We are in the age now where it seems the norm
News anchors are saying " This is a different one "
Another black man killed
He had a book in his lap
He was selling cigarettes
He was sitting in a car
We hear from the police "He had a gun" or "I was afraid for my safety "
He was big and scary
We are hearing more talk about driving while black
We have kids shot for having toy guns, bb guns, or worse they had a hoodie on
And it's doesn't matter if you're a heir to the Cosby dynasty, a celebrity or just a man waiting to pick his kids up from school black men are feeling like they are targeted by everyone.
For some reason there is an intimidation and the one who loses is the victim
Sheryl Underwood a well known comedian, actress and television host for the talk show The Real was in a discussion on the show last week and the emotion overtook her. Her co hosts were giving their opinions and she interrupted them and stated that she feels that police everywhere need training, there are good cops and there are bad cops. She said that she is afraid to drive her car because if she is stopped and the officer doesn't recognize her she is a Black woman and she could be shot and killed. She said something that made some a little uncomfortable but Sheryl we got it. She looked them in the eyes with tears and said " You're White, you can get in your car and drive off".
It hit a cord with me because at her level of fame she is also scared.
African American males and females aren't all criminals. We live is all types of neighborhoods. We aren't all packing guns. Our voice should not be silenced.
Last week I posted a prayer on Facebook for my family because I am scared. I come from a large family predominately males. I cried because what if they are out late coming back from a party and are stopped, what if they reach their hands up and are still shot. What if my great nephew who has autism doesn't understand the demand will he be shot? What if my nieces who are various ages are driving back to college with their friends will they be stopped, questioned, and shot? I refuse now to be out late, scared, and text friends and family of my arrival to my destination.
At an alarming rate the black male is becoming the endangered specie and we are scared. That is someone father, son, brother, uncle gone! We don't want history to repeat itself. We don't want to play Billy Holiday's Strange Fruit. We don't want to be scared. We want to wake up and live our lives as normal. We don't want to look on the news or read the newspaper see someone who doesn't have the same skin color doing something horrendous and they just got tased , shot but not killed, and we question why .
All I know is my wish is to see my family continue to grow and be here after I am gone! I don't want to be scared. I don't want to die!
Thank you Sheryl Underwood for speaking out
By Award Winning Author Patricia A. Saunders