GOOD
Articles

Why I’m Calling In Black To Work Tomorrow

“Death is always a possible outcome when you are black and come in contact with law enforcement”

I am crying at this very moment. I am crying for Alton Sperling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin and the thousands, YES, thousands of People of Color who have been killed by the police in my lifetime.


What you are seeing on Twitter and Periscope is the tip of the iceberg. It’s not what you see that should cause outrage, it’s what you have not seen. Think of the contacts with law enforcement that have never been recorded. Where it’s the officer and their partners telling the story. Dead people don’t tell tales and the police know this.

Think about the reality that even today, with the ability to take video in almost everyone’s hand, it happens on the regular. Police do not fear being held accountable. You see, killing black people is normal for the police in this country. They have a process on how to respond. The well-worn script they will trot our will have this narrative. “The individual had a criminal record, they resisted, they went for the officer’s gun. The individual had superhuman strength, they moved faster than I could respond to, etc., etc., etc.” You all know it. And many of you will buy into just enough of it so that nothing changes.

Let’s face it, America has conditioned society to regard us as beasts, superhuman, faster, and stronger. So when we are killed, it’s easy to rationalize and accept. And why should the average white person want change? After all, they are not killed at rates equaling or surpassing developing countries. They don’t have to have conversation with their children on how to minimize being killed by the police. Think about that for a moment.

I am calling in Black because death is always a possible outcome when you are black and come in contact with law enforcement. And if have to live with that for the rest of my life, I am sure work can live without me for a day.