Yesterday one of my former interns did a post on Snapchat about how people like to ‘read in between the lines’ which causes them to make inaccurate assumptions about the person and/or situation. Now although she was stating her analysis on relationships and friendships, the same can be applied to the police force. It is evident that we all can see that these people (not all, but a lot of them) behind the uniform take advantage of the fact that they wear a badge and get to automatically carry a gun. Instead of protecting ALL and EVERY citizen, they stoop down to their own false and bias nature to where they consistently abuse their “privilege.”
So how are they reading in between the lines? They read in between the lines when they feel that their life is in danger or if they feel threatened based on what a person looks. In the case of Alton Sterling, he carried a gun for his own protection. He is out there hustling and selling CDs for his family, and collecting money while doing it. Whenever you are out in the open selling something, people know you have money on you and you are already a target to get robbed. Alton was protecting himself from that.
With the police, they’ll take one look at Sterling and others like him and automatically feel that their life is in danger. All we see is a black man providing for his family, minding his own. What THEY see is a big, Black man that can attack them. But will he attack them? No. Even if Sterling refused to leave the front of the store for “soliciting” the officers STILL had no right to slam him to the ground and then kill him like they did. Watching the video over and over again, it was like watching them slam some monster or animal to the ground. Then they smashed his head into the gravel! Ok, so you already have him attained and cuffing him, he’s not kicking or screaming or anything. He’s simply laying there, already lifeless because in his mind he’s probably already knowing his life is over. And over for nothing. After all of this, they then shoot the man!
Now we have yet another hashtag added to the list of too many to count in just the few years. Now we have more #BlackLivesMatter marches and campaigns. However, we can scream and chant #BlackLivesMatter all day if we want, but it’s not stopping anything and unfortunately it never will. We have to go beyond the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We are in an age when media rules everything. Music, TV, Film, and social media. The only solution is to really start using our voices and messages through our platforms to voice our concerns. Jesse Williams started it off on the BET Awards which drew in National attention and re-tweets, discussions, and repost.
So I’ll leave you with this, what is your platform? And what is your plan and strategy to fight back and get the message heard? For those in the music industry, we need to STOP giving them what they want. We need stop feeding into the BULL of rapping and singing about drugs, sex, degrading women, etc. Music and Television is the biggest gateway. It is what needs to change in order to successfully execute the message, we have to change the thing that is the biggest brainwashing sector.
Naomi K. Bonman is the founder and editorial director of Purposely Awakened, a digital media agency for millennial activist and change agents of color. A digital media maven at heart, Naomi is also a journalist, screenwriter and digital content creator. Originally from Southern California, Naomi received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism from Clark Atlanta University and her Masters of Public Administration from Keller School of Management of DeVry University.