I just read a story about #JemelRoberson, and it came to me with this accompanying text:
“When we are in stressful situations our instincts take over. Our bodies and brains start processing massive amounts of information as quickly as possible, defaulting to pre-programmed shortcuts to make sense of it all in an instant. Jemel Roberson saw a man harming people and his instincts kicked in and combined with his training he was able to subdue a shooter before anybody was killed. Then the police
arrived. Their instincts also kicked in. And they murdered Jemel Roberson. This society is constantly telling a story about black men. A story of animal aggression, of violence, of ignorance. It is a flat gray story devoid of humanity. That story combined with hundreds of years of police tradition and training. Training that started with slave patrols, training that says that black people are to be controlled and contained. That we are the threat to be stopped. And because of this, the man whose instinct was to save lives lies dead at the hands of those whose instinct was to contain blackness. The system is not broken. It is working as designed.”
As I type this, I’m coming down off of a “plumb fool” crying FIT in response. I almost didn’t read it, because from the picture and the 10-word caption of the accompanying articled I suspected it was going to be some bullshit. And as I began reading the article, I circled from sadness to surprise to fear to frustration and anger…and back again. As I type this, I’m fighting back tears because EVERYTHING about the details I’ve read so far sounds familiar. TOO FAMILIAR, in fact. And to put it into perspective…
• Worked security for a club in Robbins, IL
• Church musician (organist)
• Killed by a Midlothian, IL police officer
My brother (Russell):
• Works security for a club in downtown Chicago
• Husband and father
• Church musician (drummer)
• Lives in Harvey, IL (less than 5 miles from Robbins & Midlothian)
I CANNOT imagine what Mr. Roberson’s family is going through…I dare not even try. But when it hits THIS close…? Let me tell you it stirred up a rage and fear in me that I can’t even explain… But I know rage and fear is not what turns this kind of reality on its ear. And neither does rolling over and pretending like the sh*t isn’t happening. And I’m f*ckin fed up.
I’ve heard it said that questions are answers in seed form. So now to plant worthy seeds… Where do we begin? What do we need? How do we dismantle the faulty wiring we’ve all bought into? How do we heal the damages and begin to rebuild?
[And Hope won’t let ME go…despite the MANY times I’ve wanted to punch her in the throat and leave her ass in a ditch. She just hovers with that quiet smile, not saying anything. It’s really quite annoying…]