We have all watched the developments in Louisville, Kentucky regarding the Breonna Taylor case. It has been months since Breonna was murdered by overzealous police officers in the middle of the night as she innocently slept. As angry citizens, we have all sat by and waited in vain for some form of justice.
Last week, it was announced that a 12 million dollar settlement was reached with the family of Breonna Taylor and Louisville, Kentucky. While some people were pleased at this monetary amount, my thoughts on this were that this young woman's life did not have a price tag. We demand justice, not hush money. No amount of money can replace a future snuffed out so violently or even repay for the months of brazen injustice we have all seen.
Another problem with that settlement before any indictments was the uneasy feeling that no justice was ever meant to follow that money. Yesterday, that fear was proven to be true. As the world is currently learning that only one officer has been charged with a measly "Wanton Endangerment" for the disturbance of shooting into the neighbors walls, the stark reality was reiterated that end of the day WE AREN'T PROTECTED.
There is no more doubt to the fact of the matter that our lives do not hold any meaning. Who's lives am I referring to?
What more will it take for the message to be heard all over the world that the lives of African-Americans simply do not hold the same value as the lives of our White counterparts? Yesterday, we saw that a wall has more value than the life of an innocent young woman with a promising future. It is unfathomable to live with the constant reminder that on a practically daily basis that African-Americans are not respected, valued, or protected. It is an indescribable pain to witness the statement of Malcolm X to still ring true: "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman."
We don't want settlements. We all want justice. We want justice for Breonna. We want justice for Sandra. We want justice for all of the mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, friends and loved ones ripped from us in this racist and systematic institution of police oppression. Today feels like a punch to the gut. Why does this continue to happen in 2020? In a perfect world, we all expected to live in a society that differed from that of our parents and ancestors. However, now we live in the gross reality that nothing has changed for our generation. We are still being brutally lynched.
We have gone from Emmett to Tamir, from Tamir to Trayvon, from Trayvon to Philando, from Philando to Eric, from Eric to far too many to name to Ahmaud and to George. Sadly, we live with also knowing there are far too many names that we will never know about because their murders were not captured on film.
Strange fruit continues to grow on trees that rot and stink with racism and hatred.
This has to stop. We are all tired. We are all disgusted. We are all fed up. To witness the lack of justice transpire from the merciless killing of a beautiful young woman full of promise on the brink of just entering a new stage of adulthood, is nothing other than heartbreaking. It is a bigger sting to see that at this stage we will not see any justice for her senseless murder.
Breonna Taylor's life was priceless. Last week once the settlement was reached before justice had been received gave me an eerie feeling that "they" assumed offering a monetary solution would end any further steps towards real justice. My suspicions were indeed confirmed. As it stands today, this Black life meant nothing to Louisville, Kentucky and all the others who tried to victim blame and justify the murder of this beautiful young woman.
Again, Malcolm said it best: "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman."
Breonna, you deserved better.
Black women everywhere, WE deserve better.
Black Kings deserve to no longer be lynched like animals.
To my Queen Sisters who are feeling overlooked, constantly disrespected, neglected, abused and misused: I see you!
I see you, Queen.
I love you, Queen.
You sincerely are the ultimate privilege, the precious prize and the full package.
Hold your head high. The fight is not over. We're in this together.