As I sit and write this with a broken heart and boggled mind that amidst a pandemic and a recession, police brutality resurgence is added to the cocktail that has many folks' cortisol levels high af. The most recent breaking story is live footage of a modern-day lynching taking place in the birth place of Prince (may he RIP). Let me tell you, I would rather binge-watch horror movies about the occult, paranormal activity and demon possession whilst taking breaks to mess around with a ouija board then to watch live footage, start to finish, where dehumanization leads to death, especially of my people. Let that footage be for indisputable evidence ONLY, because it's traumatizing.
The slaughter of Blacks and other POC is certainly nothing new to this country's past or present. Over 400 years of oppression. And counting. So it begs the question: did Black lives ever really matter? Based on historical and present-day evidence, the answer is that they seem to matter only to Black lives. You know what does matter? The Black dollar. All 1.3 trillion of it (yes my friend, TRILLION).
How is it possible for one of the most poverty-striken American cultures to consume that much money in the marketplace? The power of collective consumption! Black people, on average, spend way more money than they save and/or invest. Imagine if we redirected and kept those dollars amongst our communities. One may draw the conclusion that the only real power Black people have is our dollar.
Also, Black culture. Cultural appropriation is an insult to injury. The culture vultures become blind and deaf whenever the culture's real experiences get too real. Like literally crickets. A part of me even believes that many of our allies cape for us because they value the novelty of the culture and their supporters within the culture more than they actually care about the Black experience. This belief is present moment and may change.
So why would racist cops and white supremacists want Blacks dead if business owners need Blacks alive while Hollywood needs and feeds off Black culture? That's a trillion dollar question.
Perhaps Black lives never really mattered; only our contributions make us human (to them).