Turns out, two days after leaving the St. Louis/Ferguson/Normandy area, on the same night that the Every 28 Hours Plays were performed in San Francisco, another young Black boy was murdered by police...or maybe he, as the police say, killed himself while fleeing the police.
Something about the latter version of the story is unbelievable to me. Killed himself? They say he was suicidal. They said Sandra Bland was suicidal too. I have no trust in the police's telling of the events that lead to 18-year-old Amonderez Green's death. We await the autopsy, but I have no faith in the coroner to tell the truth either.
I don't know what to write. I don't know what to do.
One thing I know... I am sick of people who blame the victim. Whether it's Raven Symone using her platform to justify the body slamming and broken arm of a 16-black girl (a recent orphan living in foster care) in high school by saying it was her fault for using her cellphone in class, for disrupting class, for defying authority, for standing up for herself... the officer "had" to body slam her. Or whether it's people accusing Sandra Bland for "starting it"... she shouldn't've sassed the police officer... if she hadn't she'd still be ALIVE. (Sass only causes black people to die it seems #EmmettTill) Or Dymond Milburn, she shouldn't have fought back when random unidentified men pounced on her. Or this young man, Amonderez. He shouldn't've, what? Been outside? What do we have to do to be safe? To be respected? To be considered human? To stop being exploited and abused? To not be responsible for other people killing us?
If he was murdered, Amonderez is one more name I will add to my piece UNKNOWN HUNDREDS for the Every 28 Hours Plays Festival... but that seems like nothing... it seems almost like opportunism...keeping track of names... It seems defensive. I don't to just keep record of the abuse. What is the strategy to stop this? MLK would say it is being perfect upstanding citizens. Non-violent direct action. Having the high moral ground. Taking on the responsibility of diffusing the possibility of being mistaken for violent, roguish, brutish, lazy, hypersexual, etc. right? It means having to always take care of authority figures and white people (they're not always synonomous) ... to make sure that they never perceive us as threatening in any way... #DoubleConsciousness #DuBois
There was a black young man at the university we went to talk to in St. Louis who sat for most of the conversation we were having in silence. When invited to respond he said, "I'm so exhausted by this." I feel him. I cannot imagine what the families of these people are feeling.
How do we stop the names? Arming ourselves didn't work (#BlackPanthers #YoungLords). Telling our stories doesn't work #SympathyFatigue. Protesting doesn't work. Marching doesn't work anymore. Boycotting had an impact, but didn't change hearts. What else can we do?