There are only a few days left in the year, and for many of us the end can’t come soon enough. Members of my generation have seen our icons fall in film and music. The wider world is bracing for Brexit, the Trumpocalypse and ongoing bloodbaths in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan. The most sensational brutality of the year might be a recent phenomenon, but the cruelty that has faded from the headlines and mainstream consciousness is embedded in the fabric of ‘Merican culture. Police brutality and violence against people of color had a prominent place in the public consciousness this year, but not much has changed on the ground.
From Anton Sterling to Jessica Williams to Philando Castile to Korryn Gaines to Tyre King to Terence Crutcher to Taiwon Boyd to Levonia Riggins to Keith Scott to Alfred Olango to Deborah Danner we find a pattern. The gender, age, and geographic location might have been different for each victim, but the outcome was the same. Our police use our funding to murder us and face little or no consequences for their actions.
And all this occurred under the administration of an arguably progressive, feminist, black president. Do we have any reason to believe police brutality will decrease under Trumpzilla? Is there any chance the motivations of police will change? What is the likelihood that people will stop labelling us as criminal simply because of our race? Our society shares several characteristics with the slave ships of the Middle Passage. Those similarities are likely to deepen once we replace Obama with Trumpzilla.
None of us are fortune tellers. We don’t know what 2017 will bring, but it’s safe to say some of us won’t make it to see 2018. All we can really do is listen, learn, fight, work, create and love the people who are important to us.
Good luck to everyone who reads this. Remember the Moscow Rules.