It’s not sitting right.
As I watch the Derek Chauvin trial, there’s a feeling of dread sitting in my stomach. I feel like every person of colour, whether in America or not, is watching this and feeling it too. That even with the coverage and the medical examiner reports and the experts, there will not be a conviction. I have no reason to expect one.
What happened yesterday shows that it’s not like anything has changed.
There was shooting today. A 20 year old man named Daunte Wright. He had a 2 year old son. He was pulled over because of the air freshener. I was not aware that this was something anyone could get pulled over for. He had a warrant. Warrants can be for absolutely anything in America and there are people out there that aren’t even aware they have one. He can be arrested for this. He panicked. He was fatally shot. His girlfriend was in the car.
This doesn’t sit right. I know it doesn’t sit right. People get arrested every day without getting shot. People run every day without getting shot. It seems to be the general consensus that police are allowed to shoot if the person is an immediate threat. I’m failing to see the threat here. Perhaps it is lack of information or the following facts.
He was on the phone to his mother. He was told to hang up the phone.
I’m afraid of what is going to happen next. I’m slowly becoming numb to it. But then this strikes me. He was 20 years old. He couldn’t legally drink in America. That fact slams me in the chest.
I honestly don’t know how Americans do it, how they can experience this so much. I’m exhausted by the sheer reports of what is happening. I’m already tired of the social media commentary that is occurring. I’m so fatigued from what has already happened in the world that I can barely keep my head on now. The doom scrolling started instantly, I was combing reports and I had to step away because the tears wouldn’t stop falling.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this. There isn’t a clear point. It’s just that my heart is bleeding for everything that has happened. I think I feel this because I know it’s happening everyday, everywhere. There’s this small voice inside me that is still innocent and naïve that just wants to know the answer to the question: “why do they hate us?”
And I don’t want people to say it’s just an American problem. Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The advice I was given? Self care, don’t read the comments, look after your mental health, don’t get involved, don’t let them get to you.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s so ingrained into us, we wait for it, we expect it. We will always sit and wait for a person who killed us to be declared innocent, we know that someone is going to spew some racist rhetoric any time our culture might be celebrated or remembered, we prepare for the conversations that we shouldn’t be forced to have. But I should be grateful, shouldn’t I? For the opportunities that are afforded me, right?
This isn’t how we should live. This isn’t how anyone should live. But I have to remember that it’s not up to me to fix it.