Add 'Cell Phones' to the List
CW/TW: The following blog will tell the story of Stephon Clark, will include disturbing details about the murder, and is riddled with police violence.
He was 22 - years old. Holding a cell phone. Shot 20 times.
Say his name.
Say it with the same sorrow we say the names of those taken from us before him. Say it with the same anguish. Say it with the same anger and fire. Then... Then get up and fight!
The story of Stephon Clark has been weighting heavy on me. I can't promise you that I know where this blog is going. I do know I'm emotional. I'm crying and I'm angry and I might even drop some F-bombs for emphasis, cause this story demands I stay true to my vulgar, overusing of cuss words, self. Put simply, this shit got me all the way fucked up.
If by some anomaly you are unfamiliar with the case, you can read it in the following link, but WARNING there is a video attached of the shooting and can be very triggering. (Click HERE).
To recap briefly, Stephon Clark, a 22-yr old from California, was shot 20 times in his grandmother's backyard, by Sacramento Police within 3 seconds of encountering him. Officers originally stated they thought he had a gun. The story them changed to they thought he had a crowbar. It turns out, Clark held nothing but a cellphone in his hands. He was a loving father, leaving behind his two young children, and a family that adored him. Reports claim that his body was so mangled that he was unable to receive the Muslim cleansing burial ritual.
Over. A. Cellphone.
Stephon Clark. The latest victim of police violence against black folx.
They keep shoving this myth at us that black fathers are frequently absent. But they refuse to acknowledge that they are continuously killing or incarcerating them. Hard to be present when you're deceased. Hard to be an active father when you become a ward of the state.
Last weekend we watched as students across the country marched against gun violence. They marched demanding gun reform. If your gun reform does not address the police brutality against POC and does not include reform there, then it is simply trash!
We're watching whyte families discuss with their children ways to be safe in school because they are suddenly fearful. POC have had to have these conversations with their children forever. Our children are not allowed to be children because we have to worry about them being shot at for the color of their skin. When our children get pulled over by the police, they don't get off with a warning. They get murdered.
Put simply, it's no longer enough to reform the police force. Racism is such that even if the police force is reformed, our very laws make us targets.
At a townhall, where Stephon Clark's brother led the attendees in a chant, a speaker stated very clearly what we're all thinking.
"You're killing us. It's genocide."
And I know someone is thinking "But not all cops..."
Let me stop you right there. Where are these good cops? And if they're so good, why haven't they stopped the racial injustices their counterparts have committed? Let's be real ... The ONLY good cop is the one that speaks up against police brutality. And those cops usually get fired or worse. So no, there are no 'good' cops. Even if these cops have never themselves engaged in racist behaviors, their silence continues to condone it.
I've lost count of how many black folx have been murdered by the police. How many have we mourned? How many more do we have to bury? How long is our list of things we can't do?
Can't get pulled over for a busted taillight.
Can't listen to music at home.
Can't drive your own car.
Can't play at the playground.
Can't sell CDs.
Can't hold a cell phone.
The police are supposed to be trained in deescalating tense situations. When did that change to shooting black people on sight? And why are so many people okay with this?
It's cause they're Whyte, isn't it?
Say his name.
Say their names daily. Say it like a prayer. Let their names move across your lips as if uttered by your very spirit. Feel the power of saying their names.
Because we've lost too fucking many and they deserve to never be forgotten.
Say their names.
And then move to action.
Cause this shit cannot continue to be the norm. At some point, we've got to end this shit.
- Erica G.
#AngryLittleAfroLatina at Three Token Brown Girls