Photo by HamiJeezy
I finally watched the video of the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota.
To say it is visceral is an understatement. I watched a man die, saw his girlfriend arrested, and heard a little girl attempt to console her mother with kind words from a heart full of innocence and love.
And there but for the grace of God go I, or my brothers, my uncles, my cousins, my friends, my neighbors, my nephews . . . and my son.
To some people, my son is the charming child of able parents, one black, one white, who fuel his dreams as best they can with the little they have. He loves his whole self, and still caricatures himself with an Afro that will never be. He's good with that.
To others, he will be half of “the other” all his life and his life will be instantly weighed down by myths that feed on political disinformation, disenfranchisement, eugenics, Amos and Andy, pimps and hoes, The Bell Curve, post-racialism.
My nephew is going to Yale. Does he have to wear a shirt or an ID badge that says "Fear me not, for I am an Ivy Leaguer and a violinist!" Would it be enough if he were detained for a busted taillight or for fitting the description or for enjoying his life in the wrong neighborhood? Or will he and others like him be separated out to serve various causes? "You're not us, yet you are not them."
I fear their future course as they navigate around cavern dwellers whose hearts are hardened and minds mussed, creatures conditioned to accept shadows on the wall as real and thrown voices honest.
Fred McKissack, Jr. is a frequent contributor to The Progressive