DEVONE HOLT – For the past two days, I’ve been distracted preparing for my son’s seventh birthday celebration so I hadn’t put much energy into exploring or discussing my feelings about the recent killings of two black fathers at the hands of police.
After continuing to see how easy it is for police to take the lives of black people, I figured I needed to take every moment to celebrate my son while I have the opportunity.
But now that my son’s birthday celebration is over, I’m exploring my feelings and I find myself growing angrier and angrier.
I once was of the opinion that demonstrating (marching) might help draw attention to this problem and help us solve it. Before that, I was among those who thought we could pray this problem away.
But today, I’m tired of marching. I’m even tired of praying. And although I’m the host of the Saturday Morning Solutions radio talk show, I’m especially tired of talking about this problem.
It’s time for some real action.
Politicians who make laws that cause police to spend more time patrolling black communities MUST be outed. Eric Garner died in New York because police were enforcing a ridiculous law that attempted to undermine Eric’s ability to sell loose cigarettes instead of selling whole packs. That’s nonsense that helps lead to unnecessary police interactions. Those policies and the politicians who create them must be undermined before another police finds justification for the consequences of “over policing.”
It’s also time for Black people to stop posing for pictures and being star struck by those same politicians when they show up in our community, especially if they haven’t – at a minimum – spoken out against such killings and – at maximum – actively and publicly participated in a expeditious process to have bad police removed from police departments and thrown in jail. Politicians can’t be our friends if they aren’t willing to help in our suffering.
And I know there are many white people and some blacks who won’t agree, but it seems obvious to me that SOME police have declared war on black people. And since I’m black, I assume they have declared war on me too.
I’m college educated, middle class, cultured and corporate savvy, yet I can’t escape the feeling that one day I could be the Genesis of a tragic social media hashtag.
My natural reaction isn’t to retreat when I’m attacked. And now that it feels like I’m part of demographic that is under attack, I find myself mentally preparing for battle.
What does that mean? I’m not exactly sure. But I do know that I won’t be marching anymore. Police don’t respond to marching. I won’t be expecting my prayers to wash away this problem. Black people have been praying for years and yet here we are again asking ourselves “when will it end?” Apparently God wants us to create our own solution.
I’m not sure what my solution is yet, but I do know that a year from today I want to be here to celebrate my son’s eighth birthday. If not, I want him to be reassured that daddy left here fighting so that his skin color wouldn’t be the reason he finds himself afraid of the police in the future.
Angrily and disgustedly yours,