Sandra Bland, BlackLivesMatter, Police Killing, Black Women

Never Stop Saying Her Name

Sandra Bland, BlackLivesMatter, Police Killing, Black Women
Photo Credit: plus.google.com

I have never been afraid of the police. In my lifetime I’ve never witnessed the police be unreasonable or cruel to anyone in my circle or someone I knew personally. I admit for a long time because of those three facts, I pondered the “If only they had…” , “Why didn’t he…” , “They were only doing their jobs…” for brief moments when the issue of police brutality was brought up.  My cognitive dissonance was off the Richter Scale because I know police officers. I have them in my family and I could not fully grasp the conflicting narrative of “protect and serve” versus ” killing without cause”.

Interesting enough, I weeped strong tears when the Rodney King verdict was handed down. In my teenage heart and mind I could not fathom how those police officers could essentially beat a man like a forgotten dog. ( Even though, an actually dog probably would have garnered better treatment.) I was a budding militant the next day; planning a silent protest an walk-out while walking to school that morning. My efforts were thwarted by loose lips and the school administration. Nonetheless, I was all about action.

Rodney King, Police Brutality, Sandra Bland, Police Killing
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia. org

However as I look back now, I realize…I thought it only happened on the OTHER side of the country, to those people, and in only those neighborhoods. The anger had never hit home. I had never been sucker punched in my gut with the realization. The sadness never made me feel as if I could not breathe.

As I have had to talk with my daughter over the past two years explaining how fragile our black existence has become and watch her innocence, about that reality slowly become less pronounced on her face, it has been eye-opening and heart breaking at the same time. She is a teenager and her best friends are a real life representation of the rainbow coalition in diversity. In all of her childhood wonder my daughter has never had to confront race head- on. And then there was Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. I have told her the story of my militant high school days and she has witnessed her mom school many on stereotypes, advocacy, service, neighborhood, culture and pride. But, Trayvon was 17 years old when he was murdered, very close to her age and he became the boys she goes to school with. The boys she laughed and ate lunch with in the café. Trayvon became tangible.

Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, BlackLivesMatter, Police Killing
Photo Credit: avtimes. com

I prepared her for the Zimmerman verdict. I informed her, it was a very real possibility, he could walk out of that courtroom a free man. Yet, nothing I could vocalize could sate the silence in our house when the words, ” not guilty” were said. Absolutely nothing I could say could dissipate the sadness in the air. So, we actively participated in rallies, matches, stand-ins and protest for change, not only because we were angry. But, also because my daughter needed to feel and witness that Trayvon’s life mattered.

Yet now, my own beliefs have wavered; do we matter? Back then  we had Johnathan, Malissa, Timothy, Tanika, Rekia, and Alesia.  Now we have Walter, Eric, Mike, Ezell, Freddie….and Sandra, who could have easily been me driving down the road in broad daylight committing a minor traffic violation of ” improper lane change with no signal” and end up alone and dead in a jail cell…or it could have been my daughter.

#sayhername. Sandra Bland, Black Women, Black Women and the police
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28 thoughts on “Never Stop Saying Her Name”

  1. Thank you for this post. This young lady, Sandra Bland, actually went to my parents’ church before her death. This is such a tragedy and it is happening more and more. It has got to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tyra, thank you so much for taking the time to read my words. This was definitely a very difficult post to write. I just kept thinking…Sandra could have been me. Her story needs to be told over and over again UNTIL.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Aisha. You are correct, we MUST keep lifting up their names until something is done. We cannot stop once the story is not front page news. We can be Sandra and Kindra.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The Sandra Bland sorry is so sad. However, it is important that we keep the conversations, discussions and peaceful protests going to highlight and fight against police brutality. There’s so much turmoil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have to start commanding and demanding change in practice and laws in certain law enforcement agencies. We’ve tried the angry route, the peaceful route and the complacent route; it is time for us…ALL of us to do more. Our lives and the lives of our children truly depend on it. Thank you for reading, Ramona.

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  3. This story is so sad! I just watch a video of her after a car accident where she is saying how good God is to have kept her safe during all of it. I’m praying for her family and this country during this chaotic time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I grew up in a racist town so I know first hand that these things happen all the time. I would love to think things have changed but it hasn’t. These stories….make me so sad for my kids and the generation coming up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kita, it really is sobering for me. As I mentioned in my article, I have never personally been afraid nor witnessed any misconduct even though I am VERY aware it is happening all over the country. Nonetheless, watching Sandra Bland on that dash-cam video and realizing she just changed lanes without using her turn signal, ( which we see 20 times a day ) lead to her being arrested and then dying in a jail cell…sigh. The fear is now at an all time high because it truly makes no logical sense and it never will. Thank you for taking the time to read, Kita.

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    1. Thank you for reading Nicole. The realization of what I have felt all of these years, understanding what it means now and wanting to fight for justice had me inside my own head for a minute.

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    1. It seems as nothing has deterred the continuing assault on our community. It is the million dollar question with no concrete answer. Nonetheless, we have to find one quickly before we are mourning another life, taken. Thank you for reading.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my article Christine. It feels as if you do not want to close your eyes and dream before the dreaded feeling of, ” Who will it be today?” hits you. We must not give up even when it feels like it’s easier if we do.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read the article. Hopefully peace will find the family, so they can fight until the end for justice. The overwhelming sadness is in every breath we take now. #SandraMatters

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  5. I think we are seeing more than ever that these instances are happening and have been happening. There are so many more names that haven’t made it to mainstream media or even social media, and that’s the scary part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jonna, you are absolutely correct. There are nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, aunt, uncles, mother and fathers that we have heard nothing about. Even #SamDuBose, who was killed by the campus police officer would have been another name we had no clue about if #BlackLivesMatter and our community’s immediate response with wanting to say the names of people who are being killed with no provocation. I was speaking with a friend yesterday and I said, what will it take…for someone that everybody loves to be killed without cause for America to wake up. Something has to be done. Thank you for reading, Jonna.

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