I’m exasperated with the fact that I am forced to write about another unarmed Black person being gunned down by the police. What’s most disturbing to me is that so many people still don’t understand why we are upset. We continue to protest in an attempt to get national attention and recognition, yet the protests end with no resolution and little to no change with police brutality against Black people. America just continues on with business as usual. That’s exactly what America is: A business.
22 year old father of two, Stephon Clark was shot 8 times in his back by the Sacramento police department. He was shot in his own backyard. Allegedly, his cell phone looked like a gun. Someone thought it was important to say “he was running from the police.” Wouldn’t you run from a group of people that are notorious for killing people that look like you without consequence? Running from the police is not a crime. Saying something that’s considered a smart remark to the police isn’t a crime. Even when a crime is committed, the punishment does not equal death.
There is always some twisted justification made by people when it comes to the killings of Black people at the hands of the police, yet a White male can go kill 17 kids and the media creates empathy for the shooter. The surviving students get major media attention and support. Their faces are placed on major magazine covers. We, however, are never allowed to be victims. Even our corpses are criminalized. Our plight is constantly over shadowed. That’s why there was a need for the creation of The Black Lives Matter movement.
It’s constantly encouraged to silence our pain because the world doesn’t want to hear it. Many of us are suffering from PTSD because of our plight, and having to walk into offices filled with White Americans that are all too eager to share their uneducated opinions and biases about recent Black horrific events makes it worse. It’s stressful to have daily examples to remind you that the system was never set up to help or protect people that look like you.
Stephon Clark’s brother Stevante Clark has been ridiculed for his CNN interview with Don Lemon. It seems that what viewers don’t realize is that Black men suffer from PTSD as well, and that tragic events such as your brother being murdered can cause your psyche to break and go in and out of realities. Their family hasn’t even had time to grieve because they have been swamped by the media since Stephon Clark’s death.
Sacramento protestors shut down the basketball arena to bring awareness to everyone about Stephon Clark’s murder. Even then, protestors had to explain to the public why this measure was necessary! Stevante Clark had to burst into a city council meeting with protestors in order to be heard.
Police officers are supposed to serve and protect civilians, but instead of serving and protecting, they have been allowed for centuries to beat, torture, bully, rape, and kill Black people without probable cause, and without punishment. Even when officers are caught on film, they are still not punished.
Until Police are held accountable for their atrocious actions, we will continue to knock down doors, barge into meetings, and stop people from viewing events like basketball games that are held with such importance. When people are desperate to be heard, respected, and granted the same human rights as everyone else but instead are being ignored and dismissed, they go into survivor mode- which means that in an effort to protect themselves and their loved ones, anything goes!