Being A Black Man In Fear Of Survival From The Police
We are supposed to be living in a time where we are to be treated equally in this world. We're not expecting to be given the world, but we do expect to be able to live in it. Last night was a hard night for me trying to go to sleep as we got the news of the killing of another black male - this time close to home. It happened right over in Baton Rouge, and there is no good reason that this had to happen.
Now I don't want to make this a police-bashing editorial, as I have family members who have been in Law Enforcement for decades who have seen their share of criminal activity inside and out, I am sure. But what this is should be a reality check that there are better ways to handle those who some would say are breaking the law. I remember when I was younger, my mom would always tell me that if, for some reason, I were to get lost, I needed to go and look for the nearest policemen that I came across. She said that they would assure that I would be returned home safely with no questions other then the norm. As a parent, we instilled this in our child as well when he was younger. Today it makes me question this decision more than ever. I am a black man living in a world where it seems as if we are targeted not by fear, but more intimidation.
The recent video of Alton Sterling has, yet again, reassured me that we are no longer treated equally when it comes to certain individuals with a badge. What troubles me more is that if the people in the vehicle at the same store as Alton had not caught the footage on tape, then we wouldn't have evidence. There is no way that two policemen at the same place at the same time can ironically lose their cameras at the exact time of the killing of Alton Sterling. It sickens me to my stomach when I watch the video of his son crying and his wife trying to be strong for their kids that they had together.
What bothers me more is that there are some who will try to pull up a wrap sheet and justify his killing because he was selling CDs. At the end of the day, this was a young man who was obviously pretty well known in the city of Baton Rouge, and even the store owner didn't appear to have any issues to his being on the premises. I automatically have a fear when I see lights flashing behind me, especially at night. Even if they are not after me and pass me, It still takes a minute before I can regroup and calm down. Being a black man in current times is becoming more and more trying on a daily basis, and yet there is nothing being done to make us feel more secure.
There are more and more kids being brought up without their fathers, mothers being without their sons, and wives without their husbands, and it's simply not fair. We are being persecuted before we go to court, and sometimes we don't even make it to the backseat of the police cars. There is fear inside of me that I can't describe, and yet I think about it and realize that this is how they want me to feel. In some warped, way this gives them entitlement over us.
I can't even begin to feel what Alton's family has to be going through at this moment, but I will admit that I am pissed and it makes no sense that, with all of the proper training and ways to handle hostile situations, that this not only continues to be the outcome in so many of them, but has somehow become the norm to us. We have to do better and not forget; justice needs to be carried out, not only for Alton and his family, but for those whose lives didn't receive justice prior to now. I honestly don't know how we are going to come to a resolution, but there needs to be some discussion on how we can coexist in this world, since there seem to be problems with some of us even existing at all.