I just finished watching Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th and I had goosebumps and cold chills running down my spine from start till finish. I cried. I cried seeing all these black people systematically treated as subhumans. I cried when I saw a snippet of an interview with Kalief Browder who was held in Riker’s Island for 3 years – 2 of which were in solitary confinement for a petty crime he didn’t even commit. Two years after he was released he committed suicide, in June 2015. His mother died today of heartbreak – literally.
It’s abominable. And I urge white people to look at their history that informs their privileged present time. I urge them to not shirk away by absolving themselves of what their relatives, grandfathers, workmates perpetuate. Injustice might start isolated, but it always spreads, like cancer.
Here’s an excerpt from the film, and I urge you to make it a point to watch it and let it ripple through you. Let it sink in. Sit with the uncomfortable truth. Our world is marred with violence and oppression because of silent bystanders who didn’t want to feel and face the cold reality.
Police violence – that isn’t the problem in and of itself. It’s a reflection of a much larger, brutal system. [One] of racial and social control known as mass incarceration which authorizers this kind of police violence.