Although this post is a bit late, I wanted to share a few of the pictures that I took while marching for Justice in DC a few weeks ago. Reverend Al Sharpton organized it in order to raise more awareness to politicians and lawmakers about the great injustices that minorities (especially Blacks) face at the hands of law enforcement every single day. There were so many signs and it was a day that everyone banded together in a peaceful way to let our voices be heard. There were prayers, tears, hugs and other forms of solidarity that it breaks my heart when I hear others bashing these protests. We are not looting. We are not causing any kind of raucous and it is our right here in the United States to march. I cried uncontrollably after hearing the parents of many of the unarmed victims of the police speak and it is all just so senseless to me.
I have never, ever believed that violence in the answer. It is not the answer for civilians and it surely is not the answer for those hired to “serve and protect”. When I first heard the story about Mike Brown in Ferguson, I thought, “hmmm well you shouldnt run away from a cop or try to fight one”. I still very much hold strong to that belief because there are laws and unfortunately they are taught to protect themselves. But the fact that this young man was shot from 150 feet away and 12 times, is just murder to me. You are trained to shoot. Shoot him in the legs if he truly is “coming at you”. Why shoot to kill?
The story of John Crawford Jr, just straight up PISSES me off. Watching that video, I still do not understand how and why these officers are not in jail. There was nothing that even remotely indicated that he was a threat or threatening anyone. That was solely because he is a black man.
Let us not even begin with the story of Eric Garner and/or Tamir Rice just to name a few. My blood pressure is escalating just thinking about it.
I grew up in a predominantly white area of Michigan. I went to school with pretty much all whites. I can count on my hand how many minorities were at my school. I never endured racism and never felt as if I was “different”. I use that term loosely because in the end, in America, we, blacks are different. We are not treated the same at all even though the only thing that is not fully the same is our increase in melanin. I was always one of those who stated that racism was not really alive and well but there were small bits of racial moments. I believed that wholeheartedly. Until I moved to the south. Until I lived in a big city. Until the first time I was called the N-Word. Until the first time I was racially profiled. Until the first time I heard “oh you are this and that “for a black girl”. That bothers me the damn most. “For a black girl”… WTF does that really mean? Racism is alive and its not only well, its growing and getting bigger as the days go by. These shootings are not the only issue because we have been getting killed at the hands of the law for decades but the fact that these officers are not being indicted just infuriates me. It is sending the WRONG message that our lives do not matter. There are no consequences. In all I have issues with law enforcement in general because they abuse their power. I have seen videos of black cops hitting white people or being brutal and nothing happening to them. It is not fair.
I have to force myself to stop this rant because I can speak on these issues for days and days. I have been through a ton in these 32.5 years of being on this earth and I know that I will go through far more not only because hey, life is hard but because of my race and my gender.
I pray that there are immediate changes to the system and how law enforcement treats black citizens as opposed to white ones. I pray that we with more melanin stop with the wars within our own communities and work to uplift one another. I hear every day about black on black crime and YES its rampant and unecessary but right now this is not the cause. This is not what we are speaking and marching for. We want to be heard. We do not want to be gunned down. We want our children to be able to walk down the street with a hoodie on and not fear for their lives. We want our children to be able to walk anywhere and not be stopped solely because of their race. Heck, I want to be able to walk my friend’s dog in DuPont and not be questioned and looked at by a passing police car. We want to be treated with the exact same decency as our fairer skinned counterparts because WE ARE ALL HUMAN!
all pictures taken by Jennifer Jean-Pierre of Comme Coco and are not to be reposted without linking back to this post and proper credit. Thank you!