I don’t like being vocal about these kinds of things, only because I want my blog to be a beacon of positivity and light, and dealing with national or international tragedies/injustices, or dipping into political rhetoric invites confrontation and dampens my efforts to be as loving and positive as I’d like to be. But there are times where I REALLY need to share what’s on my heart, not necessarily to rant, but to maybe just open eyes to why things hurt my heart as much as they do.
Philando Castile is a black man who was murdered by a police officer about a year ago in Minnesota, U.S.A. And yesterday, his murderer walked away without a conviction, got to go home to his family and friends, and am 99.9% sure will be going back to work policing that same city very soon. Philando Castile? He didn’t get that opportunity.
It breaks my heart, and honestly angers me, that black people are being killed left and right by police officers with absolutely no repercussions, and the very, very few who do get sentenced come so few and far between that we honestly forget. There have been several stories of people genuinely fearing that being pulled over by a cop will be the end of their life. Take this article that broke me. A woman was in tears because a cop pulled her over. She was scared that that would be her last day. She didn’t do anything wrong. She was actually driving under the speed limit. But that means nothing anymore. Black people can try their hardest to be “upstanding citizens,” but our lives just don’t matter.
And it honestly discourages me. I’m always aware of who I am when I’m in public and when I’m online, because I A) don’t want to ever meet or deal with a racist who has an issue with me breathing the same air as them, and B) I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. I literally recoil when I’m around people who aren’t visibly minorities. I cross the street when people approach me just so I don’t have to watch them do it and know that they’re doing it because I’m black. I carry small purses to stores so no one can think that I’m shoplifting, and I always buy something whenever I walk into a store because I don’t want people to think that I stole something or was casing the store. I’m aware of my every move as a black person, because I genuinely fear what would happen if I wasn’t. The stories of people being followed by security guards, of racist encounters when they’re literally living their lives. I can’t. I really, really can’t.
But at the end of the day, no matter how careful some black people are, no matter how much they change themselves to fit into the mold of the ideal citizen and person, people will always view us as a threat. And sometimes we aren’t even people. We are subhuman. Sometimes it honestly feels like society cares more about animals than black people. Prime example? That Harambe gorilla story, that in my honest opinion, got a STUPID amount of coverage. People cared way more about that gorilla who, yes was unfortunately shot, than the poor child who was saved. Had it been a child of a different color, I believe it would have been a different story.
Not to mention the fact that around the same time that story broke out, another black man got shot. But all I saw all over social media was about Harambe, not about the human life that was lost in a similar way. That crushed me, and made me lose so much faith in humanity. That people can go on and on about what happened with a gorilla, but not about a human being. It just spoke volumes.
Even in my area, being the large and vibrant hub of my beautiful Haitian people that it is, we aren’t safe. A unarmed black man was shot within my city, so close to home base that I couldn’t ignore the reality of the situation anymore. By a police officer who encounters a lot of black people in his day, whose bosses are black. I was stunned, and I realized that no black person is ever safe from police.
I didn’t write this to insight anger or negative emotions. I wrote this because I want to plead to the humanity of whoever is reading this. I fully understand that we all have different stories, so our perspectives on issues will often differ, but I just want to say that the death of an innocent human being should not be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be something that we brush under a rug.
I want to live in a world that cares about each other and each other’s hurts, and I’m not just talking about the black community. There is a large amount of racism and ignorance as it pertains to other groups of people, namely the muslims, refugees, Mexicans, LGBTQ+ community and Native Americans. They are hurting. We are hurting. The ones who are continually being treated brutally, are being oppressed, and its not right. If we can fight for the fair treatment of LGBTQ+ people, if we can honor the memories of those lives lost in the Holocaust, and remember just how tragic that was, we can fight for those groups who are being unfairly treated today, who’s cries are being silenced or ignored.
Those are my thoughts. I totally get that some of you may/will disagree with my sentiment, and that’s fine. I didn’t share this to shove it down anyone’s throat or criticize/judge anyone. I wrote this as a person who is tired of seeing unjust things in this world happen daily, and is tired of remaining silent about it too. I want to use my platform, no matter the size, to fight for those who can’t, and to fight for those who are voiceless or are being ignored everyday. And we all have platforms. As long as we are alive and breathing, we have the power to change things for the better, no matter the size of our audience.
Sometimes it only takes one person to start a movement. It takes the power of one person to change the world. And if you want to be that person, don’t let fear or other people’s opinions stop you. Change the world, start a movement, and help the powerless gain power and a voice.
That’s the end of this lengthy tirade. If you read to the end of this, I love you to the end of the universe and back, even if you disagree with what I wrote. Thanks for reading, and remember that you have a platform. Your life is your platform. Use it well.
P.S. I wrote this little bit but couldn’t find a place to slip it in. I still think its important to read so here it is, just floating around all on its own 😊:
We have been fighting for a seat at the table for so long that when we get fed scraps we feel like a stride has been made, and when we finally get that seat, we rejoice, but are instantly faced with hate from outsiders and those at the table, telling us to our face and in subtle ways that we aren’t good enough to sit there.