Fear and pain of police brutality

July 13, 2016

 

Throughout several decades, there have been many incidents where black men and women have been murdered by police officers.

 

I would not usually address this, but my Facebook news feeds are flooded with MSNBC news clips of the recent police killing of husband and father, Alton Sterling. 

 

Since police brutality against black men and women flood my news feeds about once a month, I found myself quickly scrolling through them. 

 

When my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to see the video of the police brutally against Sterling –I declined the invitation. 

 

Once I realized that I was intentionally avoiding the news and Facebook posts surrounding this man’s death, I asked myself whether I have become cold and numb to the murderous behavior aimed at the black community. 

 

I don’t think I have, and let me tell you why.

 

When I was a little girl, my mother told me that she was afraid for my little brother Aaron’s life. 

 

“I am afraid because my son will grow up to be a black man,” said my mother.

 

I didn’t truly understand what that statement meant until I got older.

 

One day, I hope to have a beautiful son and name him Jackson Kennedy Norris.

 

I want to homeschool him, teach him to play many instruments and speak many languages. I want him to experience many different sports, religions and cultures. 

 

I want to help Jackson grow up to be a leader, and maybe even become president.

 

As much as I love my son and I haven’t even met him, I am afraid for his life. 

 

One day, my son will grow up to be a black man. In my opinion, the black man is highly intimidating, especially if their skin is the color of dark chocolate.  

 

When I think of raising my son to save the world and with a strong mentality and presence –I think of how that may appear to people who find black men intimidating. 

 

My son will be viewed as a threat. 

 

I know this is true because of my experience as a black woman having friends who are black men. 

In 2011, a guy-friend, whose skin was the color of dark chocolate, and I were walking to the store.

 

We walked through a neighborhood where I grew up at, and near a recreational center where I use to play basketball. 

 

We took a route that I had walked many times on my way home from school.

 

Then, a police patrol vehicle pulled up from behind us and began to flash its bright lights. 

 

“There have been a lot of break-ins reported in this area,” said the officers. 

 

We both had on basketball shorts and t-shirts, and neither of us had on book bags. 

 

The police officers forced us to put our hands on the police car while they had us empty our pockets, which only had our wallets in it. They illegally searched us.

 

Both of the officers were white. 

 

I do not think I have become cold to the police brutality against black people. 

 

I believe that I have become tired of there being no justice. 

 

I am sad because the next victim could be Aaron, Jackson, my father, my grandfather, my uncle, my cousins or any of my female family members.

 

I am afraid of seeing familiar faces laying in a pool of blood in the street with five police officers surrounding a lifeless body.  

 

Personally, I do not think that I could handle seeing another brutal murder. 

 

I do not want to bare witness to another police officer receiving a verdict of “not-guilty.”

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