by Jamar A. Boyd, II
The recent events which have occurred in the United States and worldwide are chilling and damning. Abroad Isis is still committing mass murders, over 100 Nigerian college students were massacred, a refugee crisis is ongoing in Germany and much more. Here, innocent black men are being killed daily, set to political bondage, live at a sickening poverty level and more. However, the epidemic at heart is the loss of innocent men at the hands of law enforcement.
As a citizen of this country, I am grateful for the men and women who have taken an oath to protect and serve, but everyone they encounter is not a threat, and doesn’t cause one to fear for their life or be shot and killed like a wild animal. The death of Walter Scott, which occurred in North Charleston, is damning. I have watched the video over and over again in awe and disbelief. I have prayed continually and asked for God’s protection, but the question arises, “Are all black men considered a threat?”
I’m a 21 year old, Black male, 5’10, about 150 pounds and maybe considered a threat to someone, better yet law enforcement. To think my life could be taken in the blink of an eye because one feared for their life is mesmerizing. Forget the fact I’m someone’s son, a brother, a friend, college student, a Christian, minister, mentor, and the more. All they see is that i’m a threat. Although this may not be the case for all, it’s the trend of the day.
Each and every day black lives are being lost at the hands of law enforcement. Instead of being encountered in a civilized manner, they are treated like dogs. Constantly, insulted, degraded, mocked and killed. Yes, black lives matter.
We matter not because we’re greater than any one being, but because without us there would be no you. Without us there would not be a United States. Without us there would be no gospel, jazz, hip hop, or rhythm and blues. Without us there would be no Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Hooks, G.E. Patterson, Shirley Chisholm, and other greats. Without us, there would be no Barack Obama. Without us there would be no you.
African American men and women not only sustain and propel their people, but the world at large. They are copied by many and imitated by leaps and bounds. Black lives matter because they bring a swagger and assertiveness that can’t be brought by anyone else.
Yes, we come in all different heights, shades, sizes, and each embodies greatness. Although we may not have the money of our counterparts, education, or culture…we matter. So, the next time you encounter a black male or female don’t look at them as a threat, but a treat.
We love as others love. Embody great fashion. Are hospitable like non-other. Cook better than 5 star chefs. Possess great knowledge, an outstanding vernacular, and unimaginable wisdom. Believe and pray at all times. We even dance with a rhythm and smoothness that can’t be matched. Black lives matter not because we’re greater than another, but because we have something to offer.
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:20-21