We are all trying to process the murder of not one, or two, but three Black men at the whims of a racist police state. Delrawn Small, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile: names of men who we must now memorialize. The public will promise “no justice, no peace” to their family members, but based on precedent, that promise will not be kept. Afterall, the police who murdered a 12-year-old boy while playing at a neighborhood park faced no ramifications. No one was found guilty in the shooting death of John Crawford whose only crime was shopping in Wal-Mart while Black. Time and time again, families have never been afforded justice, but business as usual resumed in the face of those injustices.
How are we to convince a country that #BlackLivesMatter when it was built on the dehumanization, commodification and destruction of those very lives? The enslavement and incarceration of those bodies? How many public executions must be nationally broadcasted before we can collectively agree that racial injustice continues to plague this country? Perhaps we must sacrifice a perfect victim, a model citizen; one unblemished by a criminal history. Dressed respectably? May he or she not have children out-of-wedlock or sagging pants. Where be our police brutality Rosa Parks? Can we promise, if she were to arise and stand against injustice, would she find herself at the back of a police car or with five bullet holes in her back?
As a community, we have learned time in memorium that we cannot make such promises. Not promises of life. And most certainly not promises of justice after death. Courts found the US Government guilty for conspiring in the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but what precisely did that achieve? Signs erected on dilapidated roads to honor the great civil right’s leader are still haunted by the spirit of a dream unfulfilled, black blood pulsing through these streets– the veins of America’s racist body.
Is Black blood the vitality of this nation? Does it nourish all of this country’s organs and systems?
Black death used as form of grotesque spectacle, feeding this country’s appetite for our suffering and pain. Shared and spread widely, the energy and excitement spurred by that voyeurism rises and falls like a tide and in the aftermath, the blood stains are washed away from public view. Yet still, Black blood clandestinely nourishes this nation.
America is Black blood dependent. And we must break this dependency.
We know that we cannot depend on technology to do so– smartphones and body cameras will not be our saviors. The judicial and legislative arms are fed by the very same racial inequality they attempts to combat. Only our anger, frustration, mobilization and collective energy can force this country to reconcile its continued vicious inequality and racism.
Black people must tear this body open; rip out it’s veins. And if that threatens system failure, well so be it. America can no longer be dependent on Black blood to thrive.