(Inspired by Darnell Moore’s 17 Honest Thoughts of a Black Man after Watching that Walter Scott Video)
1. I am extremely thankful for this video, because had this not been recorded, who knows if the truth (the fact that Walter Scott was another fallen soldier in the war on black men) would have had half a chance of being heard.
2. I also regret that this video has surfaced, because it’s another grim reminder of my reality – more times than not, it seems that a penny with a whole in it may even be worth more than my brown skin. Our brown skin.
3. The video makes me a little uneasy, because they contain the last few seconds of Mr. Scott’s life. He didn’t leave his house that day knowing a police officer was going to gun him down from behind and try to frame him for his own murder (the cop alleged he fired shots at Scott because he took his Taser, while the video actually shows the officer planting an object next to his dead body…presumably, the Taser). He didn’t say ‘hey, if I’m gunned down like an animal today over a traffic stop while running away from the officer, please share/ do not share the video of my brutal death.’ We don’t know if Scott would have wanted his last breaths posted all over the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. And we’ll never know.
4. Should I be thinking more about number 3? Do I need to ask my father, nephew, significant other, cousins and friends about it? The question would be something like “In the chance that a police officer decides to treat your black body as a target on the gun range, do you want the video evidence to go viral?” Should this very question be incorporated into every black man’s will and testament?
5. As a woman, I feel the sudden urge to hug and embrace every single black man I know. Because I want them to know that I love them. And that there is no one else like them on this planet.
6. His family. I’m thinking about his family. His mother, his father, his brother, his 4 children and more. No verdict or civil suit or amount of money will right this wrong or bring back this man. This is a hurt and a loss beyond my comprehension. I will be praying for them before I go to sleep tonight.
7. And am also thinking about my own family. My parents get profiled by the police a lot and it scares me. I asked a panel of police officers at a police/ community event if my parents should ditch their foreign cars to avoid being stopped. The officers looked at me like I was crazy – but what’s crazy is that this has to be a legit concern of mine.
8. What scares me more is thinking about the possibility of something like what happened to Walter Scott happening to one of my loved ones.
9. But what scares me the most is what I’m capable of doing in retaliation, if such an injustice was put upon a loved one of mine.
10. I am amazed at the comfort level of the officer that killed Scott. From when he shot him, to when he planted the “object” next to his lifeless body, to when his back up came and saw what had happened, to when he checked his pulse and realized Scott was dead – this guy looks as cool as a cucumber. If that’s not evil, I don’t know what is.
11. I have a nephew and he’s growing up by the day. He’s one of the smartest boys I know. How should his parents explain this incident (and the plethora of known incidents of ‘death of the black male by open season’) to him so that he is cautious, yet empowered? Enlightened but not defeated? Alert but not afraid? How can a child be a child and feel safe, survive and thrive in a world where people he doesn’t even know and haven’t even met have labeled him a threat to them?
12. I’m sitting here wondering, as a black woman, how can I be more supportive of black men? You are an endangered species and I’m one of your biggest admirers. Tell me how to be a better advocate. Let’s lean on each other and be there for one another.
13. Those eight gunshots. That drop to the ground. That agonizing pain. Is Scott’s murderer ever going to feel this pain or anything comparable? Is prison or even the death penalty enough punishment for him and other murderous cops?
14. I have to then remind myself that number 13 isn’t up to me or anyone else at the end of the day. God don’t like ugly and He will handle it the best way He sees fit.
15. I hope and pray this is being brought up in classrooms, workplaces and dinner tables across the nation and across the world — especially in South Carolina. Everyone – no matter who you are or where you stand in this case, deserves a chance to vent and process this tragedy. Its therapeutic, it’s healthy and it’s needed.
16. I wonder how this era – the exposure of the war on black men – will be recounted in schools, in textbooks and in other ways, if it’s even remembered at all. Only time will tell.
17. I wonder how many more days until time stands still again, when we hear about another Walter Scott.