“I am that whore. I do confess. I put you on just like a wedding dress and run down the aisle.” I’m listening to Wedding Dress by Derek Webb. I go to this song when I’m sad.
I’m sad. Beyond angry. Brokenhearted. The Staten Island Grand Jury chose not to indict the officer who choked father of six Eric Garner to death on the street while attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.
They chose not to make the officer even stand trial. Despite video. Despite the fact that chokeholds are illegal. Despite the coroner ruling the death a homicide. Despite everything. They found no evidence to indicate a crime may have been committed. But they did indict the man who filmed the killing. And they tell us cameras on cops will make a difference.
This is a hard day. It’s been a hard week. A hard month. A hard year.
You get to that point when you’re not angry anymore. When you read the NYPD Tweet, “The #NYPD is committed to rebuilding public trust. #Wehearyou,” and just sit there with your mouth agape, thinking, “How could you?”
The NYPD Commissioner joked about it.
How could you?
This is what the police are saying.
How could you?
#BlackLivesMatter? Like hell they do.
But, then, how could I? I am complicit. I have not yet burned the fucking system to the ground. The system that allows police to kill young black males twenty-one times more often than their white counterparts. The system wherein people respond to that stat with lies about black criminality. The system where white men Tweet at me, “Why is this about race?” The system which buys cops tanks but never offers consequences for breaking the law, starting with the one that requires them to report on how many people they kill every year. This is the racist, corrupt, lawless, and totally unaccountable system I build and support and allow through my complacency and it is a system for which I must be called to account.
I’m going to the White House tonight. It’s not enough. It’s not even close to enough. It’s so far from enough that, to quote a friend, “A part of me wants to crawl into a hole and never emerge again.” But I’m going. I don’t know what else to do.