I woke up this morning to another frightening but familiar video. I’ve seen this one before but I don’t stop it. I cannot look away. Though the names of those involved are different, the outcome is the same– another African American dead and police officers on paid administrative leave while we await the results of a police investigation. I know this scene, this language and this legal process.
But, the words are meaningless when placed beside Alton Sterling’s body. They will not comfort his family. Our emojis of emotional support are useless in times like these.
I don’t want a hashtag to help me remember him. Today, I don’t want to hear any words of condolence or even chants in the street. Not only do I not want to say his name as it relates to police- involved shootings but I don’t want to say another name.
It’s too many names and too many funerals, too many charges and court cases that result in the same verdict– not guilty, too many tears to shed, too much pain to mask and too many griefs to bear. And while there are more than enough reasonable arguments and side- by- side comparisons being made about his death and the lives spared while in police custody (e.g. Dylann Roof, accused of murdering nine African Americans at Emanual AME Church, was taken into custody without incident.), I don’t want to make any points here. I want don’t to hear any calls for justice, reform in the police department, gun control or more conversations about race.
I’m tired of words. I really, really don’t want to say another name.