I love black men. How could I not? My father has always been my personal superhero. My brothers and I love each other with a fearsome loyalty. So of course, when little black boys get beaten up, my heart drops to my feet.
A few hours ago, Huffpo picked up this story, “Marissa Sargeant Claims Son, 14, Was Brutally Beaten By Police After Shoplifting Arrest”
According to Sargeant, he shoplifted and was beaten during his arrest.
That little boy could be my 15 year old brother.
Even if he resisted during arrest–something that remains to be seen–would it take several grown men tasing him to get him to calm down? Honestly?
I am tired of black boys and black men being treated as expendable, interchangeable, and violent–as though they are all the same.
In this day and age, loving a black man is dangerous. Loving a black man means always being watchful for the very real, physical danger they face at the hands of those who are supposed to protect him. It means being worried that, if he’s out too late at night, he will be harmed because a case of mistaken identity. It means that the treatment granted to white criminals is never quite the same for black men who commit the same, or even lesser crimes.
I love my Dad and my brothers. One day, I’d love to marry a black man and have sons and daughters.
It hurts my heart to know I will have to prepare them for a world that might swallow them whole. Just as I am currently waging war against erroneous images of black women, I wage war against the stereotypes of black men.
Black men have never assaulted or harmed me; but at least once, a white man has.
Black men have always protected me.
Black men have respected my physical boundaries.
Black men–regardless of socioeconomic class–are chivalrous towards me and always courteous.
I have always felt safe with black men (yes, including men who have been to prison).
Black men have loved me exactly as I am.
And I love them too.