Despite the movement in the streets, the uprisings at city halls, the chants of Black Lives Matter reverberating through our neighborhoods, after all the upheaval, we’re still here.
The deeply rooted, well oiled, centuries old constructs of mass incarceration and the police state woven into the fabric of our flag and country still maintain.
The system—rooted in slavery, lynching, white supremacy, the suppression and dehumanization of Black people—still holds.
Call it deja vu by design.
We have programmed the machine to produce these outcomes: Rodney King, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Stephon Clark, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Jacob Blake.
Nothing has truly or fundamentally changed. Because we stubbornly deny the blood on our hands, because we’re still unwilling to defund the police state. Because we choose not to divest from the criminal punishment system. Because we’re satisfied with superficial, surface level “change.” Because we collectively refuse to reimagine, to be radical.
We are still doing the same thing everyday everywhere across this country.
We send the same police into our communities armed with guns, in the same name of public safety, to ultimately terrorize, shackle, arrest, maim, shoot and kill Black and brown people, sending those that survive into the same jails and same prisons.
The state-sponsored trauma inflicted on Jacob Blake, his children, family and community, after all that we’ve been fighting, battling and scraping for in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, reminds us of the reality of all that we’re up against.
We’re up against a mammoth machine of oppression and our collective conditioning to protect the police. We’re up against own apathy and our comfort with the status quo.
We’re up against our callousness to the plight of Black and brown people, our continued rejection of the humanity of Black men and women, especially those ensnared in the criminal legal system, our fear of fundamental change.
All these forces built, fortified and fed over hundreds of years. Such conditions take more than a few months to dismantle. These are systemic flaws that require reconstruction to overcome. This is tyranny that demands a revolution to undo.