Dear Blue People,
Does my back look like a target to you; is my mere existence a threat to your life? These are the questions that we must constantly ask when tragedy strikes at the hands of an officer taking a Black life. The fact that we must ask these questions in 2017 shows that there is a great deal of work that still must be done to ensure both equality for the citizens that you have been trained to protect and serve, and accountability for your irrational actions. The never-ending narrative of an officer not being charged for killing someone Black is one that has grown to be common within the culture of America. It seems that we, as Black people, have become numb to the pain of seeing our bodies being slain on dash cam and nothing being done about it. We can peacefully protest, hoping that our voices are heard, but the reality of it all is that we are tired. We are tired of having to protest over unfair conditions of the basic civil rights that we have been given. We are tired of having to make the statement that our Black lives do matter in a world that simply does not get it. We are tired of fearing for our lives at traffic stops. We are tired of being tired, and we are ready for change.
The problem is not that all police officers show prejudice against Black people; that would be too harsh of a generalization to place over them. The problem lies with the fact that whenever officers kill Black people, it seems that the rest of their department stands behind the officer instead of reprimanding or punishing the officer. This is dangerous, because without identifying the problem at the head, it will never be corrected. With officers not speaking up on what has been happening, how can we even be sure that they think that this is wrong? Currently, the chances of an officer being convicted for killing a Black person is slim to none, and the chances of one speaking out against their fellow officer may be even slimmer than that. The loyalty behind a badge should never be so binding that it withholds you from doing the right thing; that would be criminal. If a person robs a bank, they are guilty of doing just that. If someone helps that person get away, they are also guilty, because they acted as an accomplice. By killing a civilian, police officers are getting away with murder, and by saying nothing, the rest of their departments are acting as accomplices to the crime. From the outside looking in, situations like these reek of corruption within the police force, and it makes citizens, especially Black ones, uncomfortable in their interactions with officers.
Blue people, you are enforcers of the law. You all do not make the laws; you are not above the law; you must enforce it. With that being said, we do not appreciate the ways in which you choose to selectively execute your powers of enforcement. As the protectors of our country, we expect you to be able to deescalate a situation without using deadly force. We look forward to making it back home when we are stopped due to a broken tail light. We hope that your judgment is impartial and fair for all citizens of this country.
Dear Blue people, my hands are in the air, not reaching for a gun.
Dear Blue people, you asked for my wallet, please let me get it for you.
Dear Blue people, I am not resisting arrest.
To the people in blue, we come to you to ask, no, DEMAND that you stop killing us and start giving us a chance. The system of legal lynching in this country has grown to be too tiresome and we must end it now!
Lead Image Credit: Daily Kos