I am going to start this piece with a trigger warning. Racism is a sensitive subject to talk about, but it needs to be talked about, especially as a black woman in America.
Imagine waking up in the morning happy to be alive. Happy that the sky is blue and the sun is out. You turn on the news to check the weather. Then you see the name “Breonna Taylor” flash across the screen. You sit down in a chair and turn the volume up.
“Breonna Taylor has been shot in her apartment.”
Those words ring in your ears as you look at her black face and feel the pain of every black person in the U.S. You look in the mirror and see her face, your face, your mother’s face, your friend’s face. This is another day of pain for people who look like you.
Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in Taylor’s murder, was recently charged with negligence and endangerment of the neighboring apartment. However, his bond was set at $15,000 and he paid it. The other two officers that were involved in Taylor’s murder, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were not charged. No officer was charged with Taylor’s death.
Hankison’s case wasn’t about Breonna Taylor. This is not justice for Breonna Taylor. But the saddest thing about this situation is that I wasn’t surprised the officers were not charged for her murder. Our history has many cases of injustice involving police brutality.
Whenever black people hear these stories, the main question on our minds is,“Am I next?” I fear for my life whenever I see blue lights on the rearview mirror. I fear for my life when I walk out my front door. I fear for my friend’s life when they are wearing a hood in a gas station. I fear for the life of all people of color in the United States. It is the year 2020, and we are still being murdered for the color of our skin.
What did black people do to deserve this long-lasting discrimination? Black women and men have fought along with our fellow white citizens in the Suffrage Movement, the Civil War, the Vietnam War and many more. So who is fighting for us now?
Princess Lambert is a senior Nutrition major. Alongside being an intelligent and passionate student, she is also a black woman. I asked her how she felt being a black woman in the United States right now.
“Black women have to pick everyone else up, but when it is time for us to be lifted, no one is there,” Lambert said.
Lambert spoke about the domestic situation between Meg Thee Stallion and Torey Lanez, where Lanez shot Stallion in the foot after an argument. A lot of black men were blaming and putting Stallion down over the encounter even though she was the one shot.
The bottom line is that being a black woman, black man or person of color is systematically, individually and institutionally oppressing. It is a constant struggle to gain opportunities and live a life of great satisfaction. Not only are we dealing with a pandemic that has hit our community the hardest, but we have to fear for our lives in the presence of police. It should not be an ongoing traumatic event to be a person of color in 2020.
“It is traumatizing being black,” Lambert said, “but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
This is a reminder to please vote if you wish to have a voice in this country. Without voting, people of color continue to stay silenced and political leaders continue to do the silencing. If we want real change to happen, we have to change things ourselves.
“Black Lives Matter, now and forever,” Lambert said.