When You Are Dead, What Will Your Legacy Be?

Header - Post - Psalm 14.4When You Are Dead, What Will Your Legacy Be?  I have been contemplating this question a lot lately.  I have been asking so many other questions too.  Questions that I cannot answer.  Questions that have no answers.  Questions that linger…

With the deaths of numerous Black women and men, no punishment for their white killers and the media character assassinations of the decedents, I have been in deep contemplation about legacies.  When the killers are police officers, the character assassination in the media is immediate.  The families cannot even bury the loved one before that person’s life, actual or fabricated, is shared with the public.  When You Are Dead, What Will Your Legacy Be?

Just thinking about 2014, my heart becomes heavy. I weep for the numerous lives taken unexpectedly and unnecessarily.  I hurt for the callousness of the killings.  I bemoan the treatment of our bodies lying in the street dying.  Are we not worthy of emergency medical treatment?  I lament for the families that have loved ones who never return home from running an errand that becomes their last actions.  Where is the closure?  I grieve for Black folks who attend funeral after funeral after funeral with no respite.  Will this Continuous Traumatic Stress ever become Post Traumatic Stress?  I mourn for the protesters, on the front lines and in the background, who deal with opposing people who threaten them and refuse to understand the struggle for justice.  I cry for the preachers who are willfully blind to the systemic institutional racism imbedded in the fabric of the United StatesAre you conscientizing the people with your sermons or are you a tool of the oppressor?

When You Are Dead, What Will Your Legacy Be?

I think about Black women and men killed by white law enforcement offices during this century.  I think about Black men and women killed by white police officers in the previous centuries.  The killing of Black bodies by white authority figures is not a new phenomenon.  I think about how these white police officers hardly ever getting indicted.  If indictments actually come, convictions are practically nonexistent.  How can animals get more justice than dead Black people?

After each killing, each non indictment, each dismissal of charges, each acquittal the same people are “shocked” by the events.  Have they been paying attention?  They have not heeded my warnings.  It is unreasonable to expect a righteous outcome or righteousness itself from a system that was created by corrupt individuals.  No justice, no righteousness.

These state-sanctioned killings of my people are akin to King Herod’s killings in the second chapter of the Gospel According of Matthew.

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.” (NIV)

Who is the government looking for by killing our Black children?

Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Michael Brown, Eleanor Bumpurs, Ezell Ford, Miriam Carey, Oscar Grant, Tarika Wilson, Kimani Gray, Tyisha Miller, Tamir Rice, John Crawford…….I speak their names so that they will not be forgotten.

How many more Rachels will weep for her children?

When You Are Dead, What Will Your Legacy Be?

Min. Crystal L. Cochren