Politics & Race
Apparently Black People Like Dying

By Michael Harriot

No one killed Freddie Gray.

Apparently he was just walking down the street, where–having committed no crime, he magically teleported himself into a police wagon. No one put him there, because that would make police liable for his death. Apparently Freddie liked police wagons. And he like being falsely arrested, because the court that determined the charges he was supposedly arrested for–having an illegal switchblade–were wrong.

Apparently the men driving the wagon did not hear Freddie wantonly breaking his own neck. Apparently they could not hear him scream like every other passenger in that wagon did. That’s probably because he apparently begged the officers responsible for belting him in safely (he had on handcuffs, remember) to leave him unbelted. Yeah, apparently Freddie liked danger.

And Freddie liked dying. Freddie liked it so much that, once inside that wagon, he flung himself to and fro until his neck broke. Then, again with magic and a broken neck, he kept slamming himself against the walls of that wagon until his neck broke some more. And some more. So many times, that when they stopped, the first question the medic asked was “what the fuck did you guys do?” She said Freddie’s neck “felt like a bag of rocks.”

But apparently Freddie did all of this to himself, like the rest of the suicidal niggers whose bodies pile up in morgues after confrontation with the police. Apparently Black people like dying. They want to die.

Like 12 year old Tamir. He must have wanted to die, because preteens playing with toys in parks are perfectly capable of understanding the contextual significance. Apparently Tamir knew the psychological research that showed that Black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than whites. He must have understood that the cop who would eventually arrive to shoot him 2 seconds after he put his car into park was previously deemed emotionally unstable and unfit for duty. Tamir must have known, because, apparently no one killed Tamir Rice.

Because Black people like dying.

Because apparently Sandra Bland was depressed enough to kill herself even though she just got a new job. Because apparently smoking cigarettes in her own car is a jailable offense. Because apparently there was a recent rash of traffic deaths caused by criminals unwilling to signal when they changed lanes. Because apparently she manifested the same negro magic Freddie Gray used to conjure up a trash bag out of thin air. Because apparently, even though no one in the history of that jail can remember having access to a trash bag, apparently Sandra could. She had already said she was suicidal on her intake form. Those are the same records that they admit were falsified to show that jailers checked on her. Apparently that doesn’t matter. Because Sandra wanted to die.

According to the verdicts, judgements or lack thereof, apparently police do not kill Black people.

Eric Garner waited all his life to have a heart attack at the exact moment a NYPD officer decided to use an outlawed chokehold on him. Apparently Kizzy Adonis–the officer whose forearm just so happened to be pressed against Garner’s throat at the time–did not kill Eric Garner.

Yes, Black people like dying.

That is the only conclusion I can come up with.

Apparently Trayvon, who had never committed another crime, decided, on his way home from the store, to attack a gun-toting stranger, 20 years his senior, who just so happened to be following him–For nothing. Out of the blue.

No one killed Rekia Boyd either. Apparently she wanted to get shot in the head. She did not resist, nor was she involved in a crime, but she still died.

Amado Diallo, unarmed and charged with no crime except “looking like” a serial rapist, died after 41 bullets apparently fled police officers’ guns and spontaneously injected themselves into Diallo’s body. That must be the cause, because the police officers charged with his murder were acquitted. No one killed Diallo either… or is it “too?”

Apparently Alton Sterling wanted to kill police so bad that he kept his gun in his waistband when they threw him on the ground and handcuffed him. Philando Castille was so dangerous that he stayed in his car and informed police that he was licensed to carry a firearm. I’m sure no one killed them too… or either.

Justice eludes us, and apparently it has nothing to do with racism. The fact that every objective study ever conducted shows that police arrest, mistreat and kill Black people disproportionately has nothing to do with it. It has nothing to do with fear, lack of training, or the inability to resist implied prejudices. No, they will never admit any of this.

Instead they will speak of resisting–except we don’t resist as much as the caucasian meth addicts who kick out cop car windows with their bare feet or white girls who cuss out officers for not treating them with the respect they deserve. They will warn us to wait for the investigation, or for the grand jury, or for… whatever happens before they set cops free.

Soon we will stop stupidly waiting for a system that mistreats and oppresses to someday suddenly indict and convict itself. Until then, we will still keep wanting to die.

Because no one kills Black people…



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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