Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Like millions of others, I woke up Friday morning to a trending Dave Chappelle ‘comedy’ special entitled 8:46. And I couldn't wait to watch another hilarious stand up by one of my favorite comedians.
However, if you’ve watched it already, you know it was everything but funny. Even then, it was exactly what the world needed to hear right now. Honestly, it was what I needed to hear because it mirrored how I was feeling. It is heavy to think about these things and even harder to talk about it. Still, we can’t keep internalizing the traumas we witness if things are really going to change.
“I don’t want to get heavy but we gotta say something.” - Dave Chappelle
It took me almost 48 hours to process the 27 minutes of content beautifully executed by Chappelle. And now as I write this I have just finished watching the video of Rayshard Brooks, killed fatally by police in Atlanta.
Now before I speak on this specifically, I want to share a few things with you...
August of last year, my wife’s cousin Andre Moye Jr., a respected highway patrol officer and incredible human being, was killed during a routine traffic stop. This was a very painful experience for their entire family and will change how I see those hired to protect and serve. I say all this to say, I understand that police officers deal with life-threatening situations that cause fear and distrust.
However, I understand how it feels to be afraid of the police even when I’ve done nothing wrong. I know what it's like to tense up when I see them in my rearview mirror while driving. It is this fear, that made the video of Rayshard Brooks so heartbreaking. I am not justifying resisting arrest or using a tazor on an officer, what I’m trying to convey is how I can relate to his fear that moment.
Fear can make us act in ways others may not understand unless they’ve experienced themselves. When I watched the video, I understood why he resisted, especially after George Floyd. Through his lens, he was fighting for his life because he thought he had a better chance with a gun to his back, then a knee to his neck. He was scared. Do I think he’d still be alive if not resisted? Probably. But fear is a powerful emotion on both sides and until we find a way to deal with it, the headlines will continue.
Dave Chappelle and Rayshard Brooks reminded me this week that the movement and its momentum must continue. I don’t want my kids to live with the same fear that I do, I want them to love everyone. Even now, my kids are not fearful of police, they see them like they saw their cousin Andre, as protectors. This is why I’m dedicated to doing what I can to support the movement for change.
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