Today as I scrolled through my timeline on twitter, I was absolutely elated to see that the revolutionary Harriet Tubman’s face will grace the $20 bill in 2020. I can recall when voting was taking place thinking…that will never happen. So imagine my delight when the announcement was made earlier today. You have no idea how much pride I felt in that moment! It looked like progress, felt like change & seemed like possibility; just the same as when Barack Obama was elected President of these United States of America.
Every so often in between work I’d check facebook and see yet another person sharing the post and again I’d smile. I’m sure at least 90% of African Americans who happened upon the news smiled the same smile. You know the one where the corners of your mouth lift upward and your heart brims with elation while the words “Look at God” echo throughout. That’s the smile I smiled no less than 3 times today.
That was until an Instagram post by the shade room brought me right back to reality. “Officer Peter Liang Gets No Jail Time In Brooklyn Stairwell Shooting Death”
I read those words and was immediately jolted back into the reality that there’s nothing equal, fair, or progressive about where we are.
Not familiar with the case. I won’t bore you with the details. It’s just another instance of death by police of an unarmed young black man. The irony of this one is that he was convicted of manslaughter yet he won’t spend a single solitary day behind bars for taking the life of an UNARMED YOUNG BLACK MALE.
It’s like they give us a reason to smile only to gut punch us again while sitting back pointing and saying look at those idiots, they thought they won. You read ish like this and all of a sudden the change to the $20 bill doesn’t seem like progress at all cause they still lynching n****s and getting away with it.
Perhaps, I’m being a little too cynical. Perhaps…but I doubt it.
As conflicted as I am with the stories that pulse throughout my timeline, I’m still happy about the victory today of knowing that a brave old slave woman who saw beyond her desire to be free, and risked her life to free hundreds others will have her face gracing U.S. currency. Because for years, money was made on the backs of enslaved blacks and there was nothing good, right, or just about it. So the news of Tubman is definitely a win today. And I guess the news of Liang’s acquittal via sentencing is just another harsh reminder that there are more battles to fight and wars to win.
I’ve got my war gear on!