Honestly, I had no plans to take to the keyboard, today. Sadly, as Tulsa's police force would have it, I'm compelled to type this message. Don't worry; it'll be short (for me).
To the people who STILL don't get it...
Remember how you felt when the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict in the O.J. Simpson case? Or, maybe it's how you felt when President Obama was elected...twice?
THAT'S HOW TOO MANY OF US FEEL EVERYDAY!
Except, we still have to go to work. Go to school. Participate in the PTA meeting. Raise melanin-rich boys and girls in a society that devalues them. Smile. Be chipper! Act as if the playing field is level when we know it isn't. Pretend that we are not afraid for our sons, daughters, moms, dads, or ourselves. Walk around as though we are not impacted by the injustices happening all around us. Everyday, we wear the mask. And, guess what? The shit is draining.
So, if you've only had one day being "pissed off to the highest levels of pissivity"; if like Lil' Wayne and Cam Newton, you've never experienced racism; and, if like too many Americans, including Jerry Rice, you cannot comprehend why Colin Kaepernick and others are taking a knee or raising a fist, please accept my sincerest congratulations. Consider yourself privileged.
And, yes, I already know all cops aren't bad. But, too many of the good ones aren't saying anything. I already know that cops have a very dangerous job. But, you can't assess that you're in danger or that someone is a "bad dude" from thousands of feet away. And, yes, my heart bleeds for every officer killed in the line of duty. The difference that I've seen is that their killers are usually captured or killed. When has a cop-killer been given a tax-payer funded vacation while those in law enforcement "investigate" if there was any wrongdoing or excessive use of force?
If something keeps happening, it is a pattern - not an accident, mistake, oversight or error. So, to #TamirRice, #EricGarner, #SeanBell, #MichaelBrown, #SandraBland, #PhilandoCastile, #AltonSterling, #FreddieGray, #AmadouDiallo, #OscarGrant, #TerenceCrutcher and (sigh) the many others whose stories didn't make the evening news, I'm sorry. I sincerely wish that, by now, Dr. King's dream had been realized. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'" It is painfully apparent that we still have work to do.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (excerpt from "I Have a Dream" speech)