As the news broke about the police shooting that happened in Baton Rouge, my 3 year old son who was watching the story said something that instantly struck a cord with me. He told my wife that Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by police, looked like daddy. Not in every physical sense, but because he was black. My son’s comment had me pause and think for a moment….the guy who got shot looked like daddy.
Last week’s events between Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas were of historic proportions. The ripple effect has been tremendous. I even read on CNN that police as far as London, England were on high alert due to the number of attacks on police officers across the country. It was only a matter of time before retaliation struck.
This year alone, there has been close to 600 police shootings, most of them involving black males in situations such as what happened in LA & MN. We all know the images of Treyvon Martin, Freddie Gray and others who have succumbed to unnecessary police or police like force claiming their lives. It definitely seems like open season for killing black males. And we are getting tired of it point blank.
As the discussion continues about the events of last week, we must not let the real story be lost, and that is the black lives lost at the hands of negligent police who did not take the time to preserve the life of a father, a finance’, a son, a sibling, etc. When the cops shot and killed those gentlemen, they only saw BLACK & equated their lives to being an animal or a criminal, not a human being. We cannot let the narrative shift to just the police that lost their lives to an act of senseless violence and what we need to do to protect them. This is the slippery slope that the politicians will take.
Case in point is Rudy Guilani, who says that Black Lives Matter is a racist group who divides instead of unite. He and those who think like him are apart of the problem and not the solution. And their kids haven’t been shot and killed by the police. The arrogance of Guilani and those white faces that think like him have no clue of what black folk in this country go through.
When my son becomes of age, I’ll have to tell him how to act around the police when they approach him. Other black parents will have do to the same. What other ethnic group has to do that??? White parents have the luxury of telling their kids about the “privileges” they can enjoy throughout the country. Other ethnic groups can possibly give warnings about police encounters. We as black parents have to tell our kids enough to not end up in a body bag.
Last week’s events show that we are truly at the tipping point. Race relations, gun violence, senseless deaths….we will either tip to resolution or revolution. We either get it together truthfully and affectionately or be forced to through ambushes and anger. Whatever the case may be, how many more sons will look at the TV saying he looks like daddy from anymore shootings????