Y’all know I don’t really follow sports, athletes, or the like except inasmuch as their platforms intersect with my…nevermind, still don’t pay attention.
But just a minute ago, I was watching Jeopardy. Before I could turn the channel after losing Final Jeopardy, the opening of the ESPY Awards was playing and my attention was stoked. The opening speech was delivered by several black athletes dressed in all black. Maybe you saw it or are still watching John Cena, (my nephew’s fave I add without any sarcasm).
I’ll correct this later if I’m wrong, but the athletes I think I made out onstage with my limited attention to national sports were Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Lebron James and Chris Paul. The speech was about the police lynchings of black men; their profiling by them. Ultimately it came down to the responsibility we have to use our platforms to speak up. The speech was well delivered. They listed several hash-tagged among murdered black males: Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner.
When are we gonna start naming black women whose bodies have been profiled, abused, felled by a system that fails to see beyond the melanin that covers them (or maybe sees that and responds in kind–another argument for another day)? Sandra Bland, y’all? Rekia Boyd? Tanisha Anderson? Aiyana Stanley-Jones? What. is. up?!
And why are we still adding Trayvon Martin’s name if we’re talking about police violence? To do that pretty much gives George Zimmerman, fake community watch-man he fancied himself, the authority he thought he had to approach and ultimately murder Martin. Nope.
If we’re naming any ol’ black body lynched in the past five years, let’s add Kendrick Johnson,Keaton Otis, Jordan Davis, the Charleston 9, and perhaps, maybe, someone without a penis (which the Charleston 9 incidentally includes several glaring examples of–hellloooo).
This narrative is weak. It’s tired. Un. Ac. Ceptable. It participates in the very oppression it purports to indict. And as a black woman, I am tired. Weak. Unable to accept this anymore. And hurt. Can somebody care about us for a change? Can y’all care about us? Ever? Maybe? #Dafuq?!
4 thoughts on “2016 Espys”
Insightful and incisive! Thanks.
LikeLiked by 1 person
More people care than you think. More people care than the liberal media depicts. More people care than the statistics show. (You know statistics can be made to show anything you want them to.) I care. My pastor cares. My mother cares. My ex-wife cares. My children care. My mentor at church cares. My neighbors care. My co-workers at the local public library care. 99% of all police officers care. Martin Luther King, Jr. cared. The mayor of our city cares. We all care despite the rhetoric, the anger, the choice to do violence in protest. Survivors of the victims of the Charleston shootings care. Billy Holiday cared. John Legend cares. Prince cared. Bette Midler cares. Katy Perry cares. Justin Timberlake cares. Josh Groban cares. Nick Jonas cares. Most of my white friends in recovery care. Our state attorney general cares.More white people died at the hands of law enforcement officers than those of any other race in the last two years, but the death of a black man at the hands of a white cop generates more outrage. Still, I care. God cares. Admittedly, it’s time to put all this caring into action. Just know that anger leads to resentment. Resentment blurs history and clouds judgment. Resentment leads to hate. Hate leads to violence. I don’t even know if this is about fear or xenophobia anymore. For some reason, we’ve edged God out of the equation. Without the Holy Spirit, we lack the capacity as mere mortals to love and forgive. The empathize with and understand. We are commanded by our Lord to love our neighbor. To love our brother. To love our enemies. Most law enforcement officers are willing to lay down their lives to protect our citizens regardless of the color of their skin. To me, this is a “calling.” It’s one thing to take a bullet for your wife or child, or to fight to defend the United States against enemies both foreign and domestic. It is quite another thing to lay down your life for your enemy.
Thanks for responding–I applaud your faith and agree that there are people who “care.” My concern is that the “care” and its practice is unevenly extended–if it’s extended at all–to specific populations, particularly one to which I belong, African American women. For me, the reasons why that reach may be limited are inconsequential when I’m still as vulnerable as ever due to it.
I hear you girl. Loud and clear. I am one of those white guys who wish I could say enough about racism and hatred to make a literal change. I saw a news piece on TV yesterday about a white cop who is making a 100% effort to reach out. To make African Americans feel safe when approached by a police officer. He said something very profound, though. His comment was, “I grew up in a family who served as cops. I have never in my life been afraid of a police officer. I just can’t imagine what that feels like.”