Like the rest of the mourning black America, I saw the press conference of the AG of Baton Rouge, L’siana. Through the window of social media, I watched. I watched the sickening, feigned concern by which this swarmy Cajun lawyer. I was not impressed. They might as well have run the grainy cellphone video with the running red tape at the bottom which would read, “We will always believe the police. The police protect us good white folk from the inescapable blackness. We will always believe the police. The game is rigged.”
As I watched this streamed video, I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t shake my head. I felt all of me that was mother, wife, daughter anger and cool. I remembered how I didn’t want to watch the video again. I didn’t want to be reminded of the lie he told with its visual backing. I didn’t want to be tagged in a #AltonSterling video. I sat and listened, everything in me roaring and hot and angry.
It is the most precarious, dangerous thing in this nation to be black in it. Not the kind of black the ruling bourgeois mass produce–the kind that washes off, or change with hair, outfits or voice octaves. In a deep red Republican open and carry state, there was no whisper of support from the NRA!
In the same still photographs from the cellphone video, you see nothing Alton’s hands. One of the officers involved (Ofc. Salamoni) had previously been sited for police brutality in then Baton Rouge Police Department!
You have to be able to examine this, and truly see this incident, and others like it for what it is! You can no longer look away as a non-person of color. You can no longer say, “If they would just do what the officers say, this wouldn’t happen.” For those that do, whom still preach and teach the gospel of comply or die, you are not paying attention.
Again! You are not paying attention!
You are not paying attention if you can continue to believe the police are this godlike organization, impervious to criticism or oversight. You cannot be paying attention if you believe all lives matter, but enraged when we say black lives matter. Clearly, Black isn’t considered a race or life so we gotta rage and remind y’all every now and then!
Black life in this nation is a highly traded, vied for commodity. We are wanted, lusted, taken and hated. The need for law and all its proported protection is invaluable-but for some reason that courtesy of personhood and life lived is not afforded when someone of color is accosted by the police!
Spare me the backlash of how hard the job of law enforcement is and, ‘they are doing their job and it’s so dangerous’, and they were following a up a description. Let me help you right quick: then why take the tape from the store he was in front of, and had been there for months selling CDs?
What has not been addressed, what wouldn’t be addressed is the systematic racism with the front man of white supremacy that fuels this type of police brutality! What is not addressed is that this shit keeps happening! What is not addressed is that there are policy and internal politicking conducted which allows police sanctioned murder! There is not enough accountability or oversight for the police to function as a healthy law enforcement entity! Comply or die does not work, cannot be sustained, and it happened with hands up, kneeling down and playing with BB guns!
IT KEEPS HAPPENING.
In the age of Black Girl Magic, supporting Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, ongoing activism and lit-level Wakanda blackness, I still fear for my college educated husband when he leaves the house! In this working golden age, we still have to embrace portions of respectable blackness when we see cherries we can’t eat!
Supporting the police does not mean giving them carte blanche to do what they want!
Police are necessary to serve and protect, not suspect, hunt and execute. Psych evals and assessments of fitness are not curse words. Training and de-escalation works for white people, right? I mean, Dylan Roof got a burger and a Kevlar vest–Alton couldn’t get the respect of a lawful-gun carrying Louisiana citizen?
Perhaps if these Blue Lives Matter people actually examined why they gave and give this God-like worship to people who aren’t aware that blue isn’t a ethnicity or race, in that criticism they are likely to tell you they have black friends and know black police officers, and on an on in Right-wing drivel. But if you ask them why it is they with all this blue-armed power, facilitated with or without white sheets, why the can’t help but kill people of color? The look at you ask if they cursed their mammies out. But I know why. And so do you?
Oh! Because blackness.
Always that damn blackness…