Am I next?

I almost didn’t go on my walk this morning. But, my body needed to be outside. I wanted to walk around my neighborhood and remind myself that I live in a good place. A place with neighbors who organized a solidarity demonstration this afternoon. As I stood amongst them, I felt as if I was surrounded by love. It was beautiful and a much needed regeneration after this mentally draining week. However, that feeling was stripped bare when I got home and saw what was posted on the Citizen app about our peaceful protest. Throughout the time we were standing along Harford road, three police officers stood nearby, watching us. The police helicopter circled around above us, multiple times, putting our tax dollars to good use. Our group of maybe 50 Hamilton-Lauraville residents, armed with our handmade signs, face masks, and a desire for a more just country was being closely monitored. Luckily for us, the cops deemed our protest acceptable. A lot of white people like quoting MLK, Jr., admonishing black people for their manner of protest. Yet, it seems they forgot how many times those peaceful protests led to water hoses, police batons raining down on black bodies, vicious dogs being sicced on marchers, and churches being firebombed. It can be hard to keep up with the ever-moving goalposts of what is deemed acceptable and what is not. Do I condone burning down businesses? No. But had I just witnessed my brother cry out for our mother, pleading with his last breath that he was dying and he couldn’t breathe because a cop thought kneeling on a handcuffed man was appropriate and his three fellow officers deemed that acceptable….I would be a walking tower of rage. I would ignite fires everywhere I needed to in order to get people’s attention so that justice could be served. This image contains an incomplete list of black people who have been murdered by the police. At the bottom is just enough space for another name. My name just happens to fit perfectly there. So does my brother’s. I hope it doesn’t take my dead body for some of you to stop being complicit and start being anti-racist. But maybe it will.  #SAYTHEIRNAMES #BLACKLIVESMATTER