“My Dead Black Body”
By Darren Calhoun
When someone puts a bullet into my flesh or chokes the life out of me for whatever reason, there will still be a great many people who “love” me but sit silently while I’m portrayed as someone who doesn’t deserve due process or an independent investigation.
They will deny and minimize accusations that there are failures and bias in our systems … suggesting my death was somehow what I deserved.
My killer will be regarded as a hero or “just doing his job” and probably win an award or at least be awarded another job in a different location. The media will find a picture of me in a hoodie or at least looking menacing and tell people about every bad thing I ever did. There will be experts to talk about how my weight or poverty killed me more than someone’s action to end my life. My family will be told that my death is a homicide and that no one will be responsible – so deal with it. The dirt and misdeeds my family and people who support me will also be used to justify my death. Christians will call my story “too political” and see that as just cause to “stay out of it” unless it can be used as a platform for “traditional values”. Those who do stand up for me will be portrayed as “the problem with this country” and shamed for “creating division”. Then a politician or a news commentator will make my death about “taxes, black on black crime, and the war on Christianity”.
Then the news cycle will continue. Another dead black body will take my place and the story will repeat. Hopefully, my name will get added to the list of people who were also killed with the same outcomes. Maybe it will matter 50 years from now or maybe it’ll be forgotten and a nameless picture of my dead body will be used to illustrate someone’s slideshow during black history.
This has been the narrative for dead black bodies and unless someone commits to changing that, it will continue.
I refuse to be silent. I don’t know how it’s working out for you but my life, death, and legacy depend on it.
I wrote this on
Dec 15, 2014