In a perfect world I would believe everyone in America is:
- Praying for our families and loved ones to be untouched by coronavirus
- Supporting those who are on the front lines of this pandemic
- Lifting up those who are fighting to overcome the virus
- Pitching in to help people who are unemployed, sick and hungry
However, that is not the case. On top of trying to keep our social distances from each other, feed our families and wondering if we’ll eat pork any time soon or have enough toilet paper, we are discussing a young, black male who was gunned down 2 ½ months ago and the people responsible for his death, which was actually recorded, are just now being arrested.
It happened in February; it is now May.
I remember praying and asking God to allow me to be a mother. Four pregnancies resulted in a stillborn, a miscarriage, then a daughter and finally my son. I was so happy but with just a week or so to go before my due date, I totally lost it one day because I realized I was about to give birth to a black male in America.
I wondered if I was being selfish asking for a son.
What was I asking?
What was I thinking when I prayed the prayer?
I remember being so happy when I received confirmation. I was indeed carrying a boy! As his due date drew near, I became fearful of what it would mean for him as a future black man in America and me as his mother. I remember having a full on panic attack that day. My God, what have I asked for?
Last summer my son and I drove from South Dakota to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and then to Illinois over 2 days. Each time we stopped for bio breaks or food/gas I would get anxious. Who goes to the restroom first? Who stays in the car? Who’s inside that might see us as someone other than a mother and son taking a trip to Illinois?
The list of do’s and don’ts apply everywhere, regardless of the state.
- Take off your hood when you enter a store.
- Keep your hands where they can be seen.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t get too close to people.
- Let me hold the items you want.
As I view the footage of Ahmaud’s MURDER each day this week due to the onslaught of media coverage, I get angry then sad. How many times have my husband and I looked in the window of a home for sale or a home under construction because we wanted to see the progress? How many times have we parked our car and looked at a home while waiting for a realtor to arrive during one of our many moves? How many times have I, a black woman, ran through predominantly white neighborhood? (Many times, because I was one of a few or the only family of color in that white neighborhood.) How many times have I been looked at funny while running in the neighborhood or even given a scowl? Many times. However, thankfully, no one has ever approached me or yelled at me.
It’s not fair.
Life certainly IS NOT fair if you are born with brown or black skin.
- Former football star
- Loved to run
- Wasn’t bothering anyone
- Gunned down because he was jogging, minding his own business and tried to defend his own life (We can’t defend ourselves when someone is posing a threat to us?)
They made the arrests because WE saw the video.
WE SAW THE DAMN VIDEO!
If WE hadn’t seen the video, well, it would be business as usual.
That’s what could happen when you’re black in America.
That’s what happens when they see US.
That’s what happened when they saw Ahmaud.
That’s what happened when they saw him.