Hello, I’d like to welcome my special guest, Stephanie Evelyn. She’s an author and artist. Someone I admire 🙂 Last month I had the pleasure of being a guest on her blog to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement. I wish I could say things are getting better but…just today, I had to hear a disgusting conversation from “religious” people how it’s sad the treatment of police officers at the moment. No condolences for people getting executed. Then they called the white teenager who killed two protestors a “hero,” joking they’ll have ammo ready too. I swear one day I’ll move out of West Virginia. It’s too painful living here.
Please read Stephanie’s take on Black Lives Matter. I love that she’s an ally 🙂
I want to thank Yawatta Hosby for taking the time to collaborate with me, having the courage to open her heart, and having wisdom to share. I had the pleasure of interviewing Yawatta on the topic of Black Lives Matter. A link to the interview is at the end of this post.
Yawatta then invited me to guest blog and to provide my insight on the Black Lives Matter movement as a nonblack person of color. I am Mexican American and while our experiences from our black brothers and sisters differ, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. While Latinos are also the targets of police brutality, the extent at which the black community is demoralized and stripped of their humanity, I still cannot fathom.
I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to be black. What it’s like to be a black mother, fearing for her child’s life…always and forever. What it’s like to be a black father, fearing that you may not live to see your child grow up and fearing that your child may not live to grow up. I can only begin to understand infinitesimally and it’s not because I don’t want to understand. It’s because I am not black and I will never be able to live the experiences that my black brothers and sisters have had to endure.
Here’s what I do know. When I was twenty-two years old, a white male police officer in San Jose, California pointed a gun at my face, finger on the trigger. Why? There’s two sides to every story right? I am here to say, WRONG. There are not always two sides. Let me say this, this is the one and only time a gun was pointed at my face in my life. I am alive to tell you this but if I was black, chances are I wouldn’t be.
I was twenty-two years old and a student at University of California, Santa Cruz studying to get my B.A. My parents lived in San Jose, just a forty five minute drive from my college. It was summer so I was visiting home. My friends and I were at a party that night and they asked me to drive them to the liquor store five minutes from the party. I did. I drove down the street, stopped at a red light, turned when it was green, and drove into the parking lot. It was already coming up on two o’clock in the morning (nothing ever good happens after two indeed.) Does that mean I deserved what I got? Maybe I shouldn’t have been driving at two o’clock in the morning, even though I had nothing to drink and had a valid license to drive.
I parked my car in front of the liquor store and as I looked up to see that it was closed, a police car sped through the parking lot with lights flashing and parked behind me. There was a male office and a female officer. They got out yelling as I sat in my car confused. I went to grab my license and registration but my friends, Latinos as well, yelled at me to not move. They knew the drill because they were Latino men but as a female, I really didn’t know the drill.
The white cop didn’t like that I took my wallet out and he pulled his gun out, eyes blazing, and pointed it at my face. If this has never happened to you and then it did happen to you, what would you be thinking? Doing, feeling? I really can’t tell you how it felt at that moment. I was confused and I didn’t know why they came behind my parked car in a parking lot.
The male officer asked me to get out of the car so he could handcuff me. I did what most people might do, I asked what I did wrong and why I was being handcuffed. The Mexican female officer, yes you read that correctly, said to me, “Why were you running?”
“What are you talking about? Running from what?”
These two adults in uniform then proceeded to tell me an elaborate tale in which they put their lights and siren on half a mile back and I gunned it and tried to outspeed them. It literally did not happen. Their story did not exist in reality but that didn’t matter. They had guns and I was handcuffed.
I obviously got let go and didn’t die. This is the one and only time a gun was pointed at my face. Do I hate the police officer that pointed a gun in my face? No. Do I hate “All Lives?” Of course not, why would I? I do not think that police officers deserve to die but I do think some police officers believe that black people should die. They have proved that with their actions.
Do blue lives matter? Yes.
Do all lives matter? Yes.
Do children’s lives matter? Yes.
Do animals’ lives matter? Yes.
Now, let’s get this right and start to make right. Black Lives Matter and that statement is not some carefully fabricated argument to rebuttal the rest of the world on. Let me ask this, when the slogan “Black Lives Matter” did not exist, why weren’t people saying blue lives matter or all lives matter? Why do people feel the need to oppose the slogan Black Lives Matter with something at all? The reality we are living is that police officers are killing the black community when they are asleep in their beds. What are the two sides of that story? We don’t know Breonna Taylor’s because she was asleep.
And people want to take that opportunity to explain all the possible reasons the police had to murder her. Ask yourself if any of those reasons equated to Breonna Taylor deserving to die. Now multiply this, rinse, and repeat.
I thank Yawatta Hosby for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts even though my thoughts are not significant enough to create the change that I want to see in my lifetime. The only thing I can give is the destruction of my silence. I wish I could give more.
And to everyone out there who is tired of hearing Black Lives Matter, just remember, the black community is tired of getting murdered.
It devastates me as a human being, that we have the intelligence and courage to travel into outer space, to strive to find cures for the deadliest diseases, but we are not willing to stop killing off our black brothers and sisters. Black. Lives. Matter.
Check out my interview with Yawatta Hosby here.
Please check out Stephanie’s social media:
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