Is today the Day? Under Attack In America

Is today the day?

During this pandemic, many of us wake up and wonder, “Is today the day?”

While I worry about how the virus is affecting my community, there is more to worry about. It is becoming evident that as an African American, there is a target on my back as well as the back of my people. The African American community is under attack.

The acts of violence are not only committed by bad policemen but also by others who feel it is their right to do as they wish. This hurts. It creates mistrust within the community, questions the authenticity of those who might sincerely be considered “friends,” and poses the question, “Is today the day?”

In the last few years, there have been too many incidences of brazen cruelty against African Americans. In recent years alone, it is almost as if efforts have increased with long and drawn out or minimal consequence. How would you feel if you had to carry this burden of mistrust daily? Would you consider it normal to wake up, wonder, and worry every single day, “Is today the day?”

Let’s just look at 2020. What a year this has been. Imagine a simple act of taking care of yourself, an act many people do every single day. While jogging, Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down in broad daylight. Until there was a public outcry, little attention was given to this atrocity. This young man was gunned down like it was hunting season. I truly do not think that Ahmaud woke up that morning and thought, “Is today the day?”

Imagine Breonna Taylor resting with a friend on a lazy afternoon. Suddenly a battering ram and a smattering of bullets disrupt the calm that was being enjoyed. The life of Breonna Taylor unexpectedly ended that day. Due to a mistake in communications from the authorities, all of Breonna Taylor’s dreams and aspirations ended once the smoke had cleared. Why have the officers involved not been charged? Why the delay in justice for a crime committed against this young woman? Do you think, as Breonna took a much-needed rest on a beautiful afternoon, she wondered, “Is today the day?”

On May 31, The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood wrote an article entitled How Do You Kneel on a Neck for Nine Minutes? Using the Coroner’s report, five minutes and 53 seconds of kneeling on George Floyd’s neck left him unresponsive. Two minutes and 53 seconds of continued pressure finished this brutal act of killing a man in broad daylight. Allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill was the ultimate death sentence for George Floyd. In the midst of a community, without shame, showing no remorse and with his hand in his pocket, a police officer murdered a man. How could this happen? How cruel can one be to kneel on the neck of a human being until the life was all but gone from his body, before rising as if it was just part of the job? People were yelling for this brutal act to stop. However, this police officer’s rage was so strong that the pleas were ignored, as he continued to kneel. Do you think that George Floyd or any of the bystanders woke up on May 25th and wondered, “Is today the day?”

Now we have Jacob Blake. Will we ever know the real truth? When is it appropriate to shoot anyone in the back not once, or twice, but seven times? The reality of feeling threatened by a human being turning their back is unheard of. Most policemen are trained to be alert, aware of their surroundings, and attentive to the situation at hand. No one should feel such rage that the heads of little children were not noticeable in the car. Was the rage so strong it blinded the hand behind the trigger? Was there no other way to apprehend Jacob Blake? What about the children? Will the children trust authority? Will the children have that scene — seeing their father shot in the back — replayed over and over in their minds? Will the children trust ever again? Do you think Jacob, after spending time with his children, started his car up and thought, “Is today the day?”

When is it okay to deliver a child to a highly charged environment with a long gun to be a part of the action? What kind of people do things like this? Is it so easy to consider any African American fair game? Do you think that the two random people who were killed, or the one injured by this child woke up on Tuesday morning and thought, “Is today the day?”

What is wrong with America!

Conversations that we had put to rest have now become the norm. What in the world has happened when it is once again ok to question the ethnicity of a person? Do you not think we do not know who we are? Have we not done this before? Come on America, the need to justify our existence and right to be included in the world we live in is getting old.

Many do not understand why the younger generation has verbalized how important it is to see people like them in places where they go or in jobs that they might consider a career. When you don’t see yourself in a positive light, what do you do? How do you feel? Where do you go? After all, this is where we were born. This is where our ancestors had to make a home after being transplanted from their native land. We have assimilated, we have become educated, yet, we are still mistreated and considered unwelcome.

Perhaps it started with omitting the truth when we were taught history in school. Who knew our story did not start with slavery? What an amazing people we are to have been transplanted from a thriving warm continent, crammed into the bows of ships, yet live and acclimate to our new surroundings. We had to learn a new language, forage for food that was not familiar. We had to learn how to survive.

It is tiring. It hurts to watch the news. It hurts to second guess efforts to understand the African American experience by those who sincerely care. It is getting old to continually “Blacksplain” who we are and why we want opportunities like every other American citizen.

As an African American woman, mother, and grandmother, I am tired of waking up every day and wondering, “Is today the day?”