Yesterday, another Black American was executed on the streets by police.
9/20/16, Charlotte, NC: Keith Lamont Scott, age 43
I have not looked closely at the details of this latest shooting in North Carolina yet. How a father sat waiting in a car. How a
gun book in a poor black man’s hand became life-threatening in other men’s eyes.
How frail my nation, quaking from its birth in fear of the literacy of black voices. When has a book in a black man’s hand not been seen as provocation for violence?
Witness North Carolina’s own penal code, passed in 1830-1:
Therefore, Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same,
…That if any slave shall hereafter teach, or attempt to teach, any other slave to read or write, the use of figures excepted, he or she may be carried before any justice of the peace, and on conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to receive thirty nine lashes on his or her bare back.
But that is knowledge for another time. Today all I can picture is Scott’s young child, skipping home from school towards a beloved parent and finding death instead.
I cannot yet endure knowing more.
9/16/16, Tulsa, OK: Terence Crutcher, age 40
I have not read yet all the details out of Tulsa, where a police department with a documented history of planting drug evidence has just
planted released drug evidence against their latest victim.
Since I learned that even from the air above, a policeman in a chopper had concluded that the black man having car trouble looked like “a bad dude,” these words from the slain man’s twin sister have played on repeat in a corner of my mind: Continue reading “Unbearable Weight”