Thursday, August 28, 2014
Dear Antonio Smith
I am so sorry. I didn't do it. I didn't shoot you four times but I am sorry that someone did. There may not be a big rally with your name chanted. Maybe there will not be a social media campaign with your name behind a hashtag, but you mattered. There will not be a movie about your life. You mattered though. Your life mattered and your death was tragic. Antonio, people keep saying that we only care and cry and scream about black people dying when it is at the hands of a white cop. Sweetheart, that is not true. I promise. We are numb and shaken and torn and pulled and we die at every body. And to be so young. Nine years old. I will call your name. I will pray for your family. I will pray for your community. Your Chicago and my Los Angeles I will pray. I am sorry. You mattered. Your life, your family, your friends, everything about you matters. If there is a way for you to know this, please know it well. And what good is my sorry? What good are my prayers? What good are my words? My rage? My tears? I don't know. I really don't. Maybe though, someone will understand that we are not actors, that this is not a play, that our wailing is real and too often. But what good is our wailing? Because you are still gone. Too soon. Too horrific. Until my last breath I will fight for black boys and girls like you. For black men and women like me. Human beings with stories and laughter and meaning and history. Human beings who deserve tomorrows.