Why I Cry For Korryn Gaines
“Although Black women are routinely killed, raped, and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality. Yet, inclusion of Black women’s experiences in social movements, media narratives, and policy demands around policing and police brutality is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color.”
Korryn Gaines is number 9. Number 9, that is, in the line-up of black women who were robbed of their lives by police in 2016.
Number 1 was Janet Wilson, who was shot and killed by officers in Dearborn, Michigan, while she attempted to drive away from a shopping center. She was unarmed.
The seven other women are Jessica Williams, Laronda Sweatt, Kisha Arrone, Kisha Michael, India Beaty, Deresha Armstrong, and Sahlah Ridgeway.
All nine of these women, the latest of them Korryn Gaines, were accused of “attacking police,” resulting in them being shot to death by the police officers that they allegedly attacked. Never mind the fact that there is a lack of substantial evidence made readily available to support these claims in all nine cases. Never mind the fact that the Baltimore Police County issued an order for the deletion of Gaines’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, thereby removing any evidence that would contradict their statements (the Monday afternoon murder of Gaines was caught on Camera).
When I first saw the photograph of Gaines on my Instagram feed on Monday night, I was yet unaware of who this beautiful young woman was and why her photograph was circulating. When I found out why shortly afterwards, I cried.
I cried like a child who had lost its mother. I cried like Korryn Gaines’ infant son and daughter will cry when they face up to the fact that they’ll never see their mother again.
I cried because this was a gorgeous, woke young woman who once said in defiance to a police officer who threatened to arrest her for no reason “To get me out of my car, you’ll have to murder me,” and murder her they did.
I cried because her son, injured and currently lying in a hospital bed, must relive the nightmare of seeing his mother shot to death, for the rest of his life.
How many of you knew she was a spoken word poet?
I cry, because, had she lived, she might have been one of the spoken word poets that we regularly feature on Soulreflectionz.com. I cry, because the world was robbed of this bright light that can never be replaced. I have a question. Do you think it’s an accident that they seem to target, track down and kill all the woke ones?
When I think of Korryn Gaines, I can’t help but think of all of my female relatives in the US; beautiful, woke black women, just like she was. I can’t help but be afraid of what could happen to them. What could I possibly say to them? Be careful out there? Try not to make the fact that you’re breathing and existing in your black skin too obvious, lest someone becomes offended and shoots you?
Every day I pray for their safety; for the preservation of their lives, to a God whom I hope values black lives far more than this world has ever valued them.
They might be able to kill our bodies, but they’ll never be able to murder our spirits.
Continue to Resist In Power, Queen Korryn.
By: Danielle Dixon
Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani