Dear Sandra Bland,
I've never done this before. I'm sorry, you didn't deserve this, I shouldn't have to get to know you like this. Just like I shouldn't have gotten to know Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown or Jonathan Ferrell or Tamir Rice or Eric Garner or Oscar Grant or Yvette Smith or Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell or Rekia Boyd and so many others like this, but Pac said smile through the bullshit so I'm going to smile. It's nice to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you, about all of you and so you all know we know what they say is bullshit. They said you didn't signal right, he was a punk and they always get away. He tried to grab the gun, he needed help but was in the wrong neighborhood for that. He was a kid being a kid playing with a BB gun, I did it too. He couldn't breathe or was selling illegal cigarettes. He was fighting on a train. They said she had a gun but she didn't, they led cops on a high speed chase, she was shot in the back of the head while hanging with friends. isn't that how they like to see us though, hanging with friends.
You all deserved better. You all deserved to see a new day, deserved to know your lives matter. And I'm not saying you're perfect, none of us are but I didn't want to have to meet you this way. I'd rather meet you like you meet a distant relative at a family reunion, you know the one on your mommas, daddy's sister's brother's cousin side. Or that cousin who been gone too long that came back to town with stories that probably aren't true. That crazy uncle who always has money to give and a story to tell. That cousin you haven't seen since y'all were kids but you pick up right where you left off back then. Or That great aunt who always brings the sweet potato pie and you don't know the secret ingredient but she says it's love and you believe her because that's what it tastes like. Yeah that's how we should have met.
We should have met discussing your dreams, your aspirations like yeah, Sandra wants to be a doctor or a civil rights activist or a chef or whatever you wanted to be, you discussed it with such a passion that we could feel it in your soul. I wish I didn't have to know your names or I wish I knew your names because you were a CEO of a fortune 500 company or an architect or an engineer just something, anything where your heart still beats, where your dreams are still yours and not floating in the wind with your spirits.
But instead, we're here with questions like what happened why is it still happening, when is it enough? Having to defend saying black lives matter because the majority can't see or refuse to see the assault on black lives. All they say is what about black on black crime or what about Chicago and Baltimore. They don't even realize we know those lives matter too, we know all lives matter and we'd rather not have to use the hash tag, but we refuse to let this be swept under the rug or placed in the back of the closet where America likes to keep the mirror it hates to look in.
But I'm getting off topic, it's not about them or me, it's about you and everyone like you who didn't get the chance to shine, to change, to grow, to inspire, to live, to learn from mistakes, to get justice, to see their day in court, to choose who they would become, to be a human being.
It was nice to have met you though your time was short-lived and I barely know your name.
Hope for the future