Honestly, it came as no shock to me that police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri teen Mike Brown.
From the violent reaction that Ferguson officials had towards protestors to the shady way they handled evidence in the case and even the way the media tried to vilify Mike and spare Darren's dignity, all signs pointed to the imminent result that Darren would walk away a free man
And how could be I surprised? History has shown me so many times that when any white person or person of fair skin kills a black person, the lighter person is usually some brave, heroic soul doing his or her job to defend their self against the evil dark black people
That's exactly how it played out when police officers in Staten Island thought it okay to choke Eric Garner to death back in July. That's exactly how it played out when police officers shot and murdered John Crawford for holding a toy gun in Walmart. And that's exactly how it played out when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin after claiming that the young boy looked suspicious as he walked home from a trip to the store.
Even if they aren't killing us, they're vilifying us with the same laws that they use to protect themselves when killing us. Marissa Alexander used a firearm to fend off her abusive husband, and though her act of defense should rightfully have fallen under the Stand Your Ground law that allowed Zimmerman to walk free after murdering Martin, Alexander has spent over 1,000 days in jail and recently had to take a plea deal in order to bring a swifter end to her legal ordeal.
And to add insult to injury, in each one of these situations the media said the same negative things about the victims: "Their hands weren't clean anyway," "They were no angel," "They were still criminals," "They brought it on themselves." Because in the eyes of the media, all black people deserve to be treated violently because we are inherently evil. We are niggers, you know.
So why should I be shocked that Wilson would go free for murdering Brown? Why should I be surprised that, once again, America has proven that our black lives have no value or worth?
Instead, what I feel is the same thing I've felt my entire life: disappoint, anger and terror.
Living in this country as a black person must be one of the most mind-blowing and insane forms of existence because unlike our fairer skinned brothers and sisters, we don't seem to have the luxury of just worrying about our own self-perception. No, we live a life of dualities, double standards and code switch that forces our sense of self to battle with white people's perception of us on a daily basis.
We can learn, grow, educate, laugh, love, excel at life, create amazing new things for the world and even change it with our minds and hearts, but as it stands right now in this society, all that we are can be diminished and extinguished by those in power simply because of our skin tone. And sometimes, too many times, we pay for that inequality with our lives.
So we live out our time believing the best of ourselves, all the while knowing that for all of the great things that we are we are seen and treated as less than human by White America.
And what could be more of mind fuck than that? Knowing or at least trying to believe that you are amazing and worthy of life and freedom, but also knowing that someone else has the power to take that away from you and will do it at their leisure just because of who you are.
Honestly, it's hard to feel optimistic and hopeful in these times, let alone offer some words of comfort. I don't know that what I have to say will be comfortable to anyone. Then again, perhaps it's best that it not be. This isn't a comfortable situation to be in and it's certainly not a comfortable state of existence for black people to live in.
What I can say though is that the voice in our head telling us that we are amazing and that we deserve better is right. We are worthy of this life and we are worthy of the freedoms of this world. And history has shown that we are one hell of a resilient community of people. So while we are alive, let us learn if we have to, fight if we have to, rage if we have to, and make peace if we have to. Let's do whatever we can to make this world better for and equal for all races and people.
And perhaps most importantly, let us love in the face of hate and terror.
P.S. Hearing this song has helped me deal over the last day. Perhaps it can help you all deal as well.