All week I’ve been pandering about what to write on this week’s blog. I’ve been going back and forth over it and thinking, “hmm what do my people want to read about this week?” Then this happens…yet another black life, another senseless killing, another echoing hashtag. #AltonSterling
In the midst of this madness, how dare I dream?! How dare I work to expand my brand, how dare I go to rehearsal to poke fun at this corrupt and doomed system of (in)justice that is here for everyone and literally every living thing…just not us. A gorilla is shot and the world completely STOPS to say it never should have been killed, though it had a child in its grasp. And when the few began to even think to target the parents for the tragic accident, it was shut down almost immediately. Bombings in Paris…there are Parisian colors on every avatar and profile pic you can see. Mass murder in the LGBTQ club and there are rainbows all over. And I say this not to say that the show of support, humanitarianism and love is or was unwarranted.
However, yet another black life is relegated to tears, more ticks on the “how many ni**ers can we kill and get away with” scoreboard, and an echoing hashtag…and the usual formula goes into play…administrative leave, vilify the victim, visual blunt evidence of murder and straight up execution (in the most cowardice of fashions), a federal investigation will happen, a grand jury subpoenaed, no indictment – therefore no conviction, and then we go back to talk about who’s making millions in the NBA vs. the NFL and who’s been traded until there is a new hashtag, slash extermination of a black life.
I ask, how much can you say, cry, pray, ask for folks to stand up, big up those that do stand up but then they fade to black (no pun intended) until the next thing. How much can you march, boycott, scream of injustice - which is by the way against a system that was absolutely built by us but not for us in the first place…
How dare I dream and push and press for my goals and aspirations to manifest when this is all happening. But as I sat in my room on my bed thinking on all of this, it hit me. How dare I NOT? Sandra Bland was my soror and sister. I don’t smoke but my mouth is surely hot and my fuse can be incredibly short…so I could have been her. I’ve shot off a cap gun in my lifetime…so Tamir Rice could’ve been me. I live for a hoodie at the first sign of a cool breeze…I could’ve been Trayvon. I bought bootlegged materials before I really began working in the industry, I’ve tried to push my cd’s and my road rage can be epic…so I could’ve been Alton Sterling as well. Therefore when I question how can I still dream and push, the answer is emphatically I have no right or privilege to NOT do that. Because as much as I could one day be the next hashtag…I could also one day be the person with a true and viable platform to speak up and out like I do now when I am much less than a household name. As much as it could be my mom in tears and my friends and family shocked, angry and mournful, is as much as I can work like hell to be sure if that is ever my fate…they are hard-pressed to find material to vilify me or mark me as one that was “asking for it.” Which is some bullshit as well, considering most times the end result happens before it’s ever known WHAT background the person possessed.
I dare to dream and to wish and to work and to apply action to my art to provide all things from a mirror that forces folks to face this stuff, to a distraction…cuz we ALL need both from time to time in this amazing, yet disgusting America we live in.
I want a great world and a great life and a space where I’m more fearful of being the sum total of my parent’s not so great moments as a not-so-great parent, as opposed to saying I’m never having kids because my DNA is too precious to purposefully inherit the folly that is this world. I want less of my people exterminated and less of my time spent mourning or figuring out how to mourn in solidarity of a stranger that is now not a stranger because he or she is my brother in melanin and was snubbed out just because of that same melanin “others” envy in private, pay to achieve in their leisure, but publicly shame and disavow.
I know this post is out of my usual space, and maybe a bit scattered. But, I am out of my usual space and a bit scattered right now. So, I have for the moment emotionally regurgitated the bile in the pit of my stomach that was placed there by a despicable system that legitimizes genocide under the guise of “authority.” And with that, do as you will. As for me, I will continue to dream, to do, to teach, to love, to pray and to create art that assists, enables hope, distracts and exposes, simply because that is what my purpose calls for me to do.
~with a Starr that is not shining so bright right now…your Shining Starr,
**Upon publishing this post another hashtag is up and another black man is down...#PhilandoCastile