Black Lives Still Do Not Matter
Before I got pregnant, I would often go out for long walks and jogs. My husband and I live in a beautiful city and the neighborhood where we lived was nice and safe. The weather was always temperate and I never once feared for my life.
Imagine you’re out for a jog in your neighborhood. It’s a regular day. Suddenly you've been ambushed by two white men with shotguns. The next thing you know you've been shot. You're fighting for your life. Within seconds you're dead. Seems a little too far-fetched, right? This is America and it’s 2020 after all.
Well, that's the thing, this is America. And we all know it's common practice for white men to use black bodies as target practice. And unfortunately the year makes no difference.
A video has recently surfaced of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25 year old black man who was killed February 23rd in the Satilla Shores neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia. His crime? Being black while jogging. The result? No arrests. His murderers, however, HAVE been identified. And even without the current world being in quarantine, I don’t doubt for one second that they would still be at home, living their lives. Meanwhile, a mother is grieving the loss of her son, a son I’m sure she never thought she would have to bury.
What strikes me the most is how people still continue to be surprised when these situations happen. Whether it’s a cop or a run-of-the-mill racist citizen, it never shocks me when I hear a black man was murdered for doing anything other than being black. Now you may say to yourself, how do you know that's why he was murdered? How do you know that the only reason he was killed was because he was black? Well, if he were white do you think two white men would have simply murdered him because they thought he did something wrong? Or do you think they would have asked questions and talked to him man-to-man. If he were white, and two black men had chased him down in their pickup truck and shot him in cold blood, do you think those black men would be at home with their families now waiting to see if they would be arrested?
Of course not… because black lives do not matter.
The history of hate, fear and misconception of black people as a whole spans over 400 years. We have been hunted, hung, shot, killed, judged, ridiculed, stolen from, and made to feel unsafe in a country that claims all men are created equal. There never seems to be an end in sight. The list of things that black people cannot do even though we were granted our “freedoms” so many years ago continues to grow. But this country has made it very clear that black lives still do not matter, and for the life of me I cannot understand why.
What have we done to make you hate us?
What have we done to make you fear us?
What have we done to make you think we are less than you?
What have we done to warrant such vitriol that you could shoot us first and ask questions later?
What have we done to make you not view us as human?
What have we done?
The answer is we’ve done nothing. It’s simply a part of the culture of this country. Once it was established hundreds of years ago that black people were at the bottom of the totem pole, no matter how many attempts are made to progress in this country, that is the one thing that remains constant.
So for those of you who don’t know what to do, you aren’t sure how to respond, or you don't understand why there is still so much hate in this country and in this world that would allow two “men” to murder someone in cold blood without hesitation… imagine how black people feel.
If you want to make a difference and see justice for Ahmaud please click the link below and sign the petition.
Malynda Hale is a recording artist, actress, business owner and activist. With her roots in music and theatre, Malynda has always been connected to the arts. The singer/songwriter uses both her music and involvement in social justice issues to start important conversations. Her passion for using her voice to effect change on multiple platforms social justice, female empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, veganism, and the Black Lives Matter movement is how #WeNeedToTalk came to be.
She’s the former co-host of the femme empowerment “Boss, Please” podcast, which shines a light on female execs and all-around girl bosses, and the current host of the #WeNeedToTalk Podcast that releases new episodes every Monday. She currently serves as a worship leader at Harmony Toluca Lake where she leads a bi-monthly discussion group called "Courageous Conversations" that focuses on social justice topics from a Christian perspective. She is an avid promoter of a lifestyle centered around a plant-based diet and has been a vegan for over a decade. Malynda has already touched the lives of many people and will continue to do so with her music and actions.