This may ramble but fuck it.
A few days ago C-Money and this bitch watched a local news report about a homicide. A man was found shot to death in a residential neighborhood on the North Side of St. Louis city. The report featured an interview with a young man and a woman who live near where the victim was found and both of them related the shock and fear they felt upon learning that someone was killed in their neighborhood. The reporter then wrapped up by urging anyone with information about the crime to contact the St. Louis police.
C-Money and I were both struck by the balance of the story. It hit me that I was downright shocked that a news story on a homicide in a predominately black neighborhood actually featured commentary from residents…that the reporter actually took the time to add in how this crime impacted the community and residents. It is so rare. Usually crime in black neighborhoods is reported like the weather. But this feature was much like the new reports of a shooting in the county…a neighborhood in shock and residents on edge.
Who would have thought it a gift to be seen as human?
Anyhoo, my greatest fear is that my brother would be in a situation with the police. My brother is a 37-year-old young looking black man in a city that fears young black men. He is also autistic and aphasic, so he lacks the traditional communication skills that may save his life. He’s trusting...vocal and agitated when confused…and looks perfectly normal. What I know to be autism others may see as high on drugs or confrontational...and they would fear that…and they would respond to that fear the way we Americans respond to things we fear – with violence in the name of defense.
And even as I write this I know that some asshole will jump up in my comments and try to tell me about my own…try to explain to me why black men are worthy of fear. This asshole will quote statistics and crime reports and incarceration data and blah followed by blah followed by more blah all the while never understanding that the stereotype they know as “black male” is my brother, my cousins, my uncle, my friends and was my father and my grandfathers and others who have gone to be with God.
Never grasping what the murder of Sean Bell translates to for me…how my mind instantly redirected to the black men I know, the weddings I have anticipated witnessing…to real people who could have and would have been shot dead as that night merged into morning because of what police officers thought was about to happen.
Because of what is supposed to have been about to happen based on all those statistics and all that data and all that blah followed by blah followed by someone lost their lover, a father, a son, and friend.
Someone lost his life.
While night merged into morning.
And justice blinked…