It has taken me a couple of days to gather my thoughts in a way that I would be able to share with you all. In the course of two days, we have watched two black men die on camera at the hands of murderers masquerading as police officers. Although this happens every day in our country, these two killings have really rocked many of us in the black community. I think it is one thing to hear of these tragic occurrences with a flash of a stranger’s picture and a quick report on what “allegedly” happened. However, it is something totally different to actually be an eye witness to such heinous crimes being committed by the very people that have sworn to protect and serve our communities.

I am a black man, father, brother, son, uncle, nephew, and friend. These tragedies are heartbreaking, but they also speak to the reality we as blacks face in this country. Each and every day we step out into a society that places little to no value on the lives of black men, women, or children.  I cannot express the helplessness that I often feel as a man in this type of atmosphere. I am supposed to be the PROTECTOR, PROVIDER, and EXAMPLE for my young son, my family, and even my community. But far too often, black men seem to be in need of protection, or the people who need to be provided for or even the people that the example is being made.
How does a black man effectively perform his duties and responsibilities in a society where something as simple as a traffic stop can end in murder?

In my opinion, there has always been an attack on blacks in this country. The crazy thing is that out of all of the groups here in the US, we are the only culture of people that were actually brought here against our own will. Our ancestors built, fought, and died for the very country that has historically treated us like animals, capitalize on our gifts and talents and use it for entertainment, and at best we are treated like second class citizens. They have historically killed us in front of our women, our children, and with the rise of social media, now the world. With the injustice that continues to happen in the judicial system and the senseless murders of innocent black men, people still find a way to pass the blame.  Well, “If he wasn’t dressed like that” or  “If he just cooperated with the officer...” We have even heard, “if he wasn’t so Black then he wouldn’t have lost his life.”
As a man, what do you do when that is what you hear? Tell us what this means. Why is our race constantly asked to act less free in this so-called free country?  How can I as a man look my son in the eyes and promise him that his daddy will always be there for him when I can’t guarantee that I’ll even make it home at the end of a regular work day or a night out with friends? I don’t believe that many people can even begin to understand the weight that we as black men and women carry around on a day-to-day bases. We, too, have goals and aspirations, families that we want to raise and protect, and even friends that we love and care about. Just like any other race or group in this country. We are taught to obey and respect the laws and law officers. We are taught to work 100 times harder than most people just to get by. We are taught that if we just comply we will be accepted and respected in this county. Yet in tragedies similar to what we have witnessed over the past couple of days, we are still the people left with the burden of proving that #BlackLivesMatter.

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