Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Contradiction of Peace in a Time of a lack of gun control

Today is International Peace Day.

It is a day that we are supposed to reflect on the power of peace.

Imagine how frustrating, painful, and disheartening it is that on this day, a day for peace, there have been in just this week two shootings of unarmed black men.

One man, Terrence Crutcher, was shot while having car trouble. Responding officers can be heard making comments like "Oh he looks like a bad guy." Apparently, simply looking like a bad guy is enough to take a brother, a father, a friend, a human being's life. Terrence Crutcher was murdered at the hands of those officers, all caught on tape.

The other, Keith Lamont Scott, a husband and father of 7, was sitting in his car, reading a book while he was waiting for one of his children to return from school on the bus. An officer, "mistaking" Keith for a suspect and supposed altercation with a gun (there are suspiciously no body camera images to corroborate this. He also was killed. Because of mistaken identity. This murder by the "boys in blue" resulted in intense protests in the city of Charlotte.

The hometown of my boyfriend and current home his family.

It hurts.

It hurts y'all.

It hurts that there are so many people that should have been here, but for whatever reason, their lives did not matter to the cops. There are too many people on this list. There are too many families wrecked. There are too many that are either waiting for justice or that simply won't receive it.

And I know, not all cops are killers.

But enough of them are.

Enough get off scott-free, like Darren Wilson, even receiving endorsements, support from public figures, and interviews, all because, even when there is video tape present and enough evidence to support that these officers were wrong. They get a slap on the wrist. They get put on paid (yes PAID) administrative leave. Basically, they get sent on vacay for killing a black person, while there is supposedly an investigation.

Meanwhile, a family is grieving, a community wants answers, and another rung is set on the notches of injustices faced by African Americans for over four centuries. For us, if even just one family is affected, we are all affected. There's simply too much history to precede one incident of police brutality and the ensuing cover up that usually results in no justice for the victims, whether its these recent murders of black men or its the lack of justice for children killed while they played outside (Tamir Rice) or slept in their beds (Aiyana Jones) or for any of the other hundreds of names we don't know that have had their lives snuffed out like candles in a cold breeze, because of their ethnicity.

We need to face some hard facts...
We need gun control.
We need better training of police.
We need to eliminate the racist and bigoted mindsets that tell officers of the law that black men are to be targeted because the "look like bad guys".
We need to stop thinking black equates to bad.
We need to acknowledge that there is a problem.
We need to acknowledge there is a gun problem here that is fueled by dollars.
We need to acknowledge there is a gun problem here that is fueled by dollars at the cost of not only black lives, but many lives.
Lives lost and lives destroyed because the sound of flipping dollars is drowning out the sound of our own consciouses. Our own humanity.

We need to do better. We can do better. We must do better. We need to pledge, this day, right now, on the Day of International Peace, that we will strive for peace within. Within ourselves, within our families, within our communities, most importantly, within our nation.