What I'm Trying to Say is That

I woke up this morning with the sun shining on my carpet. I saw the light ripple and thought to myself, “I’m going to walk to work today”. I’m competitive, and being 20K steps behind everyone in my Fitbit groups motivated me to take a chance. 

It was 27 degrees, but I didn’t regret my decision until I was halfway on my journey. I spent several minutes massaging my calves and thighs in the coat closet, and ran across the building to regain my body heat.  Often, it takes time to realize we’ve made a great mistake. 

What I’m trying to say is that it was 20 degrees warmer on the way back. I was grateful. Forcing myself to walk allowed me to pass by the magnolia tree and see its wilting petals. I picked three and went on my way. 

What I’m trying to say is that after I ate breakfast and relaxed to childhood cartoons, I checked my social media and saw that a child was murdered. A young, 16 year-old Black girl was shot and killed by a police officer. 

I saw a teenage boy asking for prayers, correcting people for misspelling her name in the comments. I saw distasteful people saying she deserved to die. 

I told an internet troll pretending to be Black, “they would not have shot her if she were white, plain and simple”, then deleted my comment, and blocked him. 

What I’m trying to say is that Derek Chauvin was just found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, just yesterday. 

What I’m trying to say is that if she were white she would still be alive. 

What I’m trying to say is that tonight there will be a candlelight vigil on my campus and I will read personal stories from fellow students about their experiences with racism and discrimination. I will read the names of those we have lost to the violence of law enforcement. 

What I’m trying to say is that I watched the footage. Everyone’s faces were blurred (thank goodness) but I saw her die. At the moment, I do not regret watching the footage, perhaps in a few hours. 

I wonder if the unnamed officer [Nicholas Reardon] who shot her regrets his actions, or whether he’s patting himself on the back. The Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, Andrew Ginthersure sure is, with his, 

“We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.” (CNN)

What I’m trying to say is that the victim of this shooting is Ma’Khia Bryant, a teenager, a child, but the media is spinning stories as if she was at fault. 

It’s shameful to blame a child for having the audacity to call the police for help when her safety and wellbeing were threatened. It’s shameful to claim this unnamed shooter’s actions were justified. 

Did the girls he was “protecting” feel safe? What about the crowd who saw it happen? 

What I’m trying to say is that when the question is whether she deserved to die, what is there left to say?

I may or may not continue to write about the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant. 

The trauma the Black community has endured, with the eyes of the world watching us is immense and overwhelming. However, I needed to say something.

(Warning: The comments below the video are mostly people who believe she deserved to die and have no respect for the dead, even a dead child.)

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