My apologies if this offends anyone as it is not my intent to do so. With this past week’s tragedies of the killings of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and the Dallas police, we are seriously hurting and many have been trying to deal, make sense of it, and figure out what next must be done.
Many main stream media as well as others through social media have shared the videos and images of those killed last week and there are many others who have stated they refuse or could not see these images and would not want these images shared. I can relate with both ways of thinking. I struggled with myself in writing this and including such images, and have grappled with seeking to find the meaning of last week. I’ve been asking questions of the bigger meaning to the madness we are seeing and in recognizing that the lives taken not only matter, have a special meaning not just to their families and loved ones but to us all, in life, but also in death.
With the devastation of these recent incidents, I couldn’t help but think of a particular moment in history and that was Bloody Sunday.
This snippet captures the impact and effect of Bloody Sunday:
“The world doesn’t know this happened because you didn’t photograph it,” (Dr.) King told Schulke, according to the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Race Beat.” This time, however, television cameras captured the entire assault and transformed the local protest into a national civil rights event. It took hours for the film to be flown from Alabama to the television network headquarters in New York, but when it aired that night, Americans were appalled at the sights and sounds of “Bloody Sunday.”
Everybody knew what had been going on, but many tried to pretend they didn’t see it or were not doing anything about it. Bloody Sunday was televised to the world. Once the visuals and enormity of it was exposed to the world, outrage swept the country.
In reaction to Bloody Sunday galvanized public opinion and mobilized people, as well as Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, which President Johnson signed into law in August 1965.
I ask myself was the events of this past week, the violence we have been seeing sweeping our nation, the police brutality, shootings and our reactions or lack thereof our wakeup call? Seeing the images of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and countless other incidents coming to light, meant to be our modern day Bloody Sunday.
People keep saying “I’m tired of this”, “this has got to stop”, “I can’t breathe”, “Black lives matter”, and various expressions of frustrated, however, I ask are we at a point of having seen enough wrongful and senseless death to galvanize ourselves to act with intention?
Congress has not passed a gun control bill.
Police reform and accountability is being demanded.
Boycotts are being suggested.
Protests are happening.
As a people, as a country, is this FINALLY enough for us to take a look at ourselves, be committed to strategizing, unifying, organizing, and be determined to effectively transform the state of what we are seeing today?
I will end by sharing that it was seeing this photo [below] of Philandro Castile that broke me down.
Having lost a brother, I cried the same tears and felt hurt in reaction to this image as I did when I learned my brother passed and saw his lifeless body. I didn’t know Philandro, however, I see him as a brother, a fellow man, my neighbor, someone loved.
If this was your brother, father, cousins, son, husband, etc…, what would you do proactively different today and moving forward? How would you honor a life lost, so that this ceases to continue?
Are you really ready now?
Source: : http://www.history.com/news/selmas-bloody-sunday-50-years-ago