“The killing of Stephon Clark by officers of the Sacramento Police Department is another glaring example of the dehumanization of black lives by law enforcement; a state bodyguard intended to protect and serve.
“Police Terror Has No Other Name” – Part 1
This isn’t a story about one individual, except that is all about #Justice4StephonClark and all of intersections that connect us to this OUTRAGE we feel based on his senseless death on March 18, 2018. But let’s not mistake the fact that every word of this BLOG is dedicated to lifting STEPHON CLARK’S name and life, his mother’s life, his children’s lives, his grandmother’s life, siblings lives, extended family's lives and this community lives……this country and the world for that matter. This is REAL LIFE SHIT and it traumatically affects Black communities in a life and death manner all of the time. For every belief and stereotype anyone, non-black or otherwise, has about what it means to walk in Black folks shoes……THAT SHIT HAS TO STOP TODAY.
When you read “I,” remember I am (or very well could be) Sequette Clark, Stephon’s mother. I am the mother of 6 boys, 4 bonus children and 2 granddaughters. I am every mother who has felt the pain of burying a son (or daughter) age 23, 19, 17, 12, 8 or 5…..those are my boys ages. Mine could be mistaken for Trayvon or Tamir or Oscar. Mine like skittles and toy guns too. Mine can be defiant and challenge authority. Mine like to play their music loud while driving or sitting in cars. Mine aren’t perfect. I take this personal, every time Black folks and communities are the target of abuse, excessive force and murder at the hands of the police because Stephon is just like mine and I am just like his mother. We love our children unconditionally. Lovingly and unapologetically BLACK. Loving BLACK hoods and our BLACK culture.
By now we know who we are and what we do, if not, no worries you will be educated by the end of this piece. Our energy and this work are sacred, and it’s a damn shame that we have to spend any time defending our name. Don’t get me wrong, arguing and using our time to convince others is not priority BUT if anyone thinks they can disrespect our work, drag our name, or discredit this chapter that is not something we can take lightly or allow.
Black lives matter.
ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We will fight like hell, like fire, like the burning of the stars for those that have been murdered by state violence. Our chalk outlines have names. Our taken loved ones have talent, beauty, and families that grieve their absence. Their stolen potential lives in our hearts and will fuel this revolution to create a world in which their value is seen, heard, and felt.
But don’t get it twisted. We are here for the living too.
We are here for beautiful BLACK futures. We hold the vulnerability and tenderness of Black babies in our vison of justice and liberation. We hold the centuries of strength, sacrifice, and hope of Black parents in our fight for reparations and demand for freedom.
And when you come for the littlest, you come for the ALL.
Every damn one of us.
IT HAPPENS IN SACRAMENTO. In fact, it happens so much in Sacramento, that we typically see about one cop kill someone in our area each month. Between all the law enforcement agencies in our region (Sac PD, Sac Sheriff, Citrus Heights PD, Rocklin PD, Chico PD, Elk Grove PD, etc), BLM Sacramento has been loaded with work, fighting for justice for too many people. Our work has been handed to us by these various law enforcement agencies and the governments who support them, and there continues to be NOTHING to hold any of them accountable for these heinous acts of murder.
“I lost a whole continent. A whole continent from my memory. Unlike all other hyphenated Americans, my hyphen is made of blood, feces and bone. When Africa says hello, my mouth is a heartbreak. Because I have nothing in my tongue to answer her. I do not know how to say hello to my mother. - African American II
We are the children's children of stolen children and all we want is to be seen and respected, thus this fight is still a fight for LIBERATION. Over the past few weeks Black Lives Matter Sacramento’s BLOG team has laced this community with verbal imagery that has evoked tears and pride......because in this life time we want change, especially for those with the biggest targets on their backs (queer and trans Blacks), and in the face of anti-Blackness--hear us, don't critique us. In honor of Black History month, let’s rewind some events that highlight the impact of this journey towards said LIBERATION……….
Black Lives Matter, this movement, our everyday fight, is for Black liberation. Now I know, I know, we have heard these terms so many times but what the hell does it really mean? What should it look like? Is it being done right? Well let’s start by defining some of these words. First up, radical. Radical is defined as being extreme “especially as it regards change from accepted or traditional forms” or “favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms” (Dictionary.com). Second up, liberation. The online dictionary defines this as “the act of gaining equal rights or full social economic opportunities for a particular group”. I am not really a fan of this definition because when discussing Black liberation, I think it is important to note that WE DON’T WANT EQUAL RIGHTS.
Pride should be an observance of Black Queer Revolution.
Radical Black and Brown Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and Queer peoples gave us Pride. Literally, their willingness to fight back against state violence by any means necessary, bestowed upon us pride in who we were enough to challenge homophobia and transphobia to the present day. Their alignment with the Black Power movement and refutation of respectability politics catapulted gay liberation into revolutionary territory. To be clear, they were sex-workers, unhoused youth, hustlers, and drag queens. The Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) began the radical movement for liberation by feeding and sheltering unhoused youth and providing our community with dignity. Marsha P. Johnson was a fucking hero and she and Sylvia Rivera threw bricks of life into centuries of oppression. Stonewall re-birthed our communities.
Whitewashed, corporate, boring af, and cut off from it’s radical rainbow roots of color—this is Sac Pride.
BLM Sacramento is fighting to “demolish the system that is killing us, criminalizing us, miseducating us, and oppressing us.” Anything that supports these systems will get shut down. Anything that distracts us from this fight will get called out.
Anti-black racism is thick in Sacramento. Whether it’s the SN&R running a cover story on Joseph Mann’s murderer or Solfire Yoga appropriating Black culture, anti-blackness will get SHUT DOWN. In. Its. Face.
Collectively our chapter is a dope ass group of humans from a plethora of different backgrounds fighting for the liberation of ALL BLACK PEOPLE, plus a grip of other things. Real life issues, not no superficial shit. We face an array of adversaries, from crooked law enforcement agencies and other authoritative figures that mean the majority of the public no good, to your everyday uninformed, overly opinionated, average Joe or Janna, that has done less than nothing for the movement. The folx that speak down on it and allocate unsolicited advice while typing on their smartphone sitting comfortably in the tranquility of a yoga studio.
As our founder would say, “Unsolicited advice is criticism.”