In our world where Black people’s lives are the hardest, the last month has been a reminder on a national scale that Black people have known as our birthright.
It’s been a year since the murder of Breonna Taylor, the murder trial of George Floyd has begun, and the newest police murder of an unarmed Black person Daunte Wright is the current headline.
I think about Black people and how we are the only ones that care about us. That we have to do a dance that people take as fighting. But it is just perseverance. To maneuver the odds in a way that gives you the best chance of seeing the next day.
The fight for freedom is something you may never see the fruit of in any given lifetime and you can’t do it your entire life. You grow old, and when change isn’t on the horizon disillusionment greets you. The grandchildren watch their parent’s parents deal with the trauma alone. We will not know what it is when we are younger. That trauma will cause them to stay silent about the freedom they were unable to secure for us. Because they will realize the freedom, they thought they lived was imaginary.
The movements of their time becoming obscure in our textbooks causes the resuscitation of the same story to be treated as an anomaly. As if violence toward Black people is new.
That thinking alone is worse than the truth. Because even if it were new, people are still doing nothing.
These Black citizens — Taylor, Floyd, and Wright — are a part of a tradition that reminds us that we are the hunted. To be hunted — just like an animal — is to not have any agency over your body, not because of natural law but because of the system in play.
Black people can be killed asleep in their homes, dismissively and by a showcase of incompetence; and no matter the specifics, killing Black people will always receive justification.
Because good intentions will shield white supremacy from its pillaging of humanity.
The nation will forget Breonna Taylor and she will be just another name on a list that no one besides her own will care about. If George Floyd’s killer is not indicted, it will be another drop in the bucket in a life of disappointments in the history of a people, but it will not cause shock. And in the case of Daunte Wright — even amid the ex-cop’s charges — that fraudulent notion of progress is still moot. Nothing that happens will serve as proper ramifications.
You can’t serve justice over a corpse and you can’t apologize for fatality. There is no number of expenditures that can raise the dead.
And as the list of people who died of unnatural causes continues to grow, so will the contempt of the nation for the death of its citizenry.