The recent slaughters of black Americans, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, have re-ignited the outrage and hurt felt by many black people in regards to police brutality. After the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Brown and many other black people at the hands of cops, we have been forced to face the reality that our lives mean nothing to white America.
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man selling CDs in a parking lot, was shot several times by law enforcement officers in front of several bystanders. Police claimed he had a gun and that was reason enough to kill a father, a brother, a human.
Philando Castile was pulled over with his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter in the car during a routine Minnesota traffic stop. Castile told the police he had a gun, but that he was going to reach for his wallet, which held his license. As Castile moved to retrieve his wallet he was shot four times in front of his woman and child.
Black lives matter so little that we don’t have the freedom to exercise the rights promised to us by the Constitution.
Black lives are so irrelevant that we can be killed in front of our small children and they have to comfort us instead of the other way around.
Black lives are so inconsequential that when we try to protest and demand change, individuals target the Dallas Police and blame the killing on us.
Black lives are so trivial that when the topic of police brutality is mentioned, ignorant people bring up black-on-black crime as if it has any correlation to our deaths at the hands of police.
Black lives are such a non-factor that we are labeled as violent and dangerous even if we aren’t.
Black lives have never mattered. Police brutality is not an issue that arose overnight. The institution has murdered black people since the foundation of this country. Our parents teach us to be docile and extraneously polite when dealing with cops and white people. They teach us to appear as meek and non-threatening as possible because they know, just as we know, that we can be executed at any moment without justice.
The only difference between police brutality now and in the past, is social media and smart phones. With an increase in technology we are able to capture our experiences, which should be a beautiful thing—and at times is. Now, our fellow Americans are forced to witness what black people go through on a sometimes-daily basis.
We don’t need your pity or your sympathy. We don’t need to know how the genocide of our people makes you feel. We have been dealing with your police, your laws and your rules our entire lives.
The laws meant to protect all Americans only protect a few. The police officers paid to ensure the safety of the population, only shelter a few.
Those that have the audacity to utter the words, “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” are only cementing what us lil ol’ black folks already know:
All Lives Matter—more than black lives.
Blue Lives Matter—and are much more important than black lives.
Many of us are left wondering; how do we live in a society that does not care about our rights or basic humanity? How do we go about our daily lives knowing that we can be killed at any moment?
A lot of us are out of answers and ideas. We do not know how to fix a problem that has had centuries to grow unchecked or how to comfort and appease white guilt. We do not care about your feelings. We are too busy trying to stay alive.
Black lives have never mattered to the United States as a whole—even though we have fought in your wars, raised your children, cooked your meals and entertained you. Our black lives have not mattered to you, but they sure as hell are important to us.