I should not know their names.


Amadou Diallo

Sean Bell

Oscar Grant

Eric Garner

Michael Brown Jr.

John Crawford III – I need to see the surveillance video on this one for real.

These are just a few names….of one too many that can be listed.


I should not know their names.

These young men would have probably never crossed my path.

Yet I know their names.

I know what they were doing the last day and the last moment that they were on this earth.

I know that at least one of them asked not to be shot, and I also know that one of them tried to tell them that he could not breathe.

In reality, I wish I didn’t know their names.

The last 2 names…yes I know that many will say “we don’t know the details” or “we don’t know what they did” and “we don’t know if they provoked the cop(s)”

That’s fine, you can say that and you can even think that.

But let me tell you what I know.

I know that every single day, I wake up a Black Woman.

I know that I am constantly fighting a battle every single day.

I know that I can’t appear to be too strong, because that may offend the weak.

I know that I can’t be too loud, because that would mean I am ‘ghetto’.

I know that I can’t be too quiet either, because then I may appear angry.

I know that as a Black Woman in America I have to fight stereotypes and perceptions every single day.

I know that I have to watch what I say or what I express, so as not to have my actions discarded simply ‘because she is black’.

And through all that I encounter daily, as a Black Woman in America, there is one thing that I know for sure, and that is that I will never understand what it means to be a Black Man in America.

Black Men in America are feared. Black Men are a threat.

Even when they do not pose an immediate threat, they are threatening.

People are often afraid of what they might do, or what will happen if they find themselves in an elevator with one, or what will happen if one moves next door, it’s just all so scary…

to some.

The mere fact that some fear the Black Man so much, that they feel that they can do whatever is necessary to protect themselves against them, up to and including killing them…that fact should alarm you.

No, I was not there the day that any of these young men (and countless others) died, but I do know that the killing of Black men by the hands of Officers in sketchy situations is way too high.

Every Black man isn’t reaching for a gun.

Yes, sometimes people have weapons, but every Black man isn’t reaching for a gun.

Seriously…think about that, think about why you think the way you do about black men, young black men. Think about what it is in YOU that causes those thoughts to surface.

How is it that the perception of an entire group of people, is that they are always resisting arrest or always probably reaching for a weapon? How is it that every single Black Man who makes a mistake is deserving of the ultimate punishment? How is it okay to sit silent?

Why is it, when a young black man is killed in America, it’s you know okay, because he was black and you know he probably did something at some point…you know because he was possibly peddling cigarettes or loitering or you know he was arrested once before…and well there was a fight and I saw him do something and well you know, he did steal some cigars…

I wonder though, how quickly would the thoughts change if officers started killing young white men for the same exact reason(s)?

Would there be a call for action then? Would it matter to you then?

Would your rally cry then become No Justice! No Peace?

 NEWSFLASH: Black Life Matters, both the young and the old. The Men and the Women.

 Parents have to teach their young black and brown children to respect the authority, even in the face of utter disrespect, it’s a must to respect the authority.

To try and stay alive.

Although, the unfortunate truth is that even when they adhere to what the officers are saying

They. Could. Still. Die.

We all have a responsibility to Stand Up for Something, remaining silent is no longer option.

Just like people scream “not all cops are bad” well try to start saying and BELIEVING this one too ->

’not all black men are bad’.

I truly hope that none of those people who choose to remain silent ever have to face the horror of burying their young brown or black boys as a result of an instance of force, where other alternatives existed.


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