We woke again to news of another unarmed black man shot to death by Tulsa Oklahoma Police as he tended to his vehicle malfunction. Let’s say his name together as we painfully live this moment: Terence Crutcher. This will be our first step in reigniting the police brutality and Black Lives Matter conversation.
We are near the end of September, and I can’t help but recall the hurt that many of us honed at the beginning of July during the police brutality cases of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling. I yearned for the month to close and to never to relive those horrific videos again. At that moment, I realized I was living history. That very moment took me to retrospect when my fiancé and I invited my parents and grandmother out to the movies to view Selma. My grandmother adamantly said, “I don’t want to see it. I lived it.”
And here we are today, awoken, yet again, and living a brutal shooting of a 40-year-old “God-loving father who sang at church every week, and had enrolled at a community college in Tulsa where he hoped to earn a degree.” He is human. He was human. What many fail to realize is, there are much more like him. Black men and women alike.
Lest not forget, that hurt is an emotion that we all feel in actuality, empathetically or sympathetically. Lest not forget, that we all, no matter our ethnicities experienced humanities mortifying moan during those July weeks. I didn’t want to see those gut-wrenching, graphic videos again. In congruence with my Grandmothers straight-laced statement, I lived them when I saw a child console her mother from the back seat. Here we are today, revisiting the agony through the murder of Terrance Crutcher. So, this time, what will you do? How will you facilitate conversation? Unfortunately, you’re living history, and you don’t have another choice but to participate. Colin Kaepernick is a game changer and a leader as he promotes justice and equality on such issues. He is living historically and heroically.
The day my grandmother declined our invitation, I assumed she was just being relentless to our request to get her out and about. Until I put on my Olivia Pope “white hat” and actively engaged in my first #BlackLivesMatter vigil. I was emotionally engulfed in the amount of people who were living historically. People were praying to the deity of their desire. People were speaking out despite the criticism of labels that would be placed upon them. People were gathering in numbers despite national security being heightened. Fearless. Gladiators. Game-changers.
Critics say that people “protest for no reason.” Critics say, “They only protest once in a while.” Critics say, “What will you do to help?” There are a plethora of ways to help. You’re an actor of history. Use your role wisely. This blog serves as no script for your story, simply a motivator for individual emancipation.
I never asked my Grandmother any details of her living the civil rights era, but I do know she was active in many facets of it: voter registration, etc. My grandfather even ran for offices in their small town. My mother was one of the first to integrate schools in their town. My aunts and uncles all got a college education. As descendants, my cousins and I have all risen to the occasion. Whatever positive change looks like to you, exhibit it. Become a catalyst in history, not just a component.
As a reminder, we are all living history, the good parts and the bad. No one protest will heal history, but it will tell history. So, next time, you’re told what you’re doing is pointless, be reminded that you are directing your movie. A riveting one at that. One so good, you don’t need to watch again.
The things I write about are the love of my life and the life of my love!