By Zerline Hughes
I’m on the D.C. Metro Train at rush hour. It’s a rarity that I ride the subway — take public transportation even — these days.
I’m surrounded by people (one of the reasons I don’t appreciate public transportation) but was able to snag a seat for a change, watching people around me stand in discomfort. On this day, only certain faces stand out. The faces of my Black men.
One wore light brown, wing-tipped oxfords with grey slacks. Another had lace up work boots with navy, uniform pants. There’s four more within eye shot that I notice with great detail. They all look to be leaving work — maybe some of them on their way to a late shift.
They stand out more today than ever because on this day, we got a second grand jury decision about the killing of yet another Black man by yet another police force: Eric Garner. Another Black male gone. No redemption, no raparations, no attempt at the restoration of justice, life.
I’m pretty serious about wanting to flee from this all. Maybe I should have nothing to fear as a Black woman (highly doubtful) — but I am fearful because I’m currently the sole provider for a Black male, and I will be for another seven years. Hey, let’s be real — I will provide my son something — casseroles, unwanted advice, childcare for his children (only every once in a while) — for the rest of my life, no matter how old he is. And what a blessing that will be. But at the rate we’re going, guaranteeing our Black men survive to see their golden years is starting to seem like a fantasy.
And so, with news of now resigned St. Louis police Department officer Darren Wilson’s non-indictment, and now NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo’s non-indictment, there’s no more explanation left in me. There’s no more hope in our justice system.
In fact, maybe I should go ahead and change the name of this blog. Instead of Not These Two, maybe, These Two Indeed. Or, how about, All Hope is Lost. Or, Good Luck, Kids. Or, You’re Up Next?
OK, maybe the dramatics aren’t helping things, but maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t hurt as much and feel like a double back-hand slap in the face, if these decisions didn’t happen within one week of each other. It seems the embers are still smoking from the riots in Ferguson.
Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much if Black policymakers hadn’t just raised their hands in solidarity on Capitol Hill. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much if the President didn’t just say he’d fund police body cameras … cameras that would capture illicit behavior and appropriately discipline those who are caught abusing their authority …. wait ….?
There is no hope, is there? Are these two kids of mine destined to be justice involved?