You are reading a sentence that has been deleted and rewritten more than fourteen times, because, I honestly don’t know how I should do this.
Have you ever had that feeling where you have so much to say, but aren’t really sure of how to say it? Or even where to begin? Or where you want it to end? The sun is shining for the first time in days here in North Carolina while the city I was born and raised in is in complete shock, maybe even in shambles. What’s the correct way to respond to that? Will my words actually have any impact or meaning? Does it even matter if it does?
During the early morning hours on July 5th, Alton Sterling was wrongly shot and killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Then, the very next day, Philando Castile was shot in his car by a police officer during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota while his fiancé and her four year old daughter watched. The only reason as to why he had been pulled over in the first place is because his car had a broken tail light. The day after that during a peaceful protest in Dallas put on by the local Black Lives Matter organization, twelve cops and two civilians were shot, some were killed, by a sniper. The suspect even said that there were bombs planted all throughout the city.
All I could think about when watching the news was how beautiful the city of Dallas had become since I left it not that long ago. And about how it’s no longer that same city anymore.
I think what’s frustrating me is that I’m continuously being told that if I support one thing, I can’t support the other. If I believe in justice for one group, I’m automatically against another? That makes absolutely no sense to me, especially when it comes to these specific on goings. I think what’s missing in all of this is that there are so many people who don’t have an actual grasp of why things are happening, why people are upset about certain things, or what there is to do about it.
First off, Black Lives Matter does not mean that no one else’s life does. That’s not the point. This all began long before Black Lives Matter was even a thing. The only difference now is that there are cameras and bigger platforms to reach people with. And even after being backed into that type of corner where there’s proof, people are still okay with saying they don’t care, that the person probably still deserved to die, that the angle was bad and we couldn’t get a good grasp of what actually happened… And there lies the reason of frustration. When there is straight forward evidence that someone has been shot and killed without any warrant or signs of wrongdoing, I find it pretty difficult to say that they deserved it. And when one specific group is being seen more often than others receiving this outcome, something has to be going wrong within the system.
The same people who say “but he had a gun,” are the same people who are so worried about the guns being taken away. So which is it? Is it that the right of the people is to keep and bear arms? Or is that the right of only one specific group is to keep and bear arms? The excuses are exhausting to listen to.
History shows us that when any group is oppressed, they eventually rise up and do something about it to try and stop it in order to benefit future generations. That is why this is happening. This is no different;
it’s not the exception.
A cop never has a right to kill someone unless they or someone else is in danger of being killed. What this says to me is that there are three types of police officers who would go against this. The first is the one who is fearful, most likely because of internal prejudices. The second is the one who is undertrained and not as educated or prepared for being in law enforcement. The third is the power hungry one; the one who allows their status to go to their head. These are the three general boxes to categorize these specific officers in. There are probably more, but these three seem to be the most common.
I do not believe that all cops are bad. I do not believe that most or even some are bad. I believe that cops are all human and every group of humans always has a bad egg or two. Last night in Dallas, the protest march was one of the most peaceful I’ve seen. It was a group of individuals who wanted to do something without anyone getting hurt. It was a police force willing to understand and help. No one seemed mad at the Dallas police and no one seemed upset that the protest was occurring. So, why did this have to happen?
Everyone is unhappy. Everyone is frustrated. The person who did this to the police officers of Dallas and to the protestors trying to make a difference and to everyone connected to that city who couldn’t fall back to sleep that night… I hate them. I hate that person.
But, this is how I feel after it happened to just my city, not my loved one. Imagine trying to cope as the family member or friend of all those who have been shot and unfairly killed. Cop or not. Black or not. This didn’t have to happen, but it’s not like it’s the first time it has.
I still don’t know what to say. I don’t know if what I just wrote made sense or flowed the best way. I know I’m not sounding my best, but I don’t know the best way to say all of this still. I don’t.
I think this is one of my most scatterbrained pieces because that’s how I feel right now. I know that it’s easy for so many people to sit behind their computer screens and blame and criticize and hate. It’s easy to come up with conclusions when you are unaffected by what’s happening. But, this is what it feels like to listen to someone who spent every childhood summer at the Dallas Public Library right around the corner from where this all happened. This is what it’s like to hear someone who still couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the city lights looked last night when the streets were empty and bare. This is what it’s like to hear someone who is scared of what is going to happen next.
Because it happened to my hometown, my city. It happened to Dallas’s police force. It happened to Diamond Reynolds’ fiancé. It happened to Cameron Sterling’s father. Do not make those who have already been hurt wait for everyone else for something to finally be fixed.
Black Lives Matter.
Back the Blue.
Love to Dallas.
Love to All.