BLACK LIVES MATTER

I wrote this for an insta post and figured I'd post it here too.
  1. I always see these words on Twitter
  2. And I feel an increasing sense of dread every time I see them
  3. Because while I was away
  4. Alton Sterling, a black man who was loved by his family and children, was killed by two white police officers in Baton Rouge despite the fact that he posed no threat to the people around him
  5. Philando Castile, a black man who was loved and admired by his family, friends, and coworkers, was shot by a police officer in Minnesota despite the fact that he posed no threat to the people around him
  6. While I was away
  7. Videos of both men's murders circulated throughout the Internet in a horrible test of how desensitized we are to this sort of thing
  8. While I was away
  9. The Baton Rouge judicial system revealed its preferences and prejudices when it allowed, at least in the Alton Sterling case, the officers responsible "a day or so to go home and think about it" even though they were CAUGHT ON CAMERA
    Quote from Roxanne Gay's piece for NYT: http://nyti.ms/29qUcLS
  10. The media revealed its preferences and prejudices by posting Sterling's mug shot more quickly than it took to list Brock Turner's irrelevant swim times
  11. While I was away
  12. More black deaths occurred, unacknowledged by big media
    I'm thinking specifically of this tweet: https://twitter.com/grimygus/status/751098214023962626
  13. While I was away
  14. Eleven officers were shot by snipers in Dallas during a peaceful protest against police brutality
    Which is inevitably going to distract from the need for peace that propels the Black Lives Matter movement
  15. While I was away, black men and women lost their lives due to a country's refusal to change the way it thinks about race
  16. Because the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are not isolated, freak events but part of the larger systematic persecution of black people in America
  17. and I recognize that every time I have been silent have only contributed to the problem.
  18. I also recognize that the mic belongs to POC voices right now, and the best I can do as a white woman is amplify them.
    These lists by @simplyshelli ABOUT MY SILENCE... and @boygirlparty BLACK LIVES MATTER come to mind, as does Claudia Rankine's painful and exquisite book, Citizen, and Amandla Stenberg's activist writing.
  19. All this is to say that no one can afford the luxury of being "away" anymore.
  20. Silence feeds violence.
  21. Ignorance is not an option.
  22. I am Justine and I stand with the #blacklivesmatter movement.
  23. *listens to Freetown Sound every day for the next 100 years*