Black & Unafraid

By Petite Pointer

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, a friend and I organized a candlelight vigil at Belo Gardens in Downtown Dallas for Tyre King, Terence Clutcher, and other victims of police brutality.

It was my first time back in the city since the July 7 shootings that took place there.

Here is a transcript of the speech I gave:

“I was here in this very spot on July 7, 2016,
doing my job as a filmmaker, journalist, and photographer.
After the bullets came, I ran.
I ran with a friend and others who were marching.
We ran for our lives,
And because of all that happened, I vowed not to come back.

But now here I am.
I am Petite Pointer,
I am a photographer,
I am a filmmaker,
I am a journalist,
I am black,
and I will not be silenced, or ignored or abused.

We are here for Tyre King.
We are here for Terence Clutcher.
We are here for Keith Lamont Scott.
We are here for Sandra Bland.
We are here for Alton Sterling.
We are here for Philando Castile.
We are here for Clinton Allen.
We are here for Joseph Hutchinson.
We are here for Michael Brown.
We are here for all victims of police brutality.

We are not here for violence.
We are not here to hear opposition, nor criticism.
This is not the time or place for it.
All lives will matter when black lives matter.

The truth is that while the videos of the victims are traumatizing, so are the comments justifying the actions of the officers, and the tweets from those who claim ‘all lives matter.’
And what’s even worse, these people are those to whom we sadly give the title of co-worker or friend.
What I need for my white allies to understand is that America may have been great to you, but it’s hasn’t been that way for us.

Everything that I and the others here stand for is nothing like what CNN, Fox News, and other mainstream media portray us to be. It’s sad that many people care more about a piece of cloth than the body of a person of color.

Even racism gets more respect and more attention than a person of color.
We’re only cared about when we’re temporarily newsworthy and stereotyped.
We’re cared about and desired when our skin is lighter.
We’re cared about and deemed good if we listen to our oppressors,
And stay silent and overlook the injustices.
It’s like we need permission to be human, even though we already are.

We’re not stereotypes;
We’re not fetishes;
We’re not objects.
We’re human beings and should be treated as such.

We have rights like you do, but you fail to acknowledge that we breathe like you do.
You just feel threatened by that.
We have the right to be educated.
You just feel threatened by that.
We have the right to worship.
You just feel threatened by that.
All the things you feel threatened by because of us reflects your own ignorance, not ours.

No ice-cream, candy, or hug will bring Michael Brown, Clinton Allen, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Terence Clutcher, Tyre King, Sandra Bland, or any other victim back from the dead. They should still be here.

We will continue to walk where we please.
We will continue to wear our hair the way we please.
We will continue to worship.
We will continue to eat where we please.
We will continue to work wherever we please.
We will continue to read our books wherever we please.
Whether it’s in the park or in our cars or elsewhere.
We will continue to shop where we please.
And most of all, we will continue to go to school where we want
Go to college where we want.
Without fear of being harassed by police.
We will continue to live, as they would have lived.
We will live in peace, we will live in peace.

We will continue to live and fulfill their dreams,
For the sake of the world.”

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Alison Pointer is an filmmaker, illustrator and journalist working in Texas. She has covered the Barrett Brown sentencing and has filmed coverage on Michael Brown and Palestine. She's currently working on an documentary on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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