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?!