If you are reading this blog post with the expectation of hearing some newfound insight as to why police are killing black people, an innovative 5 point action plan to combat police brutality, or an eloquently written dissertation on how non blacks should feel about black people’s plight in America, this ain’t what you are looking for. I advise you to go follow Shaun King and Jessie Williams because those brothers can articulate their emotions and lead you much better than I can in my current state. This post is just a reflection of how many black Americans feel. This is what’s being said in barbershops, hair salons, and black social media, without the platform that exampleplease.com has given me to release my frustration.
This post is strictly a venting session from an angry black father who’s one half of a parenting duo trying to raise a son, and teach him to navigate the treacherous waters of racism in America. Excuse the brevity, idioms, colloquialisms, slang, and profanity in this post. Naturally I don’t use profanity in casual conversation, but this post is me pulling the steam release valve so I can keep my sanity. I started typing and didn’t stop until I felt better.
“I say fuck the police that’s how I treat them. We buy our way out of jail but we can’t buy freedom” -Kanye West ‘All Falls Down’ Kanye’s quote strikes every nerve, muscle fiber, bone, and cell in my body, and embodies every bit of how I feel about law enforcement in this country! Late Tuesday evening July 5, 2016, I laid in my bed and clicked on a FB video captioned “I’m so tired of this” and what I saw was 2 Baton Rouge Police officers killing a subdued black man at point blank range. That man was 37 year old Alton Sterling. From the looks of the video Sterling was sentenced to execution for his crime of selling burned cds and dvds while being black.
I can’t seem to understand how the fuck this keeps happening to black people in America. It seems like every 90 days we are seeing video, news articles, and hashtags of some black child or adult being murdered at the hands of the police and “I’m muthafuckin tired of these muthafuckin police in this muthafuckin country” to channel my inner Samuel L. Jackson. I am tired y’all; it hurts my soul knowing that I have to watch mothers bury their babies – fathers being snatched from their families due to some weak ass cop drunk with the manufactured power he has from owning a gun and a badge.
What do I do to stop it? How do I teach my son and future children on how to interact with police? How do I protect his life? Tell him to comply? Nah, that doesn’t work. Ask John Crawford’s family. Do I stop him from eating skittles and drinking sweet tea because it will get him killed? Nah that doesn’t work either. Ask Trayvon Martin’s family. Do I tell him stand up for himself and don’t take shit from nobody even the police when they are violating your civil liberties? Nah, ask my pops Big Jeff what that looks like. What am I supposed to do?
I titled this post “Hey Dad, They Don’t Care About the Cameras Anymore” because of an encounter I had with police in Dec 2013. My pops and I had an altercation with 3 police officers over some bullshit, and they wanted me to sign a statement saying I did something that I didn’t do. I remained steadfast in my innocence and the 3 officers began to try an intimidate me. They were yelling and one officer kept his hand on his gun the entire time. My pops began to question the officers and talked what we in the hood call “reckless” to the police because of how they were treating me and talking to me. The police officers were clearly flustered and outraged because they were dealing with 2 non submissive black men. They couldn’t act out their feelings due to all of the cameras present in the precinct. Driving home I looked over at my dad in the passenger seat and said ” Dad, you do know if we weren’t in front of those cameras they would have whooped us.” He said “Yep, but you’re my son and they are going to treat you with respect.” Those cameras may have been our saving grace that day. Now it seems like nothing can save black people in America. There’s no justice for being killed by the police. It’s just us being killed by the police and it’s a damn shame.
I honestly don’t have a clue on how to force change in America. I don’t want to see another damn march or hashtag that will last as long as a Gap Band song. I want action! Miss me with the “All police aint bad” shit too because that may be true, but not enough of the good ones are speaking out. The blue wall of silence is leading to the continual deaths of black people in America. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Fuck the “good cops” that don’t say or do anything too. You know what don’t tell me to become a police officer, lawyer, or judge and be the change I want to see because that shit doesn’t work either.
Some of the officers that murdered Freddie Gray were black. The prosecutor on his case is black and currently no one has been found guilty of his death in court proceedings. Don’t tell me to be the change I want to see. Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens in Kentucky speaks out on racism in America, and now white judges and prosecutors are trying to get him removed. I don’t want to hear love your enemies and be nonviolent because that’s what Dr. King did to influence change. Dr. King’s house was bombed one time and never again, because men in the neighborhood patrolled his home after that. Dr. King wasn’t violent but he had some people who would ride if he needed them.
You want the black man to remain peaceful? Show me a time in history where an oppressed people gained their freedom without blood being shed. This country gained its freedom from England through bloodshed. Oh, but you want me to keep taking L’s in the name of equality. Yea aight…I’m not saying violence is the answer because strategically we don’t have the manpower or resources, and I’ m tired of seeing my people die. It would be unwise and besides, I’m not trying to end up on some no fly list or government watch list as a domestic terrorist even though known terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan are alive and thriving (go figure).
One last thing Why does the media keep showing the murder of my people on a continuous loop in the news cycle? I will tell you why. It’s the same tactics slave masters employed to break the spirits of slaves when they tried to revolt. Slave masters would take the largest, most vibrant, strongest slave on the plantation and beat him within an inch of his life, in front of the whole plantation as a lesson to them all. “If you Niggers get out of line I will beat you!” That’s psychological warfare! If they took out the strongest of us, what does that mean for little feeble me? I better do what they say or they will kill me. Once we realize that our fighting is futile, then we lose hope and we have officially lost our will to fight and persevere. I can’t and won’t watch another video.
Today was the first day in 30 years of living that I felt my spirit being broken. I used to think that once we installed body cameras on all officers, that would deter officers from misusing their powers and brutalizing people of color but after seeing brothers Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Sam Dubose, and Eric Garner being murdered on tape, I’m convinced video evidence means nothing to police or the criminal justice system. Hey Dad, they don’t even care about the cameras anymore.