in praise of black resistance: a reflection on the charlotte uprising

September 26, 2016

To say that it’s a surprise that another body has fallen victim to a police officer while simultaneously being unarmed and Black, would be to say that we haven’t been paying attention for the last few years. Much of what is being felt day to day in cities around America is a combination of fear, disgust, frustration, and helplessness at a system that was not made with Black people in mind. How does one reckon with this? How does a community respond when one of their own is taken in such a way? In the aftermath of many police brutality protests, it’s common for the powers at be to wonder aloud how the city’s Black and Brown bodies came to foster so much anger. In Charlotte, an unarmed, disabled Black man named Keith Lamont Scott was gunned down by police outside his home while waiting for his son to come home from school. That, in and of itself, is enough to ignite the frustration with the oppression our communities face daily. But beyond that, the consistent and systematic dismantling of school systems, disenfranchisement through discriminatory practices in criminal justice and finance, and the gutting of social programs create an environment where there is very little hope and plenty of justified anger. These feelings feed into and build upon one another until a breaking point and it seems that this is my city’s.

Charlotte is my home. It is the place where I was born, the place that I was raised, and the place I could die, but hopefully not too soon, and certainly not at the hands of police. It’s impossible to describe watching your city erupt in such a way without feeling personally responsible for pushing it towards equality. It is my hope that Charlotte remains strong in the face of adversity, discrimination, and state sanctioned police violence and that the city that I love continues the work of Black resistance well beyond the protests for the fallen Keith Lamont Scott. I affirm that Black Lives Matter, in every sense of the phrase. I support those involved with Charlotte Uprising and send my sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Keith Lamont Scott. To support Charlotte Uprising, visit their website.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor