Blood in the Streets: Introduction & Part I, The Men

Why

Blood in the Streets is a three part necessary storm created due to modern injustice and violence in our current society. Although some of these occurrences are limited to the United States, their effects have been felt globally.

  • Part one of the series is titled “The Men” touching on topics of police brutality while highlighting the innocent lives taken due to senseless violence.
  • Part two is titled “The Women” and aims at spotlighting the lesser heard stories of women brutalized; sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.
  • Part three concludes the series with “The Children” and delves deep into fear and ignorance while highlighting the lives of children taken too soon.

CardCastles understands some of these topics are uncomfortable. With that said, the material shared within is not recommended for users under the age of 18.


The Men

TheMan

July brought in a heat that no one was expecting. I’m not talking about the kind of heat generated by the sun, or the kind manufactured by man, but the kind that seems to take on a life of its own once started.

On July 5th, video circulated the internet of something you may have seen an infinite amount of times portrayed on COPS. An unarmed black man was pinned down to the ground with a knee in his chest. We didn’t have much knowledge on what took place before. What was different this time was the end result. The officer fired into the man’s chest killing him. The officer’s life didn’t appear to be in any danger. He simply could not contain the suspect. That man’s name is Alton Sterling, and his funeral was just last Friday, July 15th.

This is not the first time this has happened. Nor is it the first time there has been evidence of such a thing. Though now, in today’s world of technology, the Average Joe can be a journalist. There was video everywhere and it circulated quickly.

No matter what side of the fence you stand on, there is no denying that black men die at the hands of police at an alarming rate. We can sit here and debate guilt. We can sit here and have a race war.

I’d rather ask you simply this:

If you believe there is corruption and you believe that innocent lives can sometimes be taken by people wearing the good guy suit, then why is it so hard for some to believe this is happening right in front of their faces?

Have we become so caught up in political ideals that we can no longer see right from wrong?

Vines

Disturbingly, less than 24 hours later, on July 6th, the world took in more news and video of a senseless killing. This time, from the up-close perspective of the victim’s girlfriend who sat in the car with him as his life slipped away. The video begins with a bleeding Philando Castile, whose arm is visibly swollen from a gunshot wound. His girlfriend is heard pleading with police trying to make sense of why her boyfriend had just been shot if he was complying. As she calmly speaks, perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that his daughter can be heard in the backseat. Castile slips away on camera, in front of them both. His girlfriend is seen being thrown to the ground and cuffed shortly after. The video was a recording of the FB Live stream his girlfriend sent out during the incident.

The black community will tell you this sort of thing has been going on for centuries. The only difference now is we have video evidence.

I’m going to let that statement sink in for a moment, because it seems not to be with most of the media pitting us against each other.

There is something to be said about racism in this country, and how it seems to be just as alive today as it was back in the days of slavery. Some may not want to accept this, exclaiming “Oh no, but we’ve come so far.” Though, with all of the death, the harsh realities at our feet, and blood in the streets, you simply cannot be blind to it any longer.

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Blood in the Streets: A 3-Part Series Coming Soon

Why
Why
Why? © 2016 cardcastlesinthesky.com | Snapping Turtle Publishing

Blood in the Streets will be a 3-part series delving into the topics of violence and modern injustice. We’ll take a look at both past and current events involving three separate yet similar stories all taking place within a somewhat short timespan.

This series is not meant to upset, but rather to educate and bring about positive change. Please keep an open mind.

COMING SOON

Not Tomorrow

Today was a strange day for me to say the least. Although, that is definitely an understatement for some people close to home.
In order to give you a clear picture of this story through my eyes..I must outline the day’s events.

I awoke today to the pounding sound of a jackhammer tearing up the sidewalk outside of my building. My landlord had neglected to mention that there would be workers here as early as the morning birds. There was nothing I could do about it. So, I got out of bed, stumbled into the kitchen like a zombie, and made my angry family breakfast. They’d been woken up too, and none of us are morning people.

Since it was about an hour earlier than we’re all used to getting up, we were all out of sorts. We tossed around the idea that we’d discussed the night before; about going to the supermarket today instead of tomorrow. This is not usual for us, but a welcome change because my other half is on vacation. Normally, we’d just wait until Saturday.
Before I headed into the shower, I happened to check my phone. I had three missed calls. “THREE?! Three missed calls before 8AM?” I screamed to myself in my head. This had to be something bad. All three were from a close relative. I paused for a second, fearing the worst.
During that pause, I saw this on the news:
Today’s Events – Fatal Shooting at Old Bridge, NJ Pathmark
I stood in shock. As this is where we were about to go. We went there every weekend.
My heart sank as I just sensed that I must know the people involved. As more and more details emerged, I realized I had.
So, I called up my family member, former police themselves. They uttered all the same details I’d just heard. We sat & exchanged shock and disbelief.

You see, I moved out of this town a few years ago. Some family and friends still reside there, though. We still shop there, my son’s doctor is there, and we visit quite often.

My head simply can’t grasp why someone would want to take innocent lives. This just hit way too close to home. It’s making national news as we speak. Yet, one of the victims just checked out my groceries last week. She laughed at how my son was counting the numbers as our grocery bill racked up. It has me shocked but also very sad. These people were so young.

We still had to grocery shop but obviously we couldn’t go there. It’s a crime scene now. I visited my family member & on the way there, we drove past all of the news crews & their cameras. We saw news helicopters flying overhead. It felt like a scene out of some movie.
I know this kind of thing could happen anywhere but, I can’t help but think:
“Is this the kind of world I’m raising my child in?”
It just didn’t seem this bad when I was growing up. Maybe that’s a naive statement but that’s certainly how it seemed.
Forgive my lack of conclusion. Truth be told, this just has me stunned and saddened.