It’s Just Not Fair!
Reading and seeing posts expressing the clear divide in how little value is placed on black men, as we bury yet another black man killed by the police, and how blatant white privilege is thrown in our faces, as I saw yet another video of a white man resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer; my heart breaks. It seems at times the only thing that has changed is the times. To policy makers we are still 3/5 of a man the Constitution referred to us as, so when wrong is done towards us, it isn’t punished as it should and excuses justify our execution.
No one deserves to die and no one should be fearful for their lives, yet that is the narrative too many people of color particularly black men share. I’m aware of these dangers but I’m more afraid my students and others like them are clueless. They feel like killings like Trevon Martin’s, Mike Brown’s, or Stephon Clark’s could never happen to them because it didn’t happen in their town, but the reality is, it very well could, AT ANY MOMENT. Young men often perpetuate the notion of fear or disrespect when they try to “keep it real” but this only brings more negative attention and validates any stereotype a person that refuses to understand them may have.
As I explained to my class before, at any moment I could fit a description. I cannot control anyone but myself and in doing so, I make sure that I minimize the chances of drawing attention because if a cop starts following you, speeding or not, those plates are being run to see if there is any other excuse to pull you over. So it is my prayer that my people esp my young black men be more diligent in crossing their “T”s and dotting their “I”s: pay your outstanding tickets, keep your car tags current, have your car insurance handy, and update your license. The object is to not get pulled over in the first place. If they are given no reason to confront you, you’re safest. I’ve listened to many people explain what it is people must do to avoid confrontation with the police and the truth is: you can comply, show your hands, tell them what you have or don’t have, any day that could not matter.
The sad reality is that there are 2 Laws of this land and if you are raising a black boy you have to teach this sad reality. As wrong as it is we have instruct them to abide by the unspoken law if they ever want to be able to fight to change it.
There will be no Justice for us until we start infiltrating the legislature, police departments, and the judicial system. So for now, follow the unspoken law.