As I switched lanes from left to right on the highway, it slipped my mind to switch on my indicator because I thought “Hey, it’s a clear road and I never had to worry about upcoming traffic”. Upon moving cautiously into the other lane, the first thing that came to mind was Sandra Bland.
How much of an injustice her arrest was and the disregard for her life and others which plagued the black community? This is not to say that things like this does not happen on a daily basis, but in light of this incident, our eyes are definitely opened to notice what is happening to our community and in the world. Truth be told, we no longer feel safe.
With cruelty against blacks trending on social media, we see the hashtag Black lives matter (#blacklivesmatter) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Why is there a need for this? Wouldn’t you think all lives matter; regardless of the race? Aren’t we supposed to live our lives free of racism, prejudice and fault, without making reference to skin colour? Shouldn’t we be fairly treated no matter what the case may be and not always live in fear of persecution by the law? There should be no need for this hashtag. No need to draw a line between races, a line of battle to defend ourselves. All lives are precious and worthy. Not only the persons who were once our oppressors. Not only those who society has deemed superior and thus we follow suit.
Our ancestors would be turning in their graves. This is not what our forefathers fought so hard for. Not what leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. thought of when he stood proudly and said “I have a dream”. Not what Harriet Tubman died for when she fought tirelessly for equality. Not what Marcus Garvey and other heroes defended. At this rate, we are spiraling into catastrophic doom.
We have moved from taking action and making a change to sitting down and voicing our hurt. Even though we are freed from slavery, slavery is still the biggest cause of our downfall. The bounds in our mind as a black community leave us shackled and trapped from upward movement.
We are treated this way because we let it. We allow ourselves to be oppressed, to be defined by our colour; we defeat our hopes of escaping this trend that we are nothing more than our black skin.
Sandra Bland did not commit a federal crime, no lives were lost in what she did, but she paid for it with her own. In trying to reinforce the law, the law was broken. The law was so far bent to breaking. She was treated like an animal, like she helped in the take down of the Pentagon. No. She switched lanes without warning oncoming traffic with the use of her indicator. She was provoked and forced out of her car and then arrested (watch the videos here: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/28/us/sandra-bland-jail-video-texas/) then locked in a jail cell until she had enough.
Stories from the jail stated she committed suicide, but persons who watch the CNN videos over and over of her arrest believe otherwise. How can such a God fearing and amazing woman want to commit suicide? In her YouTube videos #sandyspeaks, she was the epitome of a Christian, thanking God for just waking up in the morning and giving her breath to live another day. How then can she end her life, knowing the consequences of suicide in the kingdom of her creator?
Why her? Of all the persons, why her?
What happened to the officers who obtain the badge in order to uphold the rights and laws of the country? Not to misuse this power and authority just to prove their position in law enforcement.
Why is there such an attack of the black community? This is not facilitating equality. Far from. This is just fostering fear —mind blowing, thought provoking fear that not even our children’s children will be able to live without.
Only when we all decide to make peace and drop the need for hate against our own and against one another, then and only then we can see a change and improvement in the way we live.
Although she was laid to rest, her story and life lives on through her videos posted via her Facebook profile. Those touched by Sandra continue to demand answers as to her mysterious death and look to God for her peace in Heaven.
Rest in Peace Baby girl.
Watch this video of Sandra Bland: https://www.facebook.com/MyNaturalSistas/videos/1168639983152111/
By Alexandra Daley