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Breonna Taylor's death reminds me this country doesn't love me as much as I love it

The 'Mothers of the Movement' are fighting for their voices to be heard, and to end the cycles of police and gun violence killing their children.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 3:11 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 3:11 PM

Some days I feel like a woman without a country.

The death of Breonna Taylor has been yet another painful reminder that women like me, Black women, are not safe in America.

We can be killed in our own homes by police and an officer will be charged over the bullets that missed, a charge that came only after months of calls for justice.

Make no mistake, Breonna Taylor's death wrought destruction - and not just for the family and friends who knew and loved her.

There has been constant outcry in the six months since Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, home while police were executing a search warrant.

She is just one more Black person whose life has been overshadowed in many ways by their death and who, sadly, have become symbols of the racial inequality that has always been, and feels like it may always be.

Such discouraging thoughts have become so familiar that I fear I am becoming numb to it.

The #SayHerName and #JusticeForBreonna campaigns have kept Taylor's face ever before me on social media since her death. In that beautiful young woman's face, I have seen my sister, my nieces, my friends and myself.

I have wept for her and us, even as I have shed tears for a country where many are just now seeing its problems with systemic racism and racial injustice.

Typing that word alone will stop many people reading and to those who feel that way, it is hard to know you are tired of my and Breonna Taylor's Blackness.

Tired of hearing about it, thinking about it and feeling guilty about the disparity that it brings.

Imagine how tired we feel inhabiting these Black bodies. Because we live in a nation where being accused of racism angers people more than the fact of actual racism. A country where I am sure to be called a racist, accused of race-baiting and/or "playing the race card" for even daring to discuss our race problem.

To that I say: White mothers, talk to me about how you prep your White children, your sons in particular, to try and handle interactions with police so they can make it home safely. All the while knowing that no matter what you tell them there is no guarantee.

White wives, have your White husbands taught themselves how to change rear light bulbs in their cars so they can avoid being stopped by police? Because my Black husband has.

These are all constant traumas that Black women like me, like Breonna Taylor and so many other Black women I could, unfortunately, name, have had to endure.

A few weeks ago, I posted to Facebook some thoughts about what is happening in America right now—how none of it is a surprise to me because I know the history.

"I'm not shocked by the cruelty & divisiveness because I have forever snapshots in my brain of White people smiling beneath the mutilated bodies of lynched Black people," I wrote. "Voter suppression doesn't surprise me because I am the descendant of those threatened, harassed and blocked from polling stations."

I pointed out that I "sprang from women whose children were ripped from their arms and sold, but those women had to keep on living and serving."

"It's why we bury our Trayvons and our Tamirs and then become activists and run for office. We give the world beauty for ashes on the daily, with food that is more flavorful because salt seasons and what's saltier than tears?," I posted. "We dance a little harder, sing a little louder and love a little deeper because we know life is fleeting and always has been. Covid kills us more, racism kills us more. Life. Kills. Us. More."

Black people as a whole have struggled to have our humanity recognized and respected, but Black women in particular have taken that fight to the polls.

According to the report "Black Girl Magic: The Power of Black Women in Elections" put out by the AFL-CIO, "Black women drive turnout for the black community and are one of the most progressive voting blocs in the country."

It continues: "They demonstrate high levels of support for progressive issues such as police reform, raising the minimum wage and protecting Social Security. Moreover, the majority of black women have an economically liberal view of government."

To possess such power and still know that the laws we have helped bring to fruition will—so often--not protect us, feels excruciating.

It also fuels the burning desire to hold America accountable to "the justice and liberty for all" it promised.

Knowing this country doesn't love me as much as I love it would seem reason enough to give up on it.

But I won't let the deaths of Taylor, George Floyd or the others who have sparked a racial reckoning in this great nation have happened in vain.

I love this country too much to not want to see it be the best that it can be.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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