Meet Kalief Browder. He spent upwards of 3 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Kalief refused to plead guilty for a crime he didn’t commit. Unlike so many other brothers, he heroically stood up to prejudiced system and maintained his innocence rather than pleading guilty to a system that would put him away regardless of evidence. Rationally many black men know if they end up in this position it’s not a matter of if they will go to prison but for how long. They have no money, no lawyer and no hope as they are pressured to confess to a crime they didn’t commit.
Every court date scheduled was either pushed back or the court appointed attorney would not show up to defend him for almost 3 years.
I listened to a blind ignorant person by the name of Candice Owens defend a foundation-ally racist judicial system with so called “statistics.” This confirms what we all need to understand. That just because it’s called a statistic doesn’t make it a fact. The statistics we are given about the crimes of blacks are tainted. As I see organizations like The Innocence Project working to exonerate wrongly convicted men and women it’s evident that throughout history until now that INNOCENT black men are arrested, charged and convicted in record numbers. Our law enforcement and judiciary system needs a complete overhaul here in America.
I watched this story on Netflix last year and it is simply a reminder of the injustices experienced by black people inside and outside of prison.
Martin Luther King Jr said “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
If you have spoken up against the riots after blurring past the death George Floyd it’s because you think this is all about George Floyd. My wife referred to his death as “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” What most of you fail to understand is that this out of control response is the reaction of exhaustion. The list of George Floyd is long, deep, painful and historical. It is centuries of documented and undocumented racism that has sparked the riots we see today and we should be grateful that these riots are not equal of the wrongs that have been served up to black people over the course of time. So with one breath I am saying yes it’s wrong but what in the world did you expect?
Have you ever snapped at someone because you hadn’t had much sleep and were overwhelmed. Well the response we are seeing across America is not over this one death. It’s over a scene that plays over and over and over in our communities. The people that can’t relate are mainly the people that don’t live in dark enough skin. It’s an exhausting experience when we continue to bury family that died at the hands of a trigger happy police officer.
On top of that, we can’t even imagine the number of black people who are sitting in jail right now because the police found a black person to blame and Persecute just to appease a white family because a white family was devastated from a crime that had taken place. These numbers are overwhelming!
It’s so important for us to understand that an entire system needs to be reconstructed with the inclusion of black America helping provide attention to the flaws embedded in laws made to specifically target minorities. It’s important for law enforcement and court systems to be held accountable when the presence of color determines whether force or sentencing is unfair and excessive.
We simply need accountability! We must see justice. We can not stop demanding it! Here’s the key though. We cannot get the accountability which could be lasting in the streets. We must raid the system with minds weaponized with our knowledge of constitutional rights and organizational strategies supported by the same passion that moves towards a specified target.
I must warn you that I started my blog today speaking to anyone reading these words but my heart turned to my brothers and sisters who share to same color skin as me. I was urging readers to unplug for 24 hours, giving your soul some rest from all the chaos taking place in America. But as I began writing, I realized I didn’t have 24 hours to lose because right now every breath we take matters.
I feel incapable of describing the last few months. COVID-19 showed up and started wreaking havoc on the world, building unrest and fear in the hearts of most people as this virus is going viral faster than a kid dancing to the “in my feelings challenge” and being hit by a car. In addition, major stories broke loose in the news producing an incredible amount of tension, emotion and outrage towards the ongoing reality of the position racism has permanently held in America til present day.
This morning I asked myself a question. “How did the generations of black people before us cope with this world?” It’s a lot. It’s just a lot! Keeping it 100, for a moment, I thought, hey, it is a good idea to burn the buildings down if that’s what it takes to get the attention of systems that have oppressed us for so long! I even spoke against people who were calling the people causing the damage criminals. I considered it to be justified because of the amount of anger I felt within myself. I understand that it’s not the way, but I felt how I felt. I repented from those emotions and pulled my thoughts together to shift to solution-based thinking rather than being led by momentary passions.
Our anger is legitimate, justifiable, rational and logical but with that anger we must be completely responsible. The action we take today will determine the level of change we see tomorrow. So, the protests must be peaceful even though our souls, hearts and minds are in a state of unrest, tumult, pain and disorientation. Hell, many of us are waking up fighting depression as we speak as new videos of injustice continue daily to surface at the hands of racist citizens and reckless law enforcement. Now more than ever for our generation we must have the moral fortitude to outlast the response Donald Trump really wants, which is, please loot so that hopefully the police will shoot! We must have the mental capacity to keep pushing for all the reform we can get within our policing systems, court systems, prison systems.
We are dealing with record numbers of Unemployment where people are unable to pay bills, feeling claustrophobic in our homes through stay at home orders, trying to maneuver through a way of life we’ve never seen and cops are still killing black people in the street like black lives don’t matter.
Black people are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 while three police officers stand and watch while a black man dies handcuffed, under the knee of their fellow officer and none of these so called civil servants who have taken an oath to protect and serve, have the heart, the common sense, the moral decency, or the freaking basic training to lift this man up and sit him on a curb or in the car instead of watching to see how much pressure his life can take under a knee with a smirk on his face because he was aroused by the sound of a grown black man begging for his breath and calling for his dead mother.
I feel like America has its knee on our neck to see how long we will keep breathing?
We need to stop counting on Black lives to matter to others and focus on how much it matters to us. I don’t care if my life matters to you as long as police, judges, and racist white people will obey the laws and stop violating the rights of black people every single day as if we don’t have the right to sit in a Starbucks without ordering, make deliveries in gated communities, ask a white lady to put their dogs on leashes or sale bottled water on the side walk to raise money for our hardworking single mothers!
We must form larger institutions among blacks that teach and train our current and future generations in depth criminal law so that every instance that our laws are violated we can win court cases against the organizations and people that unlawfully harass, detain and arrest people.
We must form bolder institutions that will push those who have the capacity and skills of communication and leadership into the seats that will replace those in office who don’t give a damn about a darker colored skin.
We need systems that will direct and redirect funding to the schools in our communities and enhance the education of our sons and daughters. We can start here but letting our elected officials know we are here. Start by completing your 2020 Census so they know how many people are in our neighborhoods. Prepare to vote come November and every 2 years going forward without fail or hesitation so that we can get the right people in place that will petition for the grants and funding our neighborhoods desperately need.
Too many of us have been silent long enough. I guess our homes must be comfortable enough that we thought the racism struggle was over. It’s not! And with this underlying campaign to “Make America Great Again” there is an inclusion of conversations to set black people back in the mindset that we as black people don’t belong here. We do! And every single one of us that make up 13% of America need to strive to pull every other person of color up so that we will continue to rise economically, socially, morally and intellectually.