I did everything I could to avoid watching the death of George Floyd but I didn’t do enough. The video played automatically on Twitter; I watched it then went about my day. It was my intention to write a blog titled, The Reasons I Call Him King but I stopped midway because it wasn’t giving my spirit any peace. So I began a new one. This one.
The story I’d been telling myself, the fantasy that has always played in my head was if I was ever an eye-witness to that type of police brutality, I’d speak up. I’d plead with the officers to let him breathe. Let him up. Put your gun away. He’s only a boy. I’d say anything I could think of to make sure that king got a chance to go home. And my words would have such an impact, the officer would let him go.
George Floyd’s video shattered my fantasy.
I listened to men and women plead with the officers to let him up and they did nothing. It was like their uniform made them impervious to sound. And every time George pleaded, the officer dug a little deeper. I watched his facial expression when he did. It was intentional. He wanted to kill him. It pleased him to hear George say he couldn’t breathe.
As of this post, no information has been given about the officer and the three who were also fired for failing to stop this tragedy. And for real, I don’t give a f*** who they are. They’re all the same racist, weak, entitled bastards. Their names mean nothing to me. I care more about dismantling the culture that allows it to continue. But reality has set in. That’s not possible. America was birthed in racism, entitlement, and greed. Try as we might, there is nothing African-Americans can do to fully protect our kings. Other than constant prayer that they won’t fall victim to a senseless death.
My reality has set in as I raise my gentle, soft-spoken, and intelligent 16-year-old son in this monstrous country. Even though I’ve done everything I could to raise a responsible citizen, he will not be perceived that way by some. Do you have any idea how helpless and powerless that feels! I can only imagine the frustration our men and boys feel as they navigate this life, realizing that they could be perceived a threat simply because they’re angry or if they reach in their pockets. No one should have to live like this.
I’ve tried to explain to him that no matter how much of a “good boy” he is, white America does not see black boys and men that way. He cannot get angry even if it’s deserved. He must keep his hands on the steering wheel, especially if a gun has been drawn. There have been plenty of polite black men, some of whom were minding their business, that were still shot, hanged, or choked surrounded by pleading voices, witnesses even. And the cop or citizen or white woman who took that king’s life was found not guilty. Our country’s systems are embedded with stories such as these. Stories that go back as far as Emancipation. Read Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston and you’ll see that nothing has changed. You can find my review here.