This past Saturday, as I was preparing to go shopping with my kids, the news segment about Sandra Bland’s funeral caught my attention. So I watched the story, jotted down the address, put on my Black suit, and headed to the DuPage A.M.E. Church in Lisle, Illinois. When I arrived in Lisle, I was greeted by smiling police officers and community service workers who were pleasantly directing traffic.
“Right this way sir.”
“Let me stop traffic for you.”
“Have a nice day!”
“Where the hell am I?” I wondered aloud. “I must be in Bizzarro world, where all of a sudden cops are now friendly to Black people.” I also found it ironic that I was at a funeral for a beautiful Black sister who they say died while in police custody (I say at the hands of murderous racist cops) and now these police officers want to act all nice. “Miss me with the BS, Mr. Officer Sir,” I thought to myself. I wouldn’t dare say it out loud for fear of being accused of mouthing off, getting murdered, and people saying I committed suicide. I also added a Mr. and Sir in my mind, just in case the police have some new mind reading device and they find a way to use my thoughts to kill me for “being mouthy.”
As I entered the church I was pleasantly surprised to see a different look on the faces of the Black people in that church. It was not a look of “kumbayaa” or forgiveness, but more a look of resolve to deal with the unfinished business of Sandra Bland’s murder. I was even more please when the preacher got up and explained that Sandy’s “end was just the beginning of the fight.” I almost lost it when the preacher said, “You done stepped on the wrong cat’s tail. Some cats scream, some scratch and claw. We got some scratching and clawing to do!”
“Finally!” I though to myself, Black people are finally pissed enough that we are going to do SOMETHING different so these White folks know they can’t keep killing us with no consequence! The famous Bernie Mac statement kept going through my head, “I ain’t scared of you…” I was on fire. Then I saw them…White People. And the reality of the situation hit me.
You see it was less than two months ago that a racist White supremacist, Dylan Roof, walked into a Black church, attended service, and then proceeded to murder everyone there except one witness to tell the story. And here I was, in a BLACK A.M.E. CHURCH, with no security, no pat down, no nothing.
As every one of those White people walked past me, I did a quick mental, “Does this dude look like he would kill everybody here?”
“Nope, ok, next!” I thought in my head as I stared at every White person who walked through the door.
They kept coming, so I couldn’t keep up, but every time one those White people stood behind me, twitched, or made a sudden move I got nervous. Damn A.M.E. Church…you are just going to let them walk through here without even going through metal detector?
People think that it is harsh but the facts are clear…in the last two months, 10 members of the A.M.E. church have been murdered, BY WHITE PEOPLE, and Black churches are still not patting White people down? Really…why not? Because it would make those same White people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome? Well what about the Black people at the Black church like me that were nervous or uncomfortable? Forget about us, just make sure the White folks feel comfortable and at home. NOT!!!!
Black people are under assault and there is no holy bulletproof vest that automatically covers us when we walk into our places of worship. So unless we really want to be “washed in the blood” pat those White people down before they enter our Black churches!
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