How Blackness Leads To Immediate Death In A Climate That’s Programmed To Kills Us
The unbearable tragedy of Jemel Roberson
White privilege is the supremacy that allows a White male terrorist who held Parkland High School under siege, long enough to kill 17 people, and seriously wound 17 others, to not only be captured alive without a scratch or bullet holes on his White template, but his latest achievement is being able to seamlessly attack prison guards with their own stun device without the punishment of being maimed or shot to death.
Whiteness permits White males with deadly instincts, the freedom to terrorize and kill, and still garner the respect and humane treatment from law enforcement that can sometimes end with a quick stop at a fast food joint after a bloody massacre.
It seems that White people have an uncanny way of understanding that level of violence and how easy it is to walk away from a murder scene in a church, and have the appetite for Burger King.
Blackness is a lot more vulnerable in a volatile climate that’s programmed to kill us.
A Black man can’t even enjoy a quiet evening at home without being attacked by a White woman, who happens to be an off duty cop, with a penchant for randomly breaking into apartments that are leased to other people. And instead of realizing the dangerous consequences of her habit, she proceeds to pull out a gun and blast the chest of an innocent resident, who died knowing that his Blackness killed him.
As we weather the hostile tendencies of White people towards Black people that comes in various forms with the venom of the privilege that endorses such deplorable behavior, that’s even directed at our very own children — there’s the fear of how this abnormal normalized horror show is playing out for the entertainment of righteous folks that have nothing to lose.
Do White people even consider what it must be like for their darker counterparts, as we navigate the treacherous terrain of poisonous antibodies, that settle on us and refuse to let go, until our last breath has been snuffed out by the soldiers of White nationalism.
When the president says he identifies with a terrorist group, that means something, and automatically makes Black people identifiable targets, that can get shot up even while doing their fucking jobs.
This brings us to the unbearable tragedy of Jemel Roberson.
He was a Black man, and that was basically the crime that recently cost him his life. He was only twenty-six-years-old, and his job as a security guard demanded that he step up when shit hits the fan in an effort to diffuse situations that could ordinarily get out of hand.
At a watering hole outside of Chicago, called Manny’s Blue Bar, there was a shooting incident that thankfully didn’t end with casualties, and that could be attributed to the swift takedown of the assailant by the security guard, who was employed to do exactly what he achieved with flawless precision.
Roberson was able to tackle the shooter to the ground, in the parking lot while he waited for back up.
Little did he know that his life was about to be taken as the responding officers from the nearby district arrived on the scene and immediately misinterpreted the Black man with the gun, kneeling over the victim as the potential felon, and reacted by firing shots.
The Illinois State Police issued the damning statement, explaining why Jemel Roberson was murdered in cold blood:
“A Midlothian Police Officer encountered a subject in plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard, armed with a gun in the west parking lot.”
“According to witness statements, the Midlothian Officer gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject.”
Roberson was licensed to carry firearms because of the nature of his job, and according to witnesses, he was wearing a hat that had the words “SECURITY” blazed across it, which means that if the cops had even bothered to take the time to professionally assess the active scene — they would’ve avoided committing a senseless murder.
And just like a heart-wrenching scene from Law & Order SVU, the Black security guard, appropriately suited in an orange vest and a hat that clearly labeled who he was, was fallen by a hail of bullets by policemen, who’ve been trained to assume that Black men are guilty — regardless of the evidence that depicts the contrary.
Like most cases that end with the tragic death of an innocent Black man, who had his whole life ahead of him, including a loving family and a nine-month-old baby boy, who will never know his father, the aftermath involves a law suit against the police department and a shitty non-apology that doesn’t quite suffice.
It’s not a coincidence that the elements of a parking lot, a solemn night, and the intensity of a crime scene, inspired the trigger-happy cops to fire first and ask later, even as the surrounding witnesses yelled their defense of the Black security guard with the hopes that they could save him.
We never hear about the shooting death of White men, and when we do, it’s usually a self-inflicted bullet that’s exacted after they’ve taken more than a handful of lives. White male terrorists are able to engage in gun battles with law enforcement, and somehow survive those high-tempo events without garnering life-threatening injuries, and if there is a bullet wound, they make it to the emergency room in record time.
Yet, when faced with Black men in situations that aren’t nearly as serious, White cops readily transform into street thugs, who are on a mission to kill anything that matches the hues of darkness.
Jemel Roberson was a burgeoning musician who eventually wanted to train to be a cop.
The saddest aspect of this horror story is the fact that a decent Black man was unfairly stopped in his tracks by bullets that were meant for the asshole that he successfully subdued. He would’ve been a phenomenal cop if only he had been given the opportunity to live long enough to pursue his calling.
In his final hours, Jemel Roberson exhibited the worthy characteristics that befit an officer of the law, who has the discipline and self-control to dominate a suspect accordingly, without soiling the ground with the blood from a busted artery.
In a perfect world, we would be blessed with Black police officers who are able to do their jobs without interference from nefarious White counterparts, who are determined to kill off Black people, and walk away without consequences.
But this is Trump’s America, and his toxic administration has made it possible for White supremacy to be the religion that exacts crime and punishment against the Black community. And that translates into the reality of a Black security guard performing his duties without missing a beat, and looking to his comrades for the assistance that ends with a bullet through the heart.
This climate has been programmed to kill us and the unbearable tragedy of Jemel Roberson won’t change a thing. It’s just the beginning of a very long and necessary war that won’t end well.
For any of us.