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License to Kill, Literally

Peace and Love on this Sunday morning.

illustration by quotesgram.com

It has been an extremely sad week for Humanity but is it really anything new? And the fact that I can so easily think that isn't that even sadder?

Alton Sterling
Akai Gurley
Tanisha Anderson
Dante Parker
Sandra Bland
Rumain Brisbon
Jerame Reid
Tony Robinson
Philando Castile
Phillip White
Walter Scott
Freddie Gray
Tamir Rice
Michael Brown, Jr.
John Crawford III
Eric Garner
Dontre Hamilton
Trayvon Martin
Tanisha Anderson
Malissa Williams
Yvette Smith
Miriam Carey
Shelly Frey
Darnisha Harris
Shantel Davis
Rekia Boyd
Shareese Francis
Aiyana Stanley Jones age 7!
Tarika Wilson

This is a list of names of African American people killed by police officers, with the exception of one in the last eight years! This is a random listing not a specific breakdown of for example 2015 which is over 900 and of 2016 which last I read was past 50. One too many names on this list one too many lives carelessly taken away, simply because their lives didn't matter to those that pulled the trigger.

I'm not going to invest energy on trying to sway anyone's mind on what life matters the most...ALL LIVES MATTER. Everyone wants to go home to their families. We are all the same we just come in different shades. This conversation is about racism across the board but because of the in your face White Cop vs Person of Color at the other end of that gun we can no longer hide from the truth.

If you can't admit that something is systematically wrong with our Law Enforcement across the board then you are living under a rock or you are part of the problem. If you can't admit that racism still affects many things today still you are part of the problem.

In one week we saw two African American men get killed by the police and then we saw five police officers loose their lives as well because one African American man got feed up with the injustice and brutality that people of color have suffered for years. We don't know these officers, we don't know if they were corrupt or if they honored the code to Serve and Protect all. We just know they serve as a symbol of pent up anger, frustration and pain.

illustration by pinterest

All these people had people who loved them, who will miss and cry for them for a long time to come. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, somebody's Somebody!

Racism exists it hasn't gone away or eased up it's just presented to us in different forms and some of us just go along with the program. A police officer "joking" about he would have shot Philando Castile five times instead of four on his Face Book page isn't funny, it's a blatant disregard of a HUMAN LIFE.

Being upset at Jesse Williams for speaking the truth from his perspective, experience and history is disrespectful to a vast majority of people. These experiences aren't made up, they aren't a movie Steven Spielberg put together or a book that George R. R. Martin wrote they are history.

Jesse Williams speech full video here: variety.com
Jesse Williams speech transcript here: time.com
Officer Jones FB share: huffingtonpost

taking it to back in the days...
Lynching in America: washingtonpost.com

For way too long the practice of hiding behind "authority", having a legal License to Kill and having a certain skin color has been the only requirement to trample over people thought of as lesser than. For way too long people have wanted to continue to deny the wrongs in the past and behave as if they have no merit in our current lives but how can they not when we turn on the television or log onto our Social Media and see otherwise?

Africans were taken away from their land, forced to work for others, beaten, raped and killed. Told they were property and treated like nothing. Spent years and years going from being called one name to another generation after generation trying to receive the basics of life. Protested, marched, boycotted and fought still to really get nothing. My parents come from the Dominican Republic, I have dark skin. There were slaves where my parents come from, we are all connected.

illustration by quotes.lifehack.org

Today you allow us to play "your sports" because we make you money. Today certain people of color are more acceptable than others. Today still in some way or some how we should "know our place" You want to get as dark as me so you go to a tanning salon, you want to inject your a** with God knows what because of the girl in the video, you want to be like me as Jesse said "like a costume".

If you are not enraged by these events, if your heart isn't broken by all the blood shed, if you can't picture this happening to you again...you are part of the problem. Every time my daughter goes out now with her best friends I have to fear they will get stopped as they have in the past simply for being Young African American and Latino kids. Every time they go to visit their other friends in other certain neighborhoods they get stopped and asked what business they have there. Are you serious, what business? In New York City where so much diversity is the norm? You are stopping kids because you think they don't belong in that neighborhood? Kids that don't look like you terrify you?

So now that five White Police Officers have been killed, what are we going to do? Is the License to Kill mentality going to remain the same? Are we finally going to be heard? Are we finally going to see changes or do more people have to die? Does your kid have to be the one to come home and share with you a scary encounter with someone who thought they were threatening in order for you to take part in this conversation? Tamir Rice could have been anyone's son. All our kids have played or play in the park with swords or play guns or what have you in their hands.

illustration by quotesgram.com

This is a Humanity problem not just Black Lives, Blue Lives White Lives, Brown Lives or whatever other hashtags pop up on Social Media. This is a Humanity problem because until we all view one another as equal racism and injustice will never go away.

Again I urge mothers to stand together to view everyone's child as their child and image the pain of not having them around. I can't even imagine my daughter being gone just because her skin is not white and someone felt threatened by her so they deemed her disposable. I can't imagine why anyone would be viewed disposable because of the color of their skin Period.

Let's start talking and educating ourselves. Let's start demanding that those who swear to Protect and Serve us get better training and form better relationships in the communities they patrol. Share your thoughts, experiences and ideas.

Always stress free and more today with love xo,
Mari

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