Ace's View

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These nightmares are extra real.

Over the past few months, I have had recurring dreams in which I encounter some form of violence directed towards me or a loved one at the hands of someone who wants to hurt us just for being black.

Actually, let me clarify that.  It’s not solely JUST for being black.  It’s for being black and having a difference of opinion.

Or, being black at work, doing my job & having to hold someone accountable, and them snapping and attempting to kill me or someone I know.

Or, being pulled over and a traffic stop going horribly out of control because an officer is having anything ranging from a bad day to a PTSD flashback to simply just being a full-blown racist who doesn’t think of me or my passengers as a person.

So to cope with it, I’ve been immersing myself in the things that I love and that make me happy.

I garden.  I read to and play with my son.  I hug and kiss my wife every chance I get.

I write more, but lately, I’ve leaned towards more of my novel writing and less on topics focused on race and injustice.  I watch much less news and get most of what might be happening in the world from my social media timelines.  Which, is probably just as bad, but, I digress.

Until, a few weeks ago, I found myself back at it again, reading every news story having to do with Freddie Gray and the circumstances surrounding his death in Baltimore.

Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in, I thought.

So I’m watching videos about Gray on YouTube and people’s opinions, and I happen to click a suggested video from a young woman who happened to be in Chicago at the moment.

And after watching a couple of Sandra Bland’s videos, I closed the laptop and stored some of the things that she said in my ‘afterthought’ box.

And now, Sandra Bland is dead.

Depending on who you believe, either at the hands of the police or her own.

This is where it gets deep for me.

As someone who suffers from depression and has come closer to suicide than I’d like to admit, I can say this:

Anyone who knows me well knows that not only am I better than I was a few years ago, but that I’d never give someone who I felt oppressed and stripped away my rights unjustly the satisfaction of taking my own life, hundreds of miles from my home, away from my friends and family and the ones that I love, because of an unjust arrest.

Let’s be extremely clear: anyone who is trying to post bail to get out of jail, who openly declares “I can’t wait to go to court!”, who has the spirit to speak up against a person holding a gun in an unfamiliar place who is clearly trying to agitate her into a confrontation—is extremely unlikely to take their own life.

It doesn’t add up, and anyone with common sense can see that.

And I feel the people who know Sandra Bland well are ALL saying the same thing.  That wouldn’t have been an option for her.  And I believe them.

Before the release of the dashcam video and video from inside the jail, or any other evidence, I’ve shared my theory on social media that she was dead before they “found” her in her cell.

And as I write this, her mugshot has been released and, well, I’m going to leave everything questionable aside from that before I get angry all over again and just write about what I came to write about.

So, here goes:

Black women, you all are expected to be all things to all people when it is convenient for them, and be none of those things when it isn’t.  Despite the way the rest of the world might view you, including some that you may consider your “brothers” and “sisters”, some of us truly believe in you and know that the weight that you all bear is immeasurable.  Always.  Allow me to speak for those who may not have the space or words to express it, but you all are appreciated.

Keep speaking up, when the rest of the world would will you quiet.

Black men, these same sisters that fight for us when we are gunned down in the streets by those who look like us and those who don’t—they NEED US.  Now, more than ever.  They reflect us and deserve to be protected by us, by any means necessary.  Without them, there is no us.

Start speaking up for them, as they do for us.  Do not let them stand and fight alone.

Black Greek Letter Organizations, if you can unite to get Sorority Sisters off VH1, you damn sure can get together and get justice for a sister who was making it her mission to eradicate injustice in the South.  It is part of what many of us were founded on, and in memory of our founders (and in the case of my fraternity, the seven that are still living)—they would fully expect us to fight for her as we would for anyone else.

Let our individual founding principles speak for us collectively as black people.  No matter what they might be, the common bond between us all is that we are for us.  Please prove that the National Pan-Hellenic Council isn’t as useless as many (myself included) have considered it to be at times like this.

White people who may read this (there are a few of you all left on my social media pages, and not by accident)—I know some of you who know me get what I’m talking about.

Don’t be afraid to tell others that they’re wrong when it comes to injustices we face out here every day.

So speak.  Speak against those who would tell you any variation of “well, if she had just…” or “but what about blacks who” or “why aren’t we talking about”…

Drown them out.

Speak.

Speak up.  Speak loudly.  Speak often.  Speak truth.

Speak for Sandra and any and everyone like her.

When enough of us speak out against injustices and atrocities, especially by those who took an oath “to serve and protect”, the rest of the world has no choice but to hear.

And right now, the silence of many of us speaks volumes about the kind of people we are and have become.

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Written by aceviewblogger

July 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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