I told my partner I needed to be alone.
I went into the side room of our house and shut the door. I lay down on the carpet, with my face down, and closed my eyes.
As I stared at the blackness of my eyelids, my emotions floored me and overwhelmed me. The latest video of a law enforcer murdering an unarmed Black person weighed me down.
This law enforcer is Michael Drejka, 47, of Clearwater, Fla. He’s the self-appointed sheriff’s deputy of parking spaces.
And on July 19, he pulled up to a convenience store and spotted a car in a space designated for handicapped drivers.
Drejka got out of his vehicle to inspect the parked car. The surveillance video from the store shows Drejka conducting visual checks on the car for a handicapped decal.
Seeing no justification for the parked vehicle, Drejka confronts the passenger. Inside the parked car is Britany Jacobs, 25, and her two children. In the video, Drejka looks loud and angry.
And as Drejka is giving Jacobs his worst words, her boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, comes out of the store. He sees Drejka harassing his girlfriend, and he shoves Drejka.
Drejka falls to the ground, and as McGlockton moves back, Drejka draws his gun and kills McGlockton.
Drejka now says he feared for his life.
And the actual sheriff says he can’t do anything because Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law encourages killing. Not only that, but the updated law puts the burden to prove otherwise on the prosecution.
So, the county sheriff forwarded the case to the state’s attorney for consideration. And now, lawmakers from Florida have called on the Department of Injustice to investigate.
At issue is whether Drejka had cause to fear for his life since McGlockton made no other moves after pushing him to the ground.
And my eyes agree with that glaring issue in this case. A shove that’s free of injury and imminent danger does not call for killing anyone. When push comes to shove — is not an idiom for murder.
So, I not only want Drejka to go to jail for murder, but I want to repeal the Stand Your Ground Laws. People are murdering people needlessly. We cannot trust people to execute justice with guns based on their subjective feelings.
Because, in the soaked and sloppy manure of privilege and racism, people who claim whiteness believe all the ground is theirs. Am, I right?
They stand on every ground and live to stomp on those not possessed with the entitled look and birthright. They make a duty out of their pet peeves to punish people in public like they’re the police.
And they provoke people. They provoke people to death.
These self-credentialed hunters, who are preying menaces, will do what they can to flush out their victims in plain sight.
They want to start shit and end it for themselves. They incite fights; they shoot to kill, and then they stand on legal grounds made for and by whiteness.
I’ve seen them call us the king of all fighting words to our faces over and over again. And if the fighting word does what it intends, the law lets them kill at will.
I’ve seen police officers who can’t handle back talk without brutalizing people. And here McGlockton was standing his ground at his car and his killer goes free for the fight the killer picked.
My gavel wants to slam and bang with loud condemnation for Florida. I’m still bitter over Bush’s election, Casey Anthony, Trayvon Martin, and our last election. But, this is a national problem of gun violence. Well over half the country enforces Stand Your Ground Laws.
And, every state has the regular and riled up racists. This is a racist country. A racist country with guns.
And so, given the everyday bias and fear of dark skin, I am worried by laws that legalize lethal force.
Did you know a study in 2009 found that the white participants rated neutral Black male faces as more threatening than neutral white male faces?
And then a study of 500 white adults by the American Psychological Association demonstrated that racial anxiety impairs the ability to judge time and motion. This is a problem! So, when white people say they fear for their lives, I must examine their bias and racism. And, people need to check their eyes and minds before they pick up guns.
So, I already know vigilantes see Black as a threat in their gunsights. And if they don’t call the police for pointless reasons, they point guns at us.
But I want to know why the law doesn’t fault the entire chain of events in these cases?
The unnecessary provoking deserves blame and shame.
And, we all know, George Zimmerman stalked, harassed, and killed Trayvon Martin for being Black and walking at night. Zimmerman was the provoker and the legal system justified his deadly crime.
And we must believe people noted the permanent red ink in the sky that says — on this land you can provoke people and then kill them.
The country refused to learn from Trayvon Martin. America has no interest to alter anything that combines race and guns.
So, this law gives provoking people a license to kill. It allows them to slay their victims and then say their victims made them kill. In some cases, the only person who can testify is dead. And the killers claim exemptions as they strut through the loopholes handcrafted by lawmakers.
But in our persistent climate of reigning racism, that many must weather daily, we must revoke these licenses.
Too many people carry guns while under the influence of whiteness and privilege. Some of them have the mighty blue shield. And society has lathered others in a force field. It’s a force field that covers their skin like the stoutest sunblock against any ray of light from justice.
So, the Stand Your Ground Law is not a safe ground law. It’s more like a stay on the ground or get on the ground law. Because this law ensures more bodies will fall to the ground and go underground.
It shouldn’t take stacks of bodies to change a law. And it seems the higher the bodies stack, the higher people go to step over the bodies.
I wish lawmakers would think about their laws before they pass them.
I wish they’d consider the implications of their laws and ask themselves how their laws will hurt people of darker shades.
I wish we only allowed shootings when there is a real threat.
I wish people would shred their entitled to confront everyone cards and mind their own business.
I wish people feared the monsters inside themselves. I wish people exercised their right to defend themselves against themselves.
But I’m done with wishful thinking. I must demand a revision to the laws of the land.
And I know the revision I need. I need a land where everyone can stand — and live — free from provocation.