The ‘shot while unarmed’ narrative versus the ‘shooting while empowered’ reality

‘Distraught’ would be an understatement to describe the feelings over the recent killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri because there are so many reasons we can think of as to why it should not have happened, from his identity make-up to its connection with how the country he lives in views his identity. ‘Distraught’ is the least of words to describe the physical violence in the United States of America against identities that itself has created and killed since the days of Marcus Garvey who developed a philosophy for identity. Which brings us to why we are confounded with how a Nation so constructive with promising ideology can reveal a timeline of destructive activity.

Somehow, we have come to learn a black boy walking into a corner store to grab candy means that candy is likely to be spilled on the floor next to his lifeless, bloody body before he makes it back home to his birthday or graduation party. We have come to learn that when this happens, we must still ask, ‘what happened’ as if something that the black boy did himself must have killed him, and in that case, it may as well be considered a suicide, but it is actually murder. We have come to learn that when we hear of a black boy being murdered instead of committing suicide, as if we somehow do not hear about black boys and suicide “enough,” we must answer our own questions about what is happening to our black boys “either way,” so either way, ‘Black boys are a threat to America.’ And when we say this, we have come to learn that it does not matter ‘what kind of kid’ he was because one was killed last week with baggy jeans in Chicago and the one today had on a school uniform in North Dakota. But when we say that, we have unearthed a realization far valuable to us than America: just what kind of kid was he and who was he a threat to?  Our answers must make us reexamine our eternal, internal power over an external, temporary problem.

Right now, to a mind that has yet to find its substance of things hoped for because it is hidden inside the ideas of a Nation, ‘people of color’ are always threats to an entire Nation and that mind cannot imagine the possibilities of viewing their particular color inside of his own ideas.

Right now, to a mind that has lost its faith to his own ideas because a Nation has surrounded disbelief in them, ‘people of color’ are threats to possibilities and that mind cannot imagine viewing their particular color outside of limits.

Perhaps, there is a sense of progress in our conscious when we find out why we are limited instead of how we are united. Or the idea that we have an idea about ‘what’s going on’ is gratifying, but gratification will not carry the burden or drop off the weight of it. Feeling by itself will not get us results, which is why we are in a stalemate of unity when we attempt it in anger and sadness and shame and blame. Results come at the expense of our feelings, which means we have to carry on when we do not feel like it.

People are marching in the streets because we are feeling bad. People are shouting in pulpits because we are feeling bad. People are feeling unsafe about raising children in streets and pulpits, yet children must be raised and hoped for.

As bodies of black men die in America, minds of black men live. And their ideologies are not narratives to make us forget reality, but ideas to recreate, reexamine, and reimagine it.

Peace,

Sister Kahrima


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