Philando Castile could have been any of my male cousins, my brothers-in-law or my nephews based in America. I can easily put any one of them in that space – and this is why when I read and hear these stories, I feel an anger so pervasive it makes me shake.
I live in Accra, Ghana as far away as possible from such scenes that occur in America with frightening regularity, but because I have family there it hits too close to home. I watched Daily Show’s Trevor Noah share how the recently released video ‘broke him’ and I almost started weeping….my mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that the man was doing what the police officer asked him to do and he still got shot four times in front of his girlfriend and her four year old daughter.
Shot down in cold blood on a day they had planned to go out and buy ice cream.
Jesus Christ, what cold-blooded brutality is this?
And from watching the videos, the cop wasn’t justified. He had no reason to shoot, Mr. Castile was calmly following orders and the cop was losing his shit for no good goddamn reason.
And then the jury said the cop was innocent of wrongdoing.
I read the articles around the case and feel a toxic swirl of rage and helplessness and fear about the incident.
And not just for Philando Castile…..but for every black person assaulted and or dead at the hands of the police service that swears to ‘protect and serve.’
Dear People of Colour in America, the systems that you swear by and trust to protect you have screwed you for over 400 years, what’s your next plan of action? You have #BlackLivesMatter and some insensitive SOB’s ran around saying #AllLivesMatter like people gatecrashing a funeral and crying about every person who has died within the past week.
Dear People of Colour In America, in the words of Barack Obama, hope is not a plan. People are dying like flies and the justice system is doing a piss poor job of ensuring justice is served.
Too many of you are dying and breaking hearts across the globe…….we have to do something. We – I mean Africans across the diaspora – have to join forces with you and force the institutions to work in your favour and give you the justice you deserve.
The same way America has bullied countries into behaving like fascimile democracies, is the same way that we have to bully America into doing the right thing for its people of colour.
These killings must stop.
These murders by police officers must stop.
The institutionalized racism has to be phased out and stamped out for good. (no more Band-Aid solutions).
America has always been so proud of its reputation for championing human rights. Dear America – start from home.
For God’s sake, start from home.
P.S : I intentionally omitted the name of the police officer who gunned down Philando Catile like an animal. He’s a monster who deprived his step-child and hundreds of children at the elementary school Castile worked at on the flimsiest of excuses.