Lately, there have been protests against police brutality that’s making waves on social media and the news. A lot of black people not only in America but in other countries as well are talking about their experiences with police brutality and racism. I'd have to say, it made me think of my own experiences as well not only with police but with racism in general. The earliest experience with racism that I can remember when I was four years old and I was at daycare. There was this little white girl who straight up told me that reason why she didn't like me was because I was black. It was the first time I realized that there was something "wrong" with my skin colour. Eventually, I internalized all the bullying I got because one day I went and told my mother that I didn't want to be black anymore and that I wanted to be white. My mother shocked and quite upset to hear this gave me a speech about how beautiful my skin was and that I should be proud. She then dragged me into the bathroom and made me take a step onto the stool so that I was high enough to see my face in the mirror and made me recite the words "I'm black I'm proud and I'm beautiful." I think the reason why I remember this so vividly is that I stood there reciting that for a long time and the way my mother reacted, the look in her eyes of shock and hurt left an impression on me. I'm grateful for having a parent who was very proud of her blackness because who knows what kind of person I would have grown up to be if she wasn't.
When my brother and I were teenagers my mother gave us the talk about what to do if we were ever to come in contact with the police.
"Never give them a reason to arrest you." She said. "Make sure you're always polite, say yes sir, no sir." At the time I didn't think much of it. I was a quiet teen who didn't get into much trouble growing up. So I always thought that there would never be a situation where I'd deal with cops because I didn't go anywhere and if I did I never hung out with people who were always in trouble with the law. I figured I was fine and that my mom is just overreacting I mean, the worst trouble I've gotten into was skipping class so when was I ever going to encounter a cop?
That was until I was fifteen I and a group of friends were hanging out in the park minding our own business when suddenly two cops walked towards us. One was a woman and the other was a man. They asked us what we were doing and we told them just hanging out in the park. They said that they got a noise complaint and that they were checking things out. They started asking us a million questions like our names and what school we went too and why we're at the park. We told them we were waiting for another friend to meet us because they lived pretty close. Let me preface by saying that from the jump these cops had an attitude, they were very condescending and talked down to us. They asked to search us, we all just stood there and looked at each other but eventually, we just let them do it. The lady cop searched my purse, at the time I didn't know any better and I didn't want any trouble. When they couldn't find anything, they told us that we were loitering (in a park?) and asked us to leave. When we asked why they gave us some bullshit answer and to be honest I don't even remember. Eventually, we left. I remember feeling frustrated, I felt like I was being punished for something that I didn't even do. It was the first negative experience I've had with the cops and unfortunately, it wasn't my last.
There are other moments but If were to tell you all of them this post would turn into a novel honestly. I've pretty much been an anti-cop since for as long as I can remember so I say abolish the police, take down the whole fuckin system and rebuild it from the ground up. So many black and indigenous peoples have been killed unjustly by the cops. Canada is not the utopian society that white people seem to think it is. This country has blood on its hands and I'm so sick and tired of this shit being swept under the rug. BIPOC have dealt with this for far too long and I’m glad that these issues are being talked about. I hope that this movement is a start to a better future.