by Kaycie López Jones, Educational Equity Program Manager
Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family,
I am sure many of you are already aware about yet another police shooting of a Black child that occurred recently in Balch Springs, Texas. As I reflect, so many thoughts wander through my head, and two seemingly contradictory thoughts stand out. 1) More of a feeling really, the surreal feeling that this reality is not somewhere else, it is not in the Jim Crow past or the dystopian future, I am not outside of it, it is here, in the present, where all things collide. I am living in it, this is what it feels like to be under siege in the modern era. Programs that focus on connecting people and creating equitable and just solutions are criticized and defunded, white youth are praised as heroes and heroines even as as they are the highly impacted by their own heroin epidemic, yet still talks of doubling down on the war on drugs in Black neighborhoods circulate; a few token youth of color are held up as the good ones, few out of many; while other Black and Brown youth feel no sense of value or belonging within a society that degrades their intelligences and televises their genocide. This is what it feels like, it's not there, or over there, it's here. How much need be internalized before it becomes poison, before the glow in our eyes fades to grey? We need to cry together, laugh together, fly together. 2) Nothing is new but the same old same old. This is what it has been feeling like for many, maybe not me, sheltered from the struggles of my own people for so long, perhaps I was at first not aware of the impact, but it was there, hiding behind the veil, puppeteering my experience without my knowledge. Now the strings have been cut and the veil lifted, there's The Man's face, plain as day with eyes dark as night, smiling a bright, menacing smile as he takes the veil and blows his nose with it and throws it away. "My deed here is done." He says, "Have fun." I look beyond and then it's clear yet still so surreal. Wait! This is nothing new, this has been true. This is nothing new. This has been true. This is why I'm driven to do what I do.
And so I ask you all to please reflect for a moment. Take a moment to reflect. Jordan Edwards is your brother, is your friend, is your uncle, is your nephew, is your child, is you. Just another unique human being on earth, enjoying their life, figuring out life, figuring out relationships, figuring out this mind, figuring out this body, figuring out this spirit; I can only pray that wherever his spirit is now, it is at peace. Thank you, Jordan Edwards, for your bravery during this incarnation, for sacrificing your life for our lessons, albeit unwillingly and undeservedly, may you receive the light of the universe and be free.