I cannot ignore this tragedy, no matter how much I want to turn away from it and count my blessings that it wasn’t my brother, cousin, uncle or son in this situation, but I just can’t. There is a wave of pain washing over the African American community, unfortunately it is not a shared pain nor one that we are unfamiliar with.
An unarmed 15 year old was shot…with a rifle…while leaving a party. This may not sound any different than the other accounts to some, to me, it was yet another senseless murder on behalf of the people that are supposed to be protecting us. In this case, the only difference is they cannot hide behind him being a “suspect” in a nearby “robbery” they cannot say that he was reaching for a “gun” when in reality it was a wallet. They can’t say he was selling cigarettes illegally on the street corner and “resisting” arrest. They can’t say that he was a threat to them at all. They can’t say that a store clerk called the cops on him because he was “loitering”. Of course, we know that they tried, and this time it was an obvious fail. Jordan Edwards was a 15 year old freshmen that carried a 3.5 GPA, he was at a party that started to get out of hand so he left with his , group of friends, they were not fleeing police, yet somehow this young man ends up dead, life just…gone. I read the story, or shall I say glossed over enough to get the details. Its hard for me to read things like that because it hurts. I can barely write about it without becoming emotional.
Even when we’re doing the right things, even when we have no criminal history (shouldn’t matter) aren’t causing an ounce of threat (shouldn’t matter) we are still targets. Its like this skin we wear is reason enough to treat us differently. And no, this isn’t new at all but it doesn’t mean that it hurts any less or that we feel any less helpless.
What are we supposed to tell our kids? Keep your hands visible. Don’t talk back. Be an upstanding member of the community. Don’t walk in the middle of the street. Even these warnings don’t matter because it’s not our actions that they care about its the way that we look.
Dear White People,
See chapter v of “Dear White People” on Netflix. This is something that we have to go through daily. The risk of dying anytime something goes awry and we’re around. I know that this isn’t your life, nor is it something you have to deal with and maybe you’ll never fully understand, but that episode is a mere peek into what it is to be black in America. And we’re the hostile ones?
I’m praying for Jordan Edwards’ family. I know they are rocked to the core. I’m praying for all of us, humanity in general. We need it. His parents will never see him off to prom, never see him walk across the stage to accept his diploma, never get to see any of the milestones that kids have once they hit high school that make parents so proud. All these people have are memories, and for what?
RIP Jordan Edwards. We won’t forget you.
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