This morning, I wake up and before I really open my eyes I picked up my phone. I read my daily horoscope, I checked my NFL Fantasy Draft league for new Waiver Wire acceptances, and then I opened the Safari app and typed in “news”. It’s been a few days since I’ve searched the news on my phone, I do not have social media anymore, so what I found I wasn’t expecting to see. Over the last weeks to a month, when I’ve checked the news on my phone, I’ve been flooded with articles about the upcoming election and reminders to vote. Today was very different. I was informed of another black life lost at the hands of the police officers who are sworn to SERVE and PROTECT us as American people. Walter Wallace Jr. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was unjustly, brutally shot FOURTEEN times and killed at the hands of two non-black police officers, called and to help a mother calm her mentally ill son on Monday, October 26, 2020.
Here’s what I do know about Mr. Walter Wallace Jr. (and please correct me if I’m wrong):
Walter Wallace was a 27-year old son and newlywed (just this month), with a child of his own on the way. I understand that Walter had a manic episode on Monday, October 26, 2020 at home with his mother. He was outraged by whatever and thought that he needed to have or use a knife. His mother, concerned for him, called the police (which, you have to question-is that what we should do in a family mental disturbance crisis?) to calm, deescalate, and monitor the situation at hand. Understandably so, as her son has had previous run in with the cops, once in 2017, and once in 2003 (I believe), that ultimately resulted in the courts ordering mental health treatment and psychiatric monitoring of sorts. I have read that when Mom called the police she mentioned that she needed help at her home because her son was experiencing an episode as a result of the mental illness. Mom had no clue that, instead of following deescalation protocol for mentally disturbed citizens, they would shoot her son 14 times, killing him and leaving her without a child.
Now, I’m no news reporter, let’s be clear. But, I am a parent. A mother of a little girl, pregnant with my second child. This pregnancy I had a goal of not learning the sex of my unborn child until their birth. Not making any preconceived plans for their life or how they’ll be raised in this country I call “home”. I thought, at first, that I was withholding this information for pure surprise for my new gift of life, but now I feel something different. A pain. A fear. Heartbreak at the idea of giving birth to a black male child in America. And what expecting mother should feel this way? Why should a woman, bearing life, have to worry about the safety of a life that isn’t even here yet? What is life, if that’s how it’s lived?
The “United” States of America’s President Donald Trump, like many other Republican candidates who have ran, is running his campaign for reelection on “law and order”. The idea that the problem America faces is not racial injustice, systemic racism, or racism at all, but the policing isn’t strong enough in our country to protect the white woman’s suburb. The sitting President does not acknowledge that “Black Lives Matter” and calls the “BLM movement”, antifa- a band of militant protesting groups coming together to dismantle right-wing government. A disgrace. My question is why is protecting the suburbs more important that protecting the lives of the black men and women who are murdered, which feels like monthly? Seems to me, that the suburbs only need protecting when the looting happens from the police brutality that our black children grow up expecting to face.
See Page 2 to Say Their Names!