this country doesn’t love us back

“There are other cases… of officers who seem to be ‘trigger happy.’ In a number of instances, Negroes have been shot, supposedly in self-defense, under circumstances indicating, at best, unsatisfactory police work…and at worst, a callous willingness to kill.”

(Excerpt from 1947 report “To Secure These Rights” produced by Harry Truman Committee on Civil Rights as quoted in opinion by Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King on June 19th, 2020)

We know about the callous willingness to kill from the names of just a few of the many African Americans who speak from their graves, American lives lost at the hands of police brutality in cities across the country. Samuel DuBose – Cincinnati, 2015. Terrence Sterling –  Washington, D.C., 2016. Freddie Gray – Baltimore, 2015. Michael Brown – Ferguson, Missouri, 2014. Walter Scott – Charleston, South Carolina, 2015. Rayshard Brooks – Atlanta, 2020. Tamir Rice – Cleveland, Ohio, 2014.  Trayvon Martin – Sanford, Florida, 2012. Breonna Taylor – Louisville, Kentucky, 2020. Eric Garner – New York City, 2014. George Floyd – Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2020.

This week Jacob Blake’s name was added to the 2020 infamous roll call of victims of “unsatisfactory police work” – this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As destructive wild fires raged in California claiming the life of a helicopter pilot attempting to douse the inferno, as a Category 4 Hurricane called Laura gathered the power to strike along the Gulf Coast shores in Louisiana bringing life threatening winds and water reminiscent of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, as the number of American lives lost in the worst pandemic of our history reached the dubious milestone of 180,000 +,  a police officer shot an unarmed African American man seven times in the back when he attempted to get in the car where his three young sons waited and watched. Jacob Blake will likely be paralyzed if he survives the bullet wounds.

Doc Rivers, head coach of the NBA franchise Los Angeles Clippers, had an emotional reaction to the police shooting in an interview on August 25th. “…we’ve been hung, we’ve been shot…it’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country doesn’t love us back…the training (for police) has to change. My dad was a cop, I believe in good cops. We’re trying to get them to protect us like they protect everyone else…as an American you need to be outraged at that video. All we ask is that you live up to the Constitution.”

Yesterday the wide world of sports came to a grinding halt as athletes from both the NBA and WNBA, major league baseball and soccer teams all joined together to promote social justice through police reforms long overdue in our nation by boycotting their respective games. Players across the board said this killing of black people through police brutality must stop. Our lives do matter, they agreed, and we want to see genuine criminal justice changes that guarantee our families equal safety and protection under the law. Tennis players rallied around the protest of Naomi Osaka by postponing the semi-finals at the Western and Southern Open scheduled for play today. No justice, no peace, no sports.

Senator Kamala Harris reminded us in a statement this afternoon that our pledge of allegiance calls for “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We know, and we have always known that promise is unfulfilled for people of color, but now cell phones record that broken promise every time a video of these egregious acts goes viral on social media to be seen by anyone and everyone. Pretending, denying, disavowing, obfuscating no longer are viable options for people of good will who embrace the truth.

Wake up, America, it’s time to love them back. We can, and we must, do better.

Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned. By all means, VOTE in November.



About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to this country doesn’t love us back

  1. Susanne says:

    I have no words, Sheila but I thank you for yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayside Artist says:

    This country was built on the backs of enslaved blacks. Their blood, sweat, and tears our country’s foundation.
    “Strange fruit hangin’ from a poplar tree,” is their reward.
    I’m so sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jules bercy says:

    in 2008 we got a black president today we have a vice president it’s true that the Us doesn’t love black but the time of the right will come one day when martin luther king said that he had dream none didin’t thing that dream one day will be true so thank you🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for reading and the comment. Yes but Dr. King said the arc slowly bends to the right. President Obama and Michelle gave the country a family we could all be proud of. I believe Vice President-Elect Harris will be the best VP ever. Hopefully one day our grandchildren will be kind, loving, celebrating our differences that are oftentimes our strength.


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