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Stop Killing Us

We’ve spoken out, stood up, found our voices, and led with our cry. Can you hear us? Stop killing us, Protest 2020, George Floyd, Aumaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Blackout Coalition 2020, stop systemic racism, police the police, Black Lives Matter, say their names, police brutality,

I! CAN’T! BREATH!

According to http://newsone.com, between 2012 and 2020, 83 unarmed black men and boys have been kill by police, fourteen of them just this year alone. That number doesn’t include black women/girls who have died in custody such as Sandra Bland or murdered in their home like Breonna Taylor.

As a black woman in America, I feel enraged, outraged, disheartened, overwhelmed, and discouraged all at the same time.

Yet, a small part of me is hopeful. Hopeful that the majority of the world holding up signs in protest across the globe will become the change we all want to see. Hopeful that laws will go into effect in this nation holding those accountable when someone dies while in police custody.

This situation puts all the police officers following the laws in danger due to the unjust work of a few who have no regard for human life; for black lives. The knee lynching of George Floyd on social media incited a generation of freedom fighters; young people who have grown up under an unjust system that has allowed black lives to not matter for far too long. Mr. Floyd’s murder is just one in a vast number of deaths at the hands of police this generation has witnessed due to social media.

We, meaning my generation-70s babies, heard the stories of old where we as black people were enslaved and mistreated. We grew up in a world where racism and hatred were alongside a broken justice system and inequality. We saw it on TV and in real life, at school, the supermarket, or in the street. We just didn’t have a name for it back then but now we label it as white privilege. If anyone says white privilege does not exist, they need to have a reality check. But there’s celebrity privilege as well. I saw a piece of a video where Morgan Freeman blindly suggested that if we stop bringing racism up, it won’t exist. How more ignorant can this be? That’s like saying, if you ignore the savage, hungry dog running toward you, you won’t get bit.

All murders by the hands of police are wrong and most have gone unpunished. On May 28, 2020, the world watched this murderer, with his hands in his pockets, apply pressure with his knee, to Mr. Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for his life, begged for his late mother, and cried out, “I can’t breath” eleven times for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. We watched as three other “protect and serve” officers did absolutely nothing as onlookers pleaded for them to help. Imagine slowly suffocating to death for eight minutes and forty-six seconds.

Why did this happen? Because he could. They have seen others time and time again get away with murder so much so that this man made a conscious choice to take Mr. Floyd’s life with no conscience, no heart, and no emotion, except for hate. As a lead officer on detail with rookies, his point was to show them how ‘it’s done’. Now, I sincerely hope that cop pays for his murder spending life sitting behind bars. The other cops involved need to pay as well.

Yes, I’m angry. I’m outraged! Imagine if the men in your community; your fellow fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, cousins, and friends were murdered by those sworn to protect and serve with no consequence. Now imagine you are me, the mother of a twenty-two-year-old young black man who is at the age where he thinks he is invincible. You’ll never understand my fear every time he walks out the door. I often think of every young man in my family and my heart drops. All I can do is keep them lifted in prayer. My sons friends are white boys. I told him he is still a target regardless of the color of his circle. Don’t ever forget it!

Put your hands on the steering wheel, fingers straight out at 12 o’clock. Don’t make any sudden moves. Answer yes sir, ma’am. Have your insurance, license, and registration in plain view. Don’t reach for anything. Have your phone recording. Don’t show signs of aggression. Know your rights but do not get upset. Follow instructions. Make it home…etc.

If you think we should not have to die in police custody regardless of our past, a record, or the color of our skin, we are asking that YOU, regardless of race, stand in solidarity with the black community until they stop killing us, our children can grow up with their fathers, brothers, etc., our young men and women live to pursue their dreams, the justice system gets the reform that’s long overdue, generational racism is cut off, systemic racism ends, black people receive the same opportunities as everyone else, we are able to build up our communities, justice is served as bad cops go to jail, and the lists goes on.

If you want to join the fight or want to help in a wonderful way please join the Facebook group the Blackout Coalition @www.facebook.com/groups/blackout/movement or follow @theblackoutcoaition on IG and its’ creator on IG @thecalvinmartyr

My heart is heavy.

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Valerie Collins
Valerie Collinshttps://mypoeticlifebook.wordpress.com/
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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CONVERSATIONS

  1. Hi Valerie, I chose to respond to this article, which is well written and gives understanding to your cry regarding the title itself. Having worked the streets since the early ’70s in one of the biggest cities in the United States, I did so with compassion, strength, courage, and the desire to protect and serve every single day. I am not, ( and I wish to make it very clear) condoning the deaths of all the beautiful souls you mention in your article. I cannot make comments on the stats you mention but I will add to those stats, which are verified each and every year through The Federal Bureau of Investigation: In 2019 (89) Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty, Black, White, Asian and just in Chicago alone, more Blacks are killed by other blacks than in any other city. The killing must stop everywhere. If people cannot let go of the anger and hatred, which constantly rears its head, we will never have peace. The schools have long gotten away from teaching History so that young minds understand the good and the bad. I am grateful for your article.

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