By Mario Benabe
I am bothered by the fact that a wallet can be mistaken as a gun #AmadouDiallo or the fact that we run the risk of losing our lives in our public housing building staircase #MalcolmFerguson #AkaiGurley or the fact that it doesn’t matter to them if we are out chilling at a longue #PatrickDorismond or the fact that it doesn’t matter to them if we are sitting in our car #PrinceJones. It doesn’t matter to them if I have several traffic violations, we still die #TimothyThomas. It doesn’t matter to them that I can’t walk out of my own door, I still die #YvetteSmith. It doesn’t matter to them if my one-year old daughter is in the car, I still die #MiriamCarey or the fact that I can’t be a babysitter because I get murdered— but not only that, those same officers can wear a T-shirt with the initials “BDRT” Baby’s Daddy Removal Team #OrlandoBarlow. It doesn’t matter to them if I have a cell phone, I still die #RakiaBoyd. It doesn’t matter if I have a local business for art and musical instrument reparation— I still die #OusmaneZongo. I could work for the Division of Citywide Administrative Services and on my way to work I still die #AlbertaSpruill. It doesn’t matter to them if I look at them in the eyes—I still die #FreddyGray. I can’t open the door of my building’s rooftop because I still die #TimothyStansbury. I can’t even drive a Budget Rental Truck because I still die, but not only that, my passenger could be developmentally delayed and he still dies #RonaldMadison and #JamesBrisette. It doesn’t matter to them if I have a mental illness because I still die #ShereeseFrancis #Diana Showman #MelissaVentura or I die because they see my pill bottle as gun #RumainBrisbon. It doesn’t matter to them if I am undocumented, I still die #AntonioMontesZambrano. It doesn’t matter to them if I am in a situation where I just want to harm myself, but rather than save me, I still die #AntonyNunez. I could be driving down a road faster than the speed limit and I still die #PedroVillanueva. I can’t be 7-years old sleeping on my grandmother because I still die #AiyanaStanley. I can’t even hold my baby in my arms at home because I can die holding them #TarikaWilson #KorrynGaines. It doesn’t matter to them that I identify as either LGBTQ, I still die #JessicaHernandez #MyaShawatzaHall. It doesn’t matter if it is the day after hurricane Katrina hit, I still die #HenryGlover. It could be the night before my wedding and I still die #SeanBell. It doesn’t matter if i’m a kid, I still die #EmmettTill but not only that in the same amount of time it takes someone to tell another person that they love them, officer are shooting just as quick as 2 seconds for a toy #TamirRice, a toy #DeAuntaTerrelFarrow, a toy #CameronTillman a toy #AndyLopez. I could be born in 1914 within a time period where hate was so visible— during a time of segregation and 92 years years later, that doesn’t matter because I still die #KathrynJohnston. It doesn’t matter to them if I am waiting for a train, I still die #OscarGrant. It doesn’t matter to them if I am at the local zoo because I still die #AlonzoAshley. It doesn’t matter to them if I was a former landscaper, I still die #FerminVincentValenzuela. It doesn’t matter if I sell cigarettes I still die #EricGarner but not only that, I could be smoking a cigarette and still die #SandraBland. It doesn’t matter if I buy candy and rock a hoodie, I still die #TrayvonMartin. It doesn’t matter to them if I’m selling Cd’s and Dvd’s in front of a store that the owner doesn’t care if I do so, I still die #AltonSterling. It doesn’t matter if I tell you I’m carrying and I with my girlfriend and child, I still die #philando castile. It doesn’t matter if they stop me for a broken taillight, I still die #WalterScott. It doesn’t matter to them if I have a twin, if I’m a father of four, if I attend Tulsa Community College, If I love god, because to them, I am just a “big bad dued” #TerenceCrutcher. It doesn’t matter if I’m 18-years old, I still die—but not only that you allow my body to lay there for 4 hours, blood everywhere, and a small sheet covering about a quarter of my body #MichaelBrown.
All that matters to you is the disembodiment of our bodies in which you render our bodies disposable.
This is me letting out my cry.
I want to deeply apologize if I have left out countless names because that was not my intentions. Please cry with me by adding in the names I missed of those who have lost their lives. There are so many who die, who have not rested in peace.
I send my condolences to all of the families, our community and our ancestors whose bodies were not valued.