Monday, April 13, 2015
I was out eating with my family today and had a grim reminder of why it's so important to continue to fight for justice. As we got in our car, I saw a teenager ride by on his skateboard after leaving the gas station next door. It was a beautiful day outside, so I smiled that he's out getting some sunshine and exercise as a Cobb County police car drove by. The boy, probably about 13, turned as the car went in the opposite direction and stood stock still until that car was out of sight. When he got back on his board to continue on I saw the look on his face. fear. I turned to my husband to see if he noticed the exchange and he shook his head. My first thought was, 'I wouldn't let my teenager out alone right now.' I went from full and happy to sad in an instant. Do we really want ourBabies growing up in a world where they fear the police? Have I really accepted that our lives matter so little that Im willing to deny my kid a basic mark of adolescent independence because I fear for his life? I looked at what was in the boys hand and it was a small paper bag that couldn't have been anything more than a 12oz can of soda or container of snacks. I saw a clean cut boy leave the gas station in an upscale neighborhood doing nothing wrong, but still knew deep down none of that mattered for too many of our brothers and sisters. I hated that the innocence of his childhood was apparently gone judging by this 30 second snapshot of his life. Atlanta is a strange place to me, everything good and bad about Black America in a microcosm. Full of folks who think their jobs, degrees, cars and fame make them immune to the struggles left behind in the 'hood'. Home to poverty and income disparity that's shameful in the birthplace of Dr. King. If the last year has shown nothing's else, it's that each of us has a duty to do something. Because no matter how 'safe' your new neighborhood is, no matter how well spoken you are, injustice is something you cannot outrun.