First and foremost, I truly hope Breonna Taylor’s family and friends are able to have at least a bit of peace of mind and solace between all the bullshit taking place behind her case and that her soul is at peace. I wanted to start this off by addressing my hurt, but I know they are suffering much more than I can wrap my head around. With that being said, I want to be considerate of her and her loved ones before I get into this post. Whoever may be reading this, please have them in mind with thoughts, prayers, and support (if you have the means).
When the state of emergency was announced preemptively to the actual verdict announcement, I immediately dissociated. I felt the reality that I experienced many times before with other nationally known cases of police/White violence against Black people. It was like an omen that I didn’t want to accept because I wanted to have hope. Hope. Literally what Obama ran on; literally what Black people run on. But then the verdict was announced and it felt like the hope of my community and ancestors meant nothing to the consciousness of america. And yes, I refer to america because unfortunately Breonna’s case is not an unfamiliar one in this nation. But the reason that the Black community hopes is because we’ve been stripped of everything else. From homeland, to our culture (because of appropriation), to our lives, our dignity (yes, I remember when Breonna was memeified by putrid muthafuckas on the internet), and even of justice in the wake of our wrongful deaths. And yet we continue to hope, but when hope is lost then what do we have?
When I look into my spirit while thinking of yesterday’s verdict I find nothing but sadness. Even while typing this, I find the tears swelling in my eyes. It hurts. The grief that I feel is overwhelming, and granted I did not know Breonna personally, but I can see myself in her. I can see my loved ones in her. After finding out about the life she led, I could see her in myself. It’s easy for Black people to see themselves in Breonna, and easier for Black women, because my “pain is your pain, and my come up is your come up”; that’s why we ride for one another. So when I see the bullshit pertaining to her getting justice, I feel this pain and grief in multiple facets. But until people in power can see themselves in her, we will be stuck in this cycle of pain and grief.
It makes me wonder, are we bound to this cycle of pain and grief? Black people have done so much for this country when it does not serve us (and instead exploits us), yet time and time again this country has failed to reconcile what it has done. Granted, what this country has done against the interest of Black people alone, is literally immeasurable. Not to get into a tirade about anti-capitalism, but this country has valued it’s corrupt and exploitative livelihood over the lives that reinforce this livelihood. Her name has become a hashtag, murals have been painted, t-shirts have been made, so in a sense her death has been exploited. Think about it. Black people are not just exploited in life, but also in death?? After all that exploitation, she still hasn’t gotten justice.
I don’t want Breonna Taylor to become a martyr, I want her to have justice. Her getting justice is ensuring traumas like hers never happen again. She deserves that and then some. She deserves to be alive.
To the reader, rest on this grief and pain. Allow it to touch your spirit. Then do something constructive about it rather than being idle. I have added some links to support her family and Black liberation efforts, but do more than the bare minimum. If you can see yourself and your loved ones in Breonna Taylor, then act like it.