I read this article after I read this post and my devastation is growing.
Race in America is not my preferred topic of discourse and then it becomes inevitable. In order to process what is happening, what continues to happen and what appears to have no end in sight, I brood and I write.
On the other hand, while visiting the Boston Children’s Museum yesterday I experienced a wonderful thing: a positive validation of my identity as an African American. In an exhibit entitled Boston Black, I found examples of the black culture I grew up in presented in a way that was inviting, informative and engaging. What amazed me more than anything else was my response. I genuinely felt moved at finding my lived experience reflected in a mainstream museum space.
And yet, the events in Ferguson overshadow any warm fuzzy feelings I was having about my museum encounter. Reading sentences like: “America is not for Black people.” (Greg Howard). Or
The police mantra is “to serve and to protect.” But with black folks, we know that’s not the mantra. The mantra for many, many officers when dealing with black people is apparently “kill or be killed.”
(Brittney Cooper). These sentiments unfortunately resonate with me. Following the #Iftheygunnedmedown hashtag on Twitter deepens the impact with visual reminders of how mainstream media’s involvement is everything but impartial. It saddens and disturbs me that I cannot feel more optimistic about what the future holds for this country I grew up in.
As I continue to read the many views on understanding the ongoing assault against black men in America, I cannot help wondering whose voices are missing in this conversation? Where will we find the antidote to the increasing militarization of police forces across the country? Who is responsible for the protection of basic human rights of citizens in this country?
And why does that appear less and less clear in our black communities?