I just watched the videos of the murder of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and I am sick and disgusted. I am fucking angry. Why does this keep happening? Why do we live in a world where it is acceptable, with only a slap on the wrist, for cops to kill people for nothing more than being black? Where we are actually considering actively electing a blatant racist to the highest office of our government and where the right to own a gun is more important than the right to live? What the fuck, America?
As a human being, I cannot process the news lately and I can’t understand how intelligent people can keep allowing this to happen. The saddest part of all, none of this is new and that is what disappoints me the most. We’re a nation stuck on stupid and those of us who know better need to work harder, scream louder, fight stronger and stand together to stop this from happening again….and again….and again. I don’t want to live in this loop of senseless death and disregard for human life any longer. I am angry. I am past sad and have gone directly to furious.
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was standing in the parking lot selling CDs, as he had for years, when two cops, officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, arrived on Tuesday night in response to a 911 call about a man threatening someone with a gun.
Only Sterling was not brandishing a weapon, according to witness Abdullah Muflahi. Sterling did have a gun on him (but isn’t that what all the Second Amendment supporters have been fighting for?) but it was concealed in his pocket and not in his hand. By Wednesday morning Sterling was dead after a jumpy cop unloaded his weapon into his chest and protesters were in the streets of Baton Rouge.
Update: Not even 24 hours later, Philando Castile was shot dead in the driver’s side of his car after being pulled over for a broken taillight in Falcon Heights Minnesota. When he was told to present his license and registration, he disclosed that he was licensed and carrying a concealed weapon. Before he knew what had happened, the cop fired on Philando Castile. His fiance Diamond Reynolds Facebook lived the aftermath. Castile was left sitting in the car dying, the cop still had his gun drawn on the car with the woman and her 4-year-old child still sitting in the car. Mr. Castile was guilty of nothing. His only offense was being born black. What is this world coming to?
The thing is that is not enough. It can’t be one group of people or one city, we all need to stand up and say no more; as a nation…as a people…as the human race. We have to put the world on notice that we will allow no more reckless, senseless killings of our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. No more.
It’s not just about the cops, though there certainly seems to be a God complex that goes along with the protect and serve oath and why are some Caucasian cops afraid of black and brown men? Is it your racism showing? Is it your guilty heart of decades of treating other human beings like animals?
This problem, it’s about people. It’s about those of us who are allowing this kind of behavior to be tolerated and swallowed whole all the while it’s choking us to death. It’s about the people who are racist and allowed to take an oath to protect and serve a community and given a gun but who only want to protect and serve those who look like them. I thought they gave psychological evaluations before allowing someone to join the force? Are God complexes and racism not grounds for not allowing someone to be an officer?
We can’t wish away this problem. We can’t just talk about it. We need to stand up against it. We need to put ourselves in the line of fire and take a risk to save a nation that is slowly killing itself. Complacency is a fucking disease and it should be a sin because if you are doing nothing to find a solution, you are part of the problem. Your silence is noted. I see you. Just as clearly as I see those who speak up, stand up and fight for better. Everyone sees you and your sin of silence just as clearly as we see those who perpetrate these heinous crimes.
I cried when I saw the video of Alton Sterling being shot twice in the chest and 4 more times. I cried when I saw the video of Philando Castile bleeding out in the front seat of his car in front of his girlfriend and her little girl. I cried because this is the world we live in and this is what we’ve all come to not only accept but expect! I cried because I was angry and sick. I cried because these men were shot in the streets like animals. I cried for their families who lost him; children who lost their daddy. I cried for their parents, brothers and sisters. But mostly, I cried for the sheer terror and betrayal that must have been going through these men’s heads in their final moments when looking up at the very people who are supposed to protect us from the bad people, shooting them dead.
Then, I saw this video of Officer Nakia Jones of Cleveland, Ohio and she gave me hope. Don’t feel hopeless. Do something about it. Watch this video and know that we are all just people. These cops that we hear about shooting and killing our children are not the only ones on the force, there are good guys too. There are officers like Nakia Jones who live their lives to protect and serve their community and they feel as strongly as we do that this is bullshit and has to stop.