I woke up still thinking about Korryn Gaines. If you aren't familiar with her story, cops race soldiers came to her Baltimore residence to serve a warrant for petty misdemeanors. They came with SWAT/military gear. Helmets. Assault weapons. IR beams. Long story short, she was killed and her 5 year old son was shot by one of the offending "officers". This murder, this miscarriage of justice is heavy on my mind, because her murder was horrendous. More so than others if that's possible. More so because her 5 year old son witnessed the life go out of his mother. He'll never be the same.
"...before you look with disdain at those who value liberty more than they value safety, please remember that Harriet Tubman was considered a boat rocking criminal when she was helping people escape slavery...."
Additionally she was like me in that I know how special it is to be Black in 2016. Black in America. Hell, just Black PERIOD. We are the people who've endured more than the world has ever thrown at anyone else. And we are still here. She knew this. She walked in it as you can see in the video below. She was courageous because she was bold even within her fear and if you know anything about danger, you know there is no courage without fear.
Korryn Gaines had no respect for the state declared authority of these so called "peace officers". I can relate. The so-called good ones don't do enough to neutralize the obviously bad ones and for that reason I find it hard to sympathize with them.
She also was faced with a decision that many of you haven't been put in - do I stand on principle? Do I defend myself, my family, and my home from the unjust aggression of the state? Or do I bend for self-preservation? I've been put in that position. The outcome was me being shackled and perp-walked out of my 5 year old daughter's classroom. We know what Ms. Gaines chose. What we don't know, is whether or not this was "the best decision she could have made".
THE BEST DECISION
I put this in quotes because I take issue with the use of the subjective term "best decision" especially due to how frequently it's been thrown around by apologists, pacifists, and naysayers. The thing is, you all have the right to say "nay", to be passive, to apologize for brutality, but to dismiss her actions as improper is to declare that your way of interfacing with the world is the only right way - and that is just incorrect. Our decisions are functions of our belief/ideal system. Some of you value assimilating and advancement more than you value freedom and sovereignty. That's fine. Live your life how you want. But before you look with disdain at those who value liberty more than they value safety, please remember that Harriet Tubman was considered a boat rocking criminal when she was helping people escape slavery....
There is an easy narrative to regurgitate with regard to the child: she put him in harms way. I'm categorically opposed to it. Shaun King writes about the numerous occasions that non-Black men have assaulted, shot at, and endangered the lives of law enforcement agents only to be taken into custody ALIVE. It's fair to say that Korryn never imagined that the cops would endanger her son's life by firing upon her with him in close proximity.
I'd like to suggest a different narrative that you are welcome to accept or reject: Korryn Gaines was a courageous woman who lived on her own terms and tragically was murdered by racist cops who see Black people's lives as not being valuable and for not being subservient in the face of their state appointed "authority".
In other words, she was killed for pushing back. And please believe, the need to push back against a system that is more totalitarian every day is LOOONG overdue. You will understand when the reasons for sending in the SWAT team start to affect you (i.e. collecting student loan debt)...