Opinion Editor Mikayla Moore-Bastide speaks on nationwide injustice
How do I explain Breonna Taylor to my future daughter?
A Black woman, in her own home, was shot multiple times by police and it took six months for the officers to be charged with a crime. Only one officer was charged, but it wasn’t even for killing her, it was for endangering the neighbors.
How do I even explain Atatiana Jefferson to them?
She was playing video games with her nephew in her own home when the police shot and killed her through her window.
How could I explain Botham Jean?
He was watching TV on his couch when an off-duty officer burst through his door and shot him. The officer said she mixed up his apartment with her own.
How do I explain my fear of the police bursting into my apartment because my neighbor called for a wellness check?
How do I explain that walls got justice before Taylor did? Or how it took national pressure from social media to keep the city from sweeping this under the rug. Or how any bad thing from your past will be brought up in an attempt to justify your death. Or that women already have to face enough oppression, but adding melanin to the mix just makes our odds worse?
How do I explain the terror every black person faces on a daily basis?
The terror of becoming a statistic, a hashtag, or having their last breath recorded for all to see over and over and over again. Having our name and face plastered on a sign with the demonstrators chanting, “No Justice, No Peace.” Riots being named after us. How about the family not having time to grieve because they’re too busy making sure we get justice? Or the worst one, justice not being served because the system doesn’t care about black lives.
How do I have “the talk” with my future kids?
Usually, “the talk” is about sex, drugs, drinking, dating, or staying out late. My version of “the talk” was about how to talk to the police without looking like a threat. It was about why that one kid kept calling my little sister “brownie”. It was about avoiding certain cities,bars and malls because the people there have a certain mindset. It was about why I will get treated one way, but my white-passing friends will get treated another. It was about getting followed in stores because I looked suspicious.
Of all the talks I’ve had, they would have never prepared me for not feeling safe in my own home or neighborhood.
Our home is meant to be our relaxation spot, our comfort zone, and our safe space.
Living while black, we don’t get that. We don’t get to go on innocent runs around the neighborhood, we don’t get to sleep, watch tv, or play video games in our home. Tamir Rice didn’t get to play in the park. Elijah McClain didn’t even make it home from the store. My sisters go to a school in a nice area, but they don’t even get to walk to McDonald’s after school without being questioned by police regarding their residency.
How do I explain that we are not protected?
Or that we were never protected?
Breonna Taylor deserved better and the system just treated her life like it was disposable. Her life was not disposable. Black women are not disposable. Black people are not disposable.
Say her name.