Do We Value Black Life…or Nah?
An Open Letter by Keena Renée
Let me preface this letter with a disclaimer: The following words you are about to read are MY thoughts and opinions. If you are offended by anything that you read in the post, you can gladly take your computer, head to your desktop and LOG OFF. I have so many feelings in regards to this situation as I feel that it addresses many issues. Now that thats out the way…lets get into it…
When I first heard of Michael Brown’s passing, my initial thoughts and reaction was … “Another one?”. Even as I just type that I begin to shake my head at myself for even being almost immune to hearing news of a young black male gunned down at the hands of the police. Is this the reaction that we all have at this point? Certainly the media plays a HUGE part in how we as a country view situations like these because lets keep it real, that’s ALL we see reported in the news when it comes to “us”. Our men are being murdered, our women are being raped, and our children are being abused and we capture it, share it, tweet it, and repost it until eventually it gets picked up by a major news outlet.
In the case with Mike Brown, I felt that the footage that was captured by the eye witnesses that were at scene was disturbing to say the least. To see that brother laying in the middle of the street in a pool a blood and people staring and videotaping him like a circus freak show act is pretty damn disappointing. You’re probably thinking “Keena, there are bigger issues than that in this situation!” and you right, however, I believe that “we” tend to use social media for the wrong wrong WRONG reasons sometimes. Though NOW we are promoting hashtags like #DontShoot and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, movements like these hardly ever last. I promise you that by time Atlanta Exes premieres on VH1 next week, the social media activism for Mike Brown will be long gone and we will still be left with the same issue… that fact that the life of an African American has just as much value as a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.
THAT right there folks is the most disheartening, depressing, and disgusting fact that we as black people have got face. THERE IS NO VALUE IN THE LIFE OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN. Trayvon Martin brought attention to that fact but Michael Brown just confirmed it for me. It has been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and sometimes I feel like we are still in the same position. The system has been working over time since to ensure that we as blacks are set up to fail…Hell our men are lucky to even live to see the age of 25! That ain’t cool and we damn sure shouldn’t accept it.
But truthfully, we mess up our own progression…We do the things that they expect and want us to do just so that they can label us as savages and put us on the news for the world to see. So at the end of the day, can we really complain? I mean how can we expect the police to not have their guard up when we turn around and act a fool in these streets, isn’t their job to serve and protect? Don’t get me wrong, I think that actions of the police and the government since Brown’s passing has been deplorable. Frankly, I’m just tired of black people giving the opps more and more reasons to feel like our life does not have any value…our reactions are always so heavily influenced by emotions when situations like these take place. Instead of uniting to put in place a permanent solution…all we do is “turn up”…
“Ferguson Police just executed my unarmed son!!!” … Yes they did Mr. Brown and sadly…there isn’t anything we can do about it.
Signed Trying To Keep The Faith,