I’ve said it before and I will say it again, we can’t expect to solicit empathy by robotically sharing viral videos depicting the fresh kill of Black lives in motion.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, a high school footballer was shot to death while innocently jogging in a neighborhood in Georgia’s Glyn County.
He wasn’t breaking any laws during his outdoor activity, but his white killers who were in pursuit in a pickup truck claim they wrongly identified Arbery as the Black suspect responsible for a series of break-ins in the area.
They proceeded to chase their victim down until he was within reach for what they had in store for him.
Arbery’s murderers are an ex-cop, who undoubtedly has a track record of police brutality, and his adult son who came along for the joy ride.
And true to form when it comes to America’s preferred religion of white supremacy, both these men who are caught in the act of gunning down an innocent, young Black man, have not been charged for the crime that was committed in broad daylight.
Once the unfortunate incident made headline news, prominent politicians like Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, have spoken out to condemn the actions that resulted in yet another senseless slaying of a Black life in a country that has a long and torrid history of hate crimes, resulting in the acquittal of white slayers.
The event happened back in February and no arrests have been made, and the graphic video being shared with emphatic motives won’t change a damn thing.
Death videos have become quite popular, and I will admit that I was one of the clueless who truly believed that the only way way to raise awareness of systemic violence against my own kind was to present the glaring evidence of injustice in it’s most morbid form.
But after the dreadful summer of hate in 2018, when renowned news organizations shamelessly capitalized on the societal virus of white people gleefully gaining notoriety from putting Black lives at risk, with the help of idiotic police officers called to the scene —I was finally rescued from the misleading narrative that I helped perpetuate.
You can’t force racists to suddenly change their ways with over-saturation of content that repeatedly tells the same story.
We have sprinted past the shock value that used to summon human tendencies for the betterment of mankind.
The temperature at the moment is cool as ice, and nothing can be said or done to evoke the reactions we are desperate to inspire by clogging timelines with the latest blood-splattered clip that white folks gawk at with distanced fascination.
What happened to Ahmaud Arbery is personal because I see my brothers and cousins in his beautiful face, and I tremble with fear and tears at what I pray will never be my reality to stoically face while the judicial system righteously fucks my family over, and social media platforms are alight with shocking footage of what aches my heart.
Yes, Shaun King & Co. are actively begging for us to circulate the videos with fervor, and while it’s customary for that brand of activism, I must intervene with pleas of mercy that denounce this long-held practice of brandishing the viable currency of Black pain in an effort to uphold the basic requirements of being “woke” enough for mentions.
When do we stop seducing the endorsement of whiteness to no avail?
We already know where we’re at and why what happened to Ahmaud Arbery will surely transpire again.
Botham Jean was shot in the chest in his own apartment by a white policewoman who claims that she mistakenly wondered into the wrong unit, and didn’t even realize what was up until she was staring at the dead body of the Black man she murdered.
Amber Guyger is a name I won’t forget because her fragile whiteness gave her the audacity to be emotional during the trial of a case where she was the cold-blooded killer, who ended the promising life of a 32-year-old law-abiding citizen, who never imagined he would be gunned down by an intruder with a badge.
Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison, which is beyond tragic given the horrific circumstances of Jean’s murder, and how we still don’t have the pertinent details about the questionable mind state of his killer, who was quickly rescued by the Dallas Police Department, minutes after the crime was committed.
We don’t have footage of Botham Jean being riddled with bullets by his assailant and we don’t need the click bait because it won’t add or subtract from our reasonable assessment of the incident.
Let’s stop sharing videos of Black pain and Black death.
Let’s stop providing entertainment for white folks who’ve seen it all and still believe that Donald Trump is their white savior who will retain hate crimes at an all time high.
The loud crusaders who guilt us into participating in the exercise of mandatory circulation absolutely don’t have our best interests in mind.
They simply need the numbers as validation for what they profess to be doing, but more digging will supply the undeniable facts that expose deceit and damaging narcissism for the pleasure of self-assigned labels.
To honor the Black lives that didn’t matter at the time of death, we need to simply leave whiteness out of it and focus on nurturing our Blackness in response to the active threats that have escalated since Covid-19 became our nightmare.
We have to stop pandering to the lucrative market that flourishes from the never-ending supply of gut-wrenching footage, that gathers the clicks that pays the bills and empowers white editors to stretch out calendars with demands for only what sells with the help of dead Black bodies.
Sharing isn’t caring.
It never was and it never will be, and I had to discover that the hard way.