Yesterday marked four years since 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot in a park by police while holding a toy gun. Yesterday also marked 6 years since 17-year-old Jordan Davis was killed after an angry white man shot into his car over loud music. Little to nothing has been done to change the dynamics which lead to police killing unarmed civilians and the lack of justice that follows.
The family members of these individuals are forced to pick up the pieces and carry the burden of injustice.
This is why I admire the mother of Jordan Davis, Lucia McBath, and the other mothers who have lost their sons to racialized violence and decided to run for public office.
“Lucy McBath, the gun control and racial justice activist whose son was killed in a 2012 shooting, is now headed to Congress, after winning a razor-thin election decided Thursday morning.
Ms. McBath defeated the Republican incumbent Karen Handel, who only last year won a closely watched special election in the same Georgia district, (New York Times).”
In April, the mother of Mike Brown Lezley McSpadden, announced she was running for city council in St. Louis. In 2014 her sons murder at the hands of Ferguson police, catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lezley McSpadden announced her candidacy along Canfield Drive, near the exact spot where her son, who was black, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white police officer.
“If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do?” (NBC News).
For the longest time I felt that Black people should divest from “the system” and focus more on organizing in our communities.
While this is true, we also need people who have the best interest of the people, within seats of influence and positions of power. Some in the Black community call this cooning and trying to be apart of a system that never worked for Black people in America. I call it the spook who sat by the door type thinking. Black America can not afford to keep playing checkers, when America is clearly a game of chess.
If you are not at the table then you are on the menu. You also have no say so, on the decisions that are going to be made anyways. Decisions which affect our communities and liberties in the long run.
Lucy McBath writes on Instagram:
“My son was murdered exactly six years ago to date. Every year, I am reminded that the title “reluctant activist” is painfully accurate.
This year, today comes just two months before I will fight for my son’s legacy in Congress – but it does not make the pain any less.
I know that I have been called to fight for change. On the day after I lost my son to gun violence, 96 families learned what I did the day before – they, too, lost a loved one to gun violence. And since my son’s murder, almost 220,000 families have lost a loved one to gun violence.
This is why my work is not over, but just beginning. My life’s work will only end when American families have the basic security of safety. Until then, I will always be a mother on a mission.”