Can you feel that? The blood still running warm in your veins? Can you feel the blood draining from your face when you hear about another case of police brutality? His name is… was Jonathan Price. Shots fired while he was trying to break up a fight. Fired the police officer that was no peace officer that should not have been hired in the first place. From toe tag to hash tag, we’ve grown cold and indifferent to death.
Protest? Winter’s here. It’s so cold and it won’t make a difference. It is a system.
Too many people to fight. Too many names to say. Too many bodies to count on top of those we have lost to this pandemic. Add another one million dead bodies. I don’t know where to put them.
They are all around me. I sit in my car with Philando Castille before I run with Ahmaud Arbery. I take a shower and then head to the store, only to be reminded of George Floyd. Eight minutes and forty- six seconds. I walk out of the store and think of Elijah McClain who never made it home. But in my home, there are the ghosts of police brutality past, present and future. They visit me frequently, so much so that I can’t sleep.
If the criminal justice system is not reformed, defunded or whatever name you need to hear to totally scrap this way of policing, scratch these prejudicial policies and stop unarmed African Americans from being murdered in the street, then I pray that their ghosts haunt you. Pick a word and put pressure on it to make the bleeding stop. Because this blood runs in the streets so much so that we baptize our sons in it: “This is what you do when a police officer pulls you over.”
Floating bodies, bloated bodies, Michael Brown laid in the street for hours. No respect for the dead. You’re not still collecting evidence.
You want me to see this. You want me to ask for the white sheet. Historically hid behind, I can see clearly what you’re trying to do to me. Who are you k-k-kidding?
I go to bed but wake up in the middle of the night thinking of Breonna Taylor. I say her name until I fall asleep again. Her blood cries out in the middle of the night, “Why?”
So much blood on police officers’ innocent until proven guilty hands wiped clean because they feared for their lives. And they are protected behind a so- called blue line, a police union and my tax dollars that pay for their mistakes. But make no mistake, the only one whose life was in danger was Jacob Blake’s. Shot seven times in the back, he will never walk away from police again.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. And your badge doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t outweigh murder, the taking of an innocent until proven guilty life. And you can’t give it back. Why can’t you just give your gun a rest and give her a ticket?
Sandra Bland was accused of resisting arrest and so her neck was tangled up in a bed sheet. Cover up. She was left dangling, strangling until she couldn’t feel a thing. Dead after a traffic stop. Videotaped but it won’t stop.
I can feel her blood, his blood, their blood all over me. Drenched in death. Saturated in eulogy. This is the definition of morbidity. Covered in dirt, six feet deep. I can’t breathe like Eric Garner who said it repeatedly. Still, police officers choked the life out of him because he was allegedly selling “loosies,” also known as individual cigarettes.
I take a breath but it’s not enough so I breathe deep. Then, I turn on the television only to see another political campaign message of hate and divisiveness. Trump says, “Pick me and I’ll save your suburbs.” Whose suburbs? Because I live in them and you are definitely not saving them for me.
And I am so tired of hearing this double speak. Instead, say it plainly though most of us know you are as racist as can be. And this is not about picking a side. Because you don’t need to pick your brain on this one. No political party affiliation, this is about why it remains a strain to love your neighbor, Christian.
This is about bodies and the ones you identify with. This is about bodies and the ones you feel for. Yours no longer able to comfortably live as if nothing bad is happening around you or those routinely marginalized, oppressed and murdered while we pick through our leafy green salad or pick a nice place on the grass to lie down and read or pick our noses or lint out of our navels. Because it is all too much. We have said and heard so much.
Still, it is not enough for us to give up. Pinch yourself. This is real. Unarmed African Americans are being murdered by police officers. Flesh meets steel. Can you feel that? If you haven’t, then how do you get to go numb?
2 thoughts on “You don’t get to go numb”
I just found your blog…your reflections are powerful. Keep writing and transforming us!
Thank you for this word of encouragement. I am so glad that my words have allowed us to connect.