There is no other way to describe the actions that occurred on Wednesday, January 6, 2021… giving eerie vibes and nostalgia of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Honestly, my reaction as I watched the reality unfold on CNN on Wednesday was very similar to that of my devastation from that Tuesday in my high school English time. This time, almost 20 years later, I was once again in a high school setting, only as an educator trying desperately to understand it all. Thankfully, because of virtual learning, I only had one student in a tutoring session, versus the classroom of students that Mrs. L. had those 20 years ago. I was a sophomore then and looking back, I can only imagine how Mrs. L. struggled to explain the day’s events. We watched in terror as the second tower came crumbling down to the ground. I don’t think our mouths closed for what felt like hours. America had been attacked and we were watching it unfold on live and color tv.
I never thought that I could live through anything worse until I sat in that tutoring session and watched as the news coverage switched from the Congressional confirmation to the images of “protestors” (further referenced as terrorists) illegally and violently created their own path into a federal building. Thankfully my student couldn’t see or hear my television. She was focused on her math and not paying me any attention. I don’t think she noticed that my attention was diverted a bit (a lot) from her. In my initial anger, I ran to Facebook and posted as quickly as my fingers would let me. Unlike 20 years ago, I had access to amplifying my voice and I used it.
What was happening?
Why was it happening?
Who was allowing it to happen?
A mob of over 30 thousand Trump supporters had shown up in Washington, DC to protest what they were led to believe was a fraudulent election. I’m pausing here to say this. I will not today or any other day use this website to discuss politics. The only belief I share without regret is the belief that Jesus saves from “all of dat.” Whatever your particular issue/situation may be, Jesus saves from all of dat. Anyway, I digress… When given the subtle go-ahead by the president, these domestic terrorists proceeded to break law after law in their pursuit of- get this- law and order. While I won’t talk politics, I will say what has been on the hearts and minds of all Black people across the country- why are we killed?
When we are silent, we are killed.
When we kneel, we are killed.
When we drive, we are killed.
When we buy skittles, we are killed.
When we go for a jog, we are killed.
When we are children, we are killed.
When we are asleep, we are killed.
When we protest, we are killed.
When we speak, we are killed.
When we serve our country, we are killed.
When we breathe, we are killed.
No matter what we do, we are killed.
It has been proven time and time again that people are quick to kill people of color when they “fear” for their lives, even if no threat even exists. Each example listed above is attached to the name of some Black person who became a hashtag once he/she was unjustly murdered. Even last year when we gathered at the same Capitol, we were met with hundreds of armed officers… officers who could not be found in Wednesday’s insurrection.
Why are we killed?
Understand that I am wholly against violence and I would never wish harm to anyone, but my heart can’t help but wonder why we are always met with guns yet for Whites there are none. Why are our lives not as important? Politicians and others will fight for decades on keeping fetuses alive but will sign the laws into effect that will kill us as birthed human beings. Why am I more important as a fetus than a human?
As I sat in an impromptu Black Student Union meeting on Thursday afternoon, I listened as teens spoke their hearts. They didn’t overwhelm me with questions as I thought they would, instead we had a space where it was safe to share whatever was on their hearts. The babies (teenagers) shared their hearts and I shared mine. We spoke freely and without filter, allowing each to feel the pain of the other. Though they were light on the questions they did ask:
Why are we killed?
I didn’t have an answer then and I still don’t have one today. My mom came to this country in search of a better life for herself and her kids, yet I don’t think she envisioned this. As I look at the world around me, tears flood my eyes. There is so much good and so much God to be seen… but it is often buried by the hatred and unrest of the world. I don’t know, Beloved. However, our lives matter… so, why are we killed?