Tag Archives: Death

Tuesday Thoughts

 

detroit-bankruptcy

For those of you who follow my blog, you probably already know that I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. The home of the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings. The city that drinks Vernors for whatever ales you. The city within a city.  Detroiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttt! Growing up my parents kept me pretty sheltered. They knew who my friends were, who their parents were and I wasn’t allowed to be anywhere without their permission. As a child, I didn’t understand why my parents kept me so guarded, my  understanding of the streets were opaque. It wasn’t until middle school that I began to understand just how rough the streets were and how vicious people could be. Even then, I was still living in darkness about the city around me.

In high school, I had more freedom. My comings and goings were still monitored, but I had a lot of idol time after school, before my parents got home. I became friends and even dated some unsavory characters. I did a lot of things that I shouldn’t have, things that others deemed as normal. I was exposed to different experiences, environments and people,I learned a lot about the streets. My vision become more transparent. A whole new world opened up, not a pretty one either. I started to lose friends because of their involvement in the streets, or simply because they were in the right place at the wrong time. I guess I became numb to death and loss became a normalcy. It wasn’t until recently that I began to take heed to all of the negativity and evil occurrences that continue to transpire in the city. For most of my life I’ve dealt with negative commentary about being from Detroit. Most folks think that we’re all killers and drug dealers;the scum of the earth. In reality, there are truly some amazing people in Detroit and from Detroit. The city is truly discredited for it’s efforts, mainly because of crime rates and mainstream media.

I’ve officially been out of Detroit for three years, I’m actively on the outside looking in. Bad things happen every where, but for a place that you call home to birth so much ugly, both sadness and sickens me. I fear for the lives of my family and my friends. Everyday I see at-least one my friends on social media post RIP to someone they love. I frequently hear about childhood friends being injured or killed at the hands of someone else. Again, horrible events happen everywhere, everyday, but it hurts even more when you are from the very place where events are occurring, when your family and friends are in the mist of it and when you fear for their lives.

I believe that Detroit is diamond in the rough, but like most places people uphold themselves to a different moral code. Neighborhoods have lost courage. Communities are broken, people are broken. People are living in fear. The value of inanimate objects is placed before the value of a human life. Individuals are consumed with greed and under the assumption that they own the streets. People take what they didn’t not earn. So many people have accepted the death and corruption around them that they see no reason to rise up against it.

I pray for change. I pray that people everywhere begin to see the value of other peoples lives. I pray that people begin to see the destruction that they are causing and the lives that they are ruining. I pray that if nothing else, people begin to see the error in their ways.

 

Don’t Shoot

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If you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or simply watch the news, I’m sure you’ve heard about the killing of yet another unarmed black man, Alton Sterling.  The officers were caught on video by civilians in Baton Rouge. The video shows the two officers killing Sterling in cold blood. Sadly, this is probably another one of those incidents where the legal system will pull an excuse out of their ass as to why the killing was justified. Within the first three months of 2016, police killed 250 UNARMED people. What has been done? In most cases, nothing.

I can’t justify whether the police were TECHNICALLY right or wrong in the case of Alton Sterling,but time and time again it is proven that police apprehend black suspects completely different than white suspect.

As an African American Woman I feel like I have a target on my back. I know that all police officers aren’t racist and all police officers aren’t going to shoot without just cause, but they don’t come with warning signs on their foreheads. “There aren’t bad officers just bad people with badges”, as Dr. Jesse Jackson III stated. Whenever I see a police officer behind me in traffic I get nervous, not because I’m doing anything wrong,but because I don’t have to be doing anything wrong for them to pull me over.

Let’s discuss a few facts and statistics:

Education

Education is suppose to be an equalizer,right?  African  Americans are twice more likely than Caucasians to not finish high school. It is also more difficult for African Americans who graduate from college to find a job compared to Caucasians with the same level of education.

Legal System

Let’s say a Caucasian man kills an African American and an African American man kills a Caucasian man. Both crimes were committed in the same manner, in the same state. The Black man is more likely to be charged with felony murder. Black youth are also more likely to get charged as adults than White youth. But, White privilege doesn’t exist, right and the justice system is equal,right?

I hate walking into a store and being followed because the owner is under the assumption that I’m going to steal because I’m Black. I hate being spoken down to because people assume I’m not intelligent because I’m Black. I’m tired of working ten times as hard to earn something that was just handed to someone because they are White.I’m tired of being scared for my life because I’m Black. It’s almost as if Black people are being hunted. We get harassed if we’re in certain neighborhoods because people think we can’t afford to be there because we’re Black. We get pulled over and searched simply for being Black.

I try to tell my family members, friends and social media followers not to harden their hearts to an entire race of people. I try to keep people uplifted, letting them know that we can’t harden are hearts and exhibit hate. It is important now more than ever to pray for one another, to look out for one another and to speak up for ourselves and for others. In case you haven’t realized by now this is why the movement #blacklivesmatter is so important. Not because our lives are more important than others, but because they are equally as important and we do not deserve to be shot down in the middle of the street like dogs.Our lives matter because we are HUMAN-BEINGS. I would also like to add that while I understand that we need to highlight these meaningless killings, I do not agree with making a video of HOMICIDE go viral. Have we forgotten that people like Alton Sterling have children and family members?  While police brutality and these deaths are no secret, I don’t believe that we should sub-tweet,re-tweet, Etc these gruesome videos in respect for ones family.

April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)
July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)
Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton)
Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson)
Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence)
Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville)
Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)
Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn)
Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)
Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)
Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton)
March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison)
March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland)
April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa)
April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston)
April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)