I am a blogger in support of #blacklivesmatter and #bloggersforblacklives. Not because I feel that only black lives matter but because all lives should matter. The lives of black men and women are being taken due to excessive force by police officers at an alarming and disproportionate rate. It's almost daily that we hear of an unarmed black man or woman being killed at the hands of law enforcement. IT'S NOT OK. I have chosen to stand in solidarity with my fellow bloggers, Black Lives Matter, and the families of the men and women who's lives have been taken. This is my story.
This past summer I was driving with my children, mother, and sister. It was about 10 p.m. We were on our way to spend the night at a family member's home after being at our family reunion. I was driving when I saw red and blue lights flash in the rear view mirror. My heart immediately started pounding. I hadn't run a light or stop sign! I have insurance and registration! I wasn't speeding! I couldn't figure out why I was being pulled over!! Lots of thoughts ran through my head. Specifically, #SandraBland. She was pulled over and taken to jail for a minor traffic violation and now she dead. I wondered if this was it for me! When the police officer approached the car (on the passenger side), he informed that I was being pulled over for "failure to signal 100 feet before the traffic light". I thought this was THE MOST RIDICULOUS reason to be pulled over, I literally feared for the lives of everyone in the car. It could go wrong at any point. After giving him the required documents he sent us on our way with a warning but he made sure to let me know that I could "tear up and trash" the warning document or "give it to the kids to make paper airplanes". My point is, for people of color, a brief interaction with a police officer could cost us our lives. In my case, I thank God that it didn't. There are so many instances that began like mine and ended tragically. Let me clarify that I DO NOT BELIEVE that all law enforcement are deficient. I have a high level of respect for law enforcement. I value their sacrifice and commitment to the community. I do conclude that there are some necessary and overdue changes that need to be made. Such as proper training and routine mental health evaluations. Black men and women are often profiled based on the color of our skin, how loud our music is, how tall we are, how we are dressed, where we walk, how we talk, even the cars we drive. Which could possibly be the reason I was pulled over. THIS HAS TO END.
As the wife of a black man, the mother of two black children. I can only pray that if and or when one of my family members comes into the presence of law enforcement that it's one of the "good guys". Speaking out and continuing the discussion is the only way things will change. All people should be outraged that fellow Americans are being treated as if their lives don't matter. As bloggers we have a unique platform that can reach so many people! If you believe that the lives of black men and women matter then say so! Thank you to Seyi of Infashionitrust for starting the #bloggersforblacklives movement!