By Cheryl Smith
How do we end this year on a positive note? Can we be optimistic about the future? How do we keep from drifting into a fit of hopelessness and despair when there is so much devastation around us? Sure Black people in America, at least the ones I know, live in a constant state of pandemonium, but 2020 has been a bit overwhelming.
Which brings me to my truth.
I have five young Black grandsons. They are absolutely adorable and I am not the only one who says so! Folks say they are “precious,” “handsome,” and more. There have been comments even about taking them home and making arrangements to have pre-arranged marriages for them! It is heartwarming to hear all the wonderful comments about those young, daring and delightful young boys. Please understand that while I think my boys are the best so did the parents and grandparents of these children, and others:
– Alton Sterling – Amadou Diallo – Antwon Rose – Ariane McCree – Botham Jean – Casey Goodson Jr. – Daniel Prude – Damian Daniels – Darius Tarver – Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. – Emmett Till – Eric Garner – Freddie Gray – George Floyd – JaQuavion Slaton – Jonathan Ferrell – Jordan Baker – Joshua Feast – Kwame “KK” Jones – Michael Dean – Michael Brown – Miles Hall – Philando Castile – Rodney Applewhite – Sean Bell – Sean Reed – Stephon Clark – Tamir Rice – Trayvon Martin – Yassin Mohamed.
I could call millions of Black boys and men as well as Black girls and women who have become victims because of the color of their skin. Now I’d venture to say that it was more than relatives who made flattering remarks about the aforementioned when they were young. SO, when did our young boys become a threat? When did they become monsters, threatening, grotesque and menacing? When did they go from being the little, handsome, young men to someone who looked like a “criminal,” or worse…an “animal?”
Conversely when did Black females become the object of everyone’s disdain? Almost everyone has an issue with us including Black men, and so much to the point that Black women joined in the demonization and ostracization of other Black women! That’s right—the oppressed take on the ways of the oppressors! These are just a few names of women remembered in recent years:
– Atatiana Jefferson – Breonna Taylor – Eleanor Bumpers – Mya Hall – Sandra Bland – Shereese Francis – Tyisha Miller.
As we move into another decade in this century, let’s say it together: IT’S NOT OKAY! We must stop the madness, this behavior that does nothing to make this world a better place and further disenfranchises Black people.
STOP RAPING, BULLYING, FALSELY ACCUSING, CONDEMNING, REDLINING, RIDICULING, REFUSING TO HIRE, OVERLOOKING FOR PROMOTIONS, OVERCHARGING, DENYING BENEFITS OR HEALTHCARE, WHITELISTING, AND KILLING BLACK PEOPLE!