Man, Father, Son…and #Hashtag.


Last night as I was working on some things for class, my Twitter TL was in an uproar in a matter of minutes.  As I scrolled through the posts, I saw yet another Black man’s name after a #hashtag, meaning the cycle of police brutality in this country was in full swing….AGAIN. I reluctantly clicked on the name #AltonSterling and immediately saw the gut-wrenching headlines of his last moments on earth…caught on camera. However, I did not have the courage to watch another Black man die on the internet…so I scrolled past any and all posts that had a video attached. I literally could not bring myself to watch the life drain out of another Black body in police custody…AGAIN. #AltonSterling was unjustly murdered for selling CD’s in front of a convenience store (which, might I add, he had apparently been doing for quite some time with no issues from the actual store owner), but I digress.

I wrote out some of my frustrations in my paper (which happens to be about why I chose to enter a social justice field) and I eventually rolled into bed sometime after dawn (#BlkGradLife). Anyway, when I finally woke up I had messages in my inbox from friends who were also outraged at what had occurred the night before. People searching for answers when there just are not any to be found. I also saw hundreds of retweets on my Twitter feed with people expressing their hurt, pain, anger…and more outrage.

Then, I clicked on a link with a headline that said something about Mr. Sterling’s son. It was a video of this heartbroken Black boy who was trying to mask his pain in order to stand beside his mother, Quintette Mcmillan. He was attempting to be everything that society tells our men to be– stoic, strong and non-emotional. However, as Ms. Mcmillan began to read her statement in defense of her son’s father, Cameron Sterling, the eldest of Alton Sterling’s children, began to sob uncontrollably. This 15 year old child sobbed for his Daddy like ANY child in pain would scream in agony for their parent. He was devastated. His father wasn’t just “the CD man” or some form of target practice for the disgusting officers who murdered him the night before — to Cameron, he was just DADDY.

Hearing this young man cry out in devastation “I want my Daddy” literally broke my heart into pieces. I wept with him, like I weep for all children who lose parents to police brutality. Not only is Cameron without his Daddy, he now has to grow up in this world living the reality that Black life does not matter here. Cameron won’t have to read about this movement in 20 years, because he, along with the rest of us, will live this ugly, painful truth, for the rest of his life.

I am so tired, y’all. So tired of being tired and having to explain my exhaustion when Black life is taken away. So tired of seeing Black grief all over my TLs. So tired of White folks killing us. So, so, so, tired.

Blessings to the Sterling family and for every little boy and girl, like Cameron, who weeps for their Daddy who won’t ever come home again.







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