Mindfulness Monday: I Am Mindful That My Son Could Be Tyre Nichols
I am mindful of the reality that my son could be Tyre Nichols
To the Nichols Family, my deepest heartfelt condolences...
Beautiful People, let's go...
I am mindful that back in 1991, an individual by the name of George Holiday filmed an unarmed man by the name of Rodney King being beaten by several police officers. It caused a media firestorm worldwide. On April 29, 1992, the 12-person jury issued its verdict: not guilty on all counts, except for one assault charge against one officer that ended in a hung jury. The acquittals touched off the L.A. riots, and arson, looting, murder, and assaults in the city grew into the most destructive U.S. civil disturbance of the 20th century. In three days of violence, more than 60 people were killed, more than 2,000 were injured, and nearly $1 billion in property was destroyed.
As I grew into adulthood, I became mindful of the frequency of police brutality and killing of black people since Rodney King; and the decriminalizing mindset that comes with it.
I am mindful that in 2022, about 1,176 individuals were killed by police officers. This includes non-gun-related deaths, making it the deadliest year since 2013. I am mindful that most of these victims are black or Latino men (Source: Mapping Police Violence).
I am mindful of the earlier losses of Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. I am mindful that George Floyd's death was a catalyst for one of the most significant social movements in U.S. history. I am mindful that The new laws following George Floyd's death may hold some promise. Still, they are unlikely to ensure the necessary change
, instead demanded. I am mindful of the fact that In Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA) awaits action with the potential to address some of the most intractable problems in policing: racial profiling, use of excessive force, the militarization of police culture and practice, and lack of accountability in cases of police misconduct. Yet there continues to be a hold-up without explanation. As with all things related to Congress and white supremacy, there is dick measuring at black people's expense and at the cost of another black life taken senselessly, brutally...
I am mindful that 5 black police officers took an oath to serve and protect. They were part of an "ELITE" so-called "special" crime task force and, without justification, provocation senselessly and repeatedly beat Tyre Nichols. I did not need to view any video to understand the severity of the crime committed against Tyre. Like so many (before the release of the video footage), I saw the photo of this young man lying on his death bed riddled with injury, his face barely recognizable.
I am mindful that an argument can be made that had this been 5 white officers, the swiftness related to the termination of employment and arrest may not have happened with the same urgency as it did with the black officers; maybe. I am mindful of recognizing that it was 5 black officers. Still, I will continue to address racism and the systemic problems that exist within training and law enforcement overall. However, training and mindset are two very different things.
I am mindful that implicit biases (such as stereotypes linking Blacks with crimes or related traits like violence or hostility), may influence judgments through disambiguation and misattribution. The cold nature of implicit bias rests in that people do not realize that they hold certain biases against others until they are confronted with those biases. People can have certain biases against members of their own cultural groups. It is almost not difficult to conceive that those 5 officers could internalize these biases about black people and behave in this violent and deadly manner-Tyre never had a chance.
Those 5 police officers left a heavy impression on me this Mindfulness Monday.
I am mindful that my son or any of my nephews, brothers, or partner can be Tyre.
I am mindful that my son has various intersectionalities that incur implicit biases that work against him in this society. He is a black man with special needs, with a mental health diagnosis, who does not understand the concept of police brutality or "Black Lives Matter ."He has no concept of fear, not because he is brash but because he is emotionally "wired" that way. I am mindful that I live daily with the fear of my son being confronted by the police. My nights are sleepless until he comes home safely from his night job-that is my reality, my fear as a mother of a black man.
The fear realized and currently lived by Tyre's mother, I am mindful of that...