I honestly don’t know what to do at this point. They killed two men this week for absolutely no reason what so ever!
Some say we should speak up, others say it’s okay to stay silent, but I don’t know if either of these options do us any good.
A few days ago when I heard the news about a cop killing a man point-blank range, literally in his back, as he was pinned to the ground, my heart broke.
Normally, I don’t feel anything when I hear that someone, I don’t know, has died. I guess I’m more used to death than I realize. It happens every day right? My own aunt died a few months ago, and then another aunt died a month after, and then a few months later a friend of the family died, and before those, years ago another close friend of my family died. Just last night my dad told me about someone else dying, someone I vaguely remember. So you see, death is everywhere! But I only truly feel death when I’m forced to stare at their dead bodies right in front of me.
So when I FELT this death, someone I don’t even know, someone who I didn’t even see die, someone who’s body I still have yet to seen as I have purposely avoided it at all costs, it came as a shock to me.
To me, it felt as if they had killed my brother! The one I grew up with, the one that gets on my last damn nerves, but whom I still care so much about. Yet, I feel like there’s absolutely nothing I can do!
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, so I don’t know what racism is. Yeah I know the definition, and of course I can Google it for clarity. I’ve heard the stories, but I’ve never seen it first hand!
Where I live, even the white folks are “black”. I’ve never heard anyone I know speak ill about anyone of a different race and I believe that’s because we grew up surrounded by different races. Sure kids made fun of other people due to ignorance. (Haitians come to mind as I say this and think about all of the Haitians that I know that don’t fit everyone’s stereotypes.) However, I’ve never heard or seen the hatred for another race or person go this deep.
The killings that have happened are senseless. They seriously don’t make any sense! And if it isn’t bad enough that we’re killing people for absolutely no reason what so ever, now we’re killing them in front of their children?
And you guys hated the mob? At least they knew better than to shoot in front of little kids!
Honestly, I’ve been trying not to think about what’s been going on lately, hoping that I could ignore it, as if it couldn’t happen to someone I know.
That’s because for some reason I believe this only happens in southern states, or states where we KNOW there are racists! I still don’t believe something like this could happen right here in NYC. But maybe I’m just naive? But what I do know is that I have brothers, cousins, friends that could all be potential targets because of who they are or the way they dress. What I do know is that I have kids, the ones that I work with, who are ALL potential targets because of their behavior or their big mouths.
So even if NYC feels safe to me, because I’m so familiar with its territory, maybe it’s really not.
Because if we’re not worried about the cops, then we’re worried about the gangs, or the crazies, and sometimes even our own best friends. (Let’s not forget that my paranoid ass jumps every time I see my own shadow.)
What’s even crazier is someone from my HS just became a cop, and now even though he’s a cop, he’s still black and I’m worried about him too. What if someone assumes he’s one of the bad guys and just decides to shoot?
So what CAN we do to stop this?
Rallies don’t work! Protests don’t work! All those cause is more brutality. Shooting back won’t work. Killing cops won’t work! So what do we do?
I saw someone say that we should start small, band together, hit them where it hurts: their pockets, and I agree! What if change could start small? What if we all became our brothers keepers? What if we all stopped speaking ill of each other and started caring more about each other?
We could start small, start with our social media followers, friends and family. Help them when needed, talk to them when needed! We’re so damn busy worrying about ourselves that we’re forgetting to help others. We’ve all got the “crabs in a bucket” syndrome apparently, but it needs to stop now.
Part of me feels as though I should start by unblocking my child’s father and try to help him again. Even after everything that has happened, I’ve made more progress this year, than in the last few years, and now we’re stuck again. I’m not saying take him back, because I can see now that it’ll never work, but I can’t help but think that if I’m the only one that really cares, then I do no good by shunning him like everyone else that doesn’t.
Sometimes, part of me wants to be nice to everyone despite everything they’ve done to me, but the other half of me usually wins. Maybe this year I can focus more on how to truly love everyone despite what they’ve done. I’ve always admired people who could do that, maybe it’s time now that I stop admiring and become one of those people myself.
Because even though I have no clue how to stop people from killing each other, maybe I can figure out how to stop myself from self destructing, or causing harm to others. Maybe if I can change a few lives, they can change a few others. Maybe if we all start changing, others will want to change too.
I don’t know, but if the only thing we can really control and change is ourselves, maybe that’s where we should start! So what do you say? What would YOU like to change?
Talk to me!
Featured photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images