Another, Another, Another #sol16

I think I was going to write about something else today, but at the end of school, I clicked on the New York Times to scan the headlines and power down for the day.

Then, I saw this: “A Mailman Handcuffed in Brooklyn, Caught on Video.” Another one. ANOTHER ONE. What caught my eye, too, was the picture of postal carrier Glen Grays with his mother. I scrolled right on by, but stopped once I saw the photo. I clicked to open the story.

He is crying. His mother stands by his side and Glen’s eyes are red from tears.

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Glen Grays and his mother, New York Times

The story describes Glen as a person who took pride in his job, who worked hard to know the people on his route, who worked a number of jobs before becoming a postal carrier. His mother has six boys and says: ““I worry about them every day, every minute, every second of every day.” Of course she does.

I have zero belief that anything will happen to the police officers who harassed and arrested Glen. I watched the video of his arrest and was heartened to see so many people recording, yelling, calling out what was wrong, speaking the truth to power. And while I’m not immune to these endless tales of Black men being arrested (or worse) unfairly, I skim the accounts for fear of thinking that this is normal. For fear that I will internalize the pathology that is so easy to assign to Blackness and to Black bodies, Black male bodies, particularly.

It is Glen’s tears, though, that keeps me returning to the picture. His mother stands by and this man who has done nothing wrong–has actually done everything right on so many levels–was humiliated, falsely accused, traumatized.

I return to the picture time and again because I must bear witness, too. Not again. Not again. I feel some sort of sick relief that he made it out of the police car alive, was not injured or found mysteriously, irrevocably harmed in a holding cell. That my mind immediately recounts a litany of abuses horrifies me because they come so quickly.

Yet, here he is, alive, with his mother at his side.

The remnants of tears on his face.

Hearts broken.

Again.

I see you, Glen. I see you.

#blackmendream

 

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10 thoughts on “Another, Another, Another #sol16

  1. Your words are so powerful. I read the NYT article and sat speechless with my heart sinking into my stomach. Thanks for giving words to all the thoughts running through my mind and heart. That picture is so powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes. Thank you for putting words to the frustration of having this happen again, and again, again. I love how you’ve addressed gigantic scale of this issue, while also noticing the tiny, often missed personal details like the tears in his eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to stop reading the article, my stomach turned so. But I must go back to it, WE must. We must bear witness to the injustice and be there to call out its name.

    Thank you for writing about this. Thank you for writing so beautifully about it. Thank you for being you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everyone really needs to step up and say enough. Hate, prejudice, racism – whatever is underlying these attacks on innocents needs to be shown for what it is and eradicated. We are better than this. Powerful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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