I originally intended to share some feelings on the latest wrongful death of a black man in this country, but right before punching the keys on this post, I immediately held the backspace button and deleted my opening thoughts.
Because, quite frankly, it's becoming exhausting to empty my soul on such a topic - again. After all, what is there left to say in which we haven't seen, read, felt, or reacted to over the past thirty or so months. After every situation similar to this (you know the names), we follow up with the outrage, the discussions, and then something comes along that provides a convenient discourse to bury the lead.
In a new layer in this latest spin, is the protest of that of Colin Kaepernick. To spare you the retro-feelings, you can read my thoughts on that here. But I will follow up on those thoughts by finding it very, very powerful the way his protest has spread to others, and now with another death of this kind, how it leaves those who have criticized and mocked him in an interesting and peculiar light.
It's an interesting form of "patriotism" as of late. Quite frankly, in my opinion, it's the scary kind. The kind you read about in history books from several decades ago.
I hate tying various social issues together in order to make a point or argument, especially ones which include wrongful death as I feel it trivializes the occurrence, and disrespects the lives of the one lost. After all, somewhere, Terence Crutcher's family is grieving, mourning, and hurting, all while questioning how being black and having car trouble in America is punishable by death.
Because you know...he looked "like a bad dude". Unbelievable.
As the days and weeks go by, and the silent protest of a flag and anthem that touts "land of the free" becomes an even bigger elephant in the room, it becomes increasingly less difficult to not support Kaepernick and this outrage. There is a sliver of my being that finds it sad that it takes football - America's religion - to start an outrage or bring attention to the more important issues on this nation's societal consumption table.
But for me, like Kaepernick, I've always struggled with my representation for and by this country. It's complex as I stated before. I know this.
What happened with Terence Crutcher is unjust. Inhumane. But honestly, it's American. It's been this way for too long, and hardest part, is admitting this IS our country, sans the illusion of specific versions of patriotism.
With all of this said, tonight, I end with a resounding quote that is burning on my mind, soul and heart regarding this latest news. The quote is from my favorite book, Black Boy, by Richard Wright:
"Our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness."