I can’t handle Black murder porn at 4 a.m. It feels as if I avoid it all day sometimes. I made the mistake of surfing social media briefly in the middle of the night and found Myself so traumatized that it was impossible to go back to sleep. All it took was ten minutes to disturb My peace. In only ten minutes, I lost count of how many posts I saw about George Floyd, the latest unarmed Black man to be murdered on video by a white police officer.
I can’t watch the video, the still shots are too much for Me. Reading his last words are too much to bear. “I can’t breathe”, I read the words in the voice of Alton Sterling, then again in the voice of Eric Garner. I refuse to watch Mr. Floyd’s murder video, so his voice could not fill My mind, but his words did.
I can’t breathe. The phrase alone nearly brings tears to My eyes, not even because of how many times those words have become the last words of Black men, but at the image that those words immediately bring to mind. DO you think I’m talking about these men’s deaths? I’m not, the image that permeates My thoughts when I hear the words “I can’t breathe” is sworn officers of the law wearing “I can breathe” shirts after the murder of Eric Garner.
This man died live on camera for a crime that would not have gotten him the death penalty if brought to court, selling loose cigarettes. It was a lynching, plain and simple. After his murder, many officers added insult to injury by donning those shirts publicly mocking a dying man. It was disgusting.
Even more horrifying than the Black men who have been murdered at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve them, is the killing of innocent Black women in their homes. We’ve been asked to forgive the needless deaths of Atatiana Jefferson and Breona Taylor, both killed senselessly in their homes by police officers by “accident”. Neither woman was a suspect in any crime, Breona never even got a chance to understand what was happening. She was sleep in her bed when the police burst into the wrong home, shooting and killing the sleeping woman.
For the last two weeks, social and traditional media have been inundated with images and video of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. As hard as it was to watch just pieces of that video, I have not seen the actual murder and don’t want to, it’s just as hard to digest that this murder happened in February. It’s no surprise that one of his murderers is a former law enforcement officer. What IS surprising is that only the three men on the road that day have been arrested. It’s now known that this video circulated within law enforcement circles since it happened. Two district attorneys recused themselves from the case so they wouldn’t have conflicts of interests. It took a third DA to see the horrible footage and call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. If it were up to Me, the previous two DA’s would be charged with obstructing justice for refusing to bring charges when it was evident a premeditated murder had been committed in their jurisdiction.
A day after Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, we watch the police kill Sean Reed during a police chase broadcast on Facebook Live. The next week, they shot a mentally ill Black man in Walmart, his death was also caught on camera.
It’s no coincidence that as we near the election in November, that there’s an influx of Black murder porn. It’s almost a call to action to the “good old boys” to “make America great again”.
In the old days, when there was a lynching, they’d leave the body of the murdered Black men and women hanging from the tree, tie their bodies to the back of a truck and drive it around for all to see the carnage. These Black murder porn videos are no different that modern day lynchings; the videos allowed to circulate to install fear and obedience. For the most part it works. Minneapolis is in an uproar right now, George Floyd’s death was brutal and senseless. There are protests and violence, no different than when Chicago residents rioted and protested the police shooting death of unarmed Laquan McDonald, the same way Baltimore rioted and protested when Freddie Gray died in police custody. Will anything come of it? Probably not, the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death were charged with his death but not convicted, at least Laquan McDonalds murderer was sentenced. The four Minneapolis cops on the scene when George Floyd was murdered have been fired but will any see jail time. I seriously doubt it.
We have gotten used to seeing white people, especially police officers, kill unarmed Black men and woman and get away with it. It seems they are charged to appease the masses and the trials are a show to pretend justice was a possibility.
I constantly wonder why people share these horrifying videos. I know some just want to spread awareness but I also have to question how these violent deaths are allowed to stay on social media. Just a few days ago I reported a post by a grown man asking who would “smash or pass” a two-year-old girl, Facebook told Me that it didn’t go against it’s community standards. Violent horrifying crimes apparently don’t go against community standard either though extreme graphic violence is forbidden.
Let Me ask you, in your time on social media, how many videos have you seen circulating of unarmed white men being gunned down by police of Black men? You DON’T see that. It’s only Black and other minority murders that replay on a loop. It’s meant to terrorize and it’s working.
We are rioting
We are protesting
We are crying
We are having hard conversations with our Black sons and daughters
But when will we fight back?
here are a few articles I’ve written on this topic