall used the word THUG to describe this 18 year old kid. I would just call him a lost kid. Isn't it sad how we label people of color. The people who wrote them SEVERAL times on my Facebook wall and then defended themselves with photos, let me tell you something, how would you like it if I called the white cop a derogatory term? Wouldn't it slant my view? Wouldn't it appear to be more racial? THUG is another way of calling this young man the N-word. And white people don't get how much that word hurts because they didn't have to deal with years of slavery and oppression in this country.
I have never been a fan of cops. They make me so nervous. When I am driving I am always fearful of being pulled over. And I have gotten pulled over a number of times for no reason at all. And with shaky legs and sweaty palms I have done my best to give them all the necessary info they needed. I obey authority because we are told to, but authority in this country is sometimes abused. And if you are white you may never have experienced it. And so you will never understand how it feels to be a person of color, regardless of whether one is an "upstanding citizen" or not.
Ferguson police have been known to have had "black days" where they go out of their way to pick up black men and women and arrest them. They have made comments like, "let's make our prison a little more "colorful" today." And to me, that is just sickening and sad that in the year 2014 we are still stuck being judged and profiled by our color. This stuff is just to real and sad to be made up. This happens. Not all cops are upstanding citizens either.
As a mother, I mourn for this 18 year old young man who will never have his dreams realized. He had his whole life ahead of him. And it was taken away by a cop who was too quick to use his weapon.