Why Do We Need Extra Evidence To Believe Sandra Bland’s Systemic Murder?
Four years after the systemic murder of Sandra Bland, who would’ve turned 29, this past February, we are unexpectedly greeted with the damning reminder of how Black lives never matter when thuggish White cops collide with victims, who are tragically silenced during their struggle for survival.
The new video footage, frantically recorded by a young Black woman, who was pulled over by a vicious Texas State Trooper, graphically depicts the violence that was unleashed on Sandra Bland, by an armed terrorizer, who was hellbent on punishing his victim for daring to exercise her privilege as a law-abiding citizen, who absolutely understood her rights.
Unfortunately these harrowing encounters never end well.
In the summer of 2016, Korryn Gaines, the 23-year-old mother from Randallstown, Maryland was gunned down in her living room, during a home invasion by Baltimore police officers, who were determined to wage a bloody battle in the name of a traffic violation.
Their suspect did have a gun, and despite trying to shield her 5-year-old son from the hail of bullets, her poor child got caught in the crossfire, but luckily survived his wounds.
Most have berated the murder victim for her ill-fated decision to wield her shotgun at uniformed men, that stormed her space with the intent to kill. But what’s so fascinating is how very few people have expressed shock and horror at the imagery of a frightened young Black woman, with a history of mental illness, desperately hiding her child, as she prepares to die for the life that didn’t matter to the cowardly police men, who had no plans to capture her alive.
When the breaking news hit, I expectedly poured my heart out with a searing essay, that contained the relevant images that would hopefully provoke empathy for Korryn Gaines, and anger at the senseless death that was mandated by the crisis of police brutality.
I did the same thing when Sandra Bland became a trending hashtag, and the viral clips of her fiery encounter with Brian Encina, the man who threatened to “light her up!” became readily accessible for posting.
The incentive was to give readers the undisputed evidence of how White cops are getting away with physically assaulting Black woman in broad daylight.
I did the same thing with Chikesia Clemons, another young Black woman who was overpowered by White cops, summoned to a Waffle House in Mobile, Alabama, after the manager who was Caucasian, felt the need to combat her agitated customer with the deadliness of badged thugs.
25-year-old Clemons was swiftly overpowered by a gang of White men, who proceeded to give her a beatdown in front of nonchalant diners. The video doesn’t hide the savagery of these animals, and we get the added distress of watching the victim’s desperate attempts to keep her private parts from being exposed as she endures the violent manhandling.
I did the same thing with Breaion King, who in the same year that Sandra Bland was tossed in a jail cell to die, also had an unlawful run in with a White cop in Austin, Texas. The terrifying incident was captured for the world to see, and I’ve used that utterly disturbing video clip several times to emphasize the brutish methods that are implemented by police officers when dealing with unarmed Black women who do nothing to provoke their assailants.
The new “39 second video” that Sandra Bland recorded on her cell phone as the testimony that would survive her, is the new viral sensation that I refuse to participate in.
This time, my main goal is to express the frustration and pain that stems from the proof of how shares and re-shares of gory content ultimately fails to achieve the level of urgency and sheer disgust that is required for the complete overhaul of a system, that is still thriving from the profitable business of Black pain.
The media is touting this latest discovery as the secret that has finally been unleashed, with the threat of revealing why the family members of Sandra Bland are still fighting for justice in the name of their slain loved one, who was brutally silenced by the fragile ego of a pathetically insecure White dude.
He couldn’t take the horror of being confronted by the nightmare of an educated, intelligent and confident Black woman, who rightfully challenged his authority to be physically and verbally abusive.
We’ve become accustomed to the drug of choice, in the form of viral content that showcases the unfiltered final moments of bloodied victims of police brutality.
We want to believe that hearing Philando Castile’s tormented groans as he gasps for air after being shot in the chest by a gun-toting cop will somehow present the life-altering experience that will leave an indented mark.
We want to believe that witnessing armed White cops tossing the young bodies of Black boys and girls in the hallways of high schools that boasts mostly students of color, will somehow enrage us enough to be invested in reforms that outlaw this kind of abuse beyond the online activism.
We want to believe that an extra piece of evidence that resurfaces, some years after the untimely demise of a young Black woman, who was killed by the system that was rigged against her, will somehow inspire the humane tendencies of the disinterested population — who are immune to the documented devastating consequences of societal ills.
I believe that enough is enough.
As a Black woman in America, who has to mentally suit up for warfare before leaving the house, it has finally dawned on me that the sharing and reposting of viral content that features victims that resemble my template, being violated for reasons that never warrant that level of brutality, simply doesn’t achieve the goals that make those actions worthwhile.
Why do we need the extra evidence of a very brief clip, that demonstrates what any reasonable person would’ve already concluded about the deadly confrontation between Brian Encina and the innocent Black woman he victimized — back when her newly-minted hashtag was freshly viral?
It’s quite clear that we’ve graduated from the phase when gruesome footage of Black pain being initiated by the murderous wiles of White terrorists, evoked the appropriate emotional reaction.
Now, the links to videos that showcase the violence against those who’ve been targeted for systemic extermination are providing click-worthy incentives to help boost traffic for outlets that need to meet those monthly quotas.
And aside from the profits, there’s also the disillusionment and guilt that comes from assisting in the diminishing value of Black lives by participating in the circus of carting around the viability of Black pain, as the currency of choice when activism on social media demands the display of the bloodied body parts as acceptable acts of defiance.
That habitual need to prove beyond a doubt that Black lives matter with the extra ammunition of video clips that show what could possibly happen to me or those I love has finally taken its emotional toll.
Sandra Bland’s systemic murder doesn’t need another viral clip to sway naysayers into believing what can’t be refuted.
What we need is change.
But that change will never come until law enforcement finally makes the decision to crack down on the criminality of police brutality, by embarking on a nationalized quest to re-train White police officers on how to professionally approach Black citizens without the threat of escalation.
This national emergency is flourishing without issue, and the sharing and reposting of videos isn’t going to make this go away. It only helps to illustrate why click-worthy content can end up doing way more harm than good.
We know what happened to Sandra Bland and all the other Black lives that have died for the sin of being Black in America.
Unfortunately, we don’t know when the nightmare will stop.
But at least I can promise not to use viral footage as the negotiating factor for how valuable Black lives can be when viewing numbers are at an all-time high.