It has been a long 3 ½ months. I’m angry. I feel helpless. Reality is like humidity with its oppression. The first month I stayed strong. I donated. I was an armchair activist to the nth degree. I marched. But as time has gone by I find myself going inward. I still donate when I can. I share stuff that I feel is important on social media (calling your reps, bringing attention to special elections). But with the investigation of Russian’s involvement with the election dragging, it’s hard to stay motivated. What I have continue to do is to stay informed and read. This week I finished The Hate You Give by A.C. Thomas.
The Hate You Give is the story of 16 year old Starr. One night she is leaving a party with her friend Khalil when they are pulled over by a police officer for a broken tail light. By the end of the encounter with the officer, Khalil is dead and Starr is the only witness.
The book is a young adult novel. A lot of popular YA novels have white female protagonists (Katniss, Bella, and Tris just to name a few). Starr is black. She lives in a run down neighborhood that has seen better days. And her story could have come from this week’s news. It is a story that needs to be heard and not denied. The epidemic of black kids being killed by police officers has been around longer than I have been alive. With social media and body cameras these days it has become more high profile. But yet this is the first time I have picked up a young adult novel and read about a teen black girl and what she faces.
I read a review of The Hate You Give and decided to check it out. It is a good book. I cared about the characters. The story made me sad but I wasn’t shocked by the events because I read the news. I hate reading that anybody has to feel afraid when they see a cop. Or that their mom and dad have to teach them how to act around police officers so nothing bad will happen to them. I was brought up believing that they are here to protect us. I don’t believe that all cops are bad. In fact, I know that the majority of them aren’t. But why isn’t that same viewpoint given to people of color?
I want to scream how unfair it is and throw a temper tantrum. But I know that won’t do a damn bit of good. So I will continue to read, listen, and educate myself. I will donate to those organizations that are affected. I am only one person. But if I can change my perspective and hopefully pass that onto my own kids, I know I can keep fighting.
I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!