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I Stared Down the Barrel of a Gun Today - An Open Letter

I stared down the barrel of a gun today. Why? I have no idea, but that’s a lie. I do know the reason, but I wish I didn’t. You see, I was no endangering myself nor anyone else. I had no intention of causing harm to anyone. My hands were not concealed within pockets and I was not reaching to the back of my waistline either. My hands were at my sides casual and relaxed. Un-provoking. I stared down the barrel of a gun today.

   I will fully to having experienced moments of depression. Deep sadness, confusion, mental captivity, and imprisonment. Everyone does at some point. Life is filled with strife that sometimes leaves us walking on the knife’s edge. I confess, however, that today was not one of those moments, in that please trust. However, still into danger I was forcibly thrust. I stared down the barrel of gun today.

      Laying prone of the road I stared up at an arm with a clenched fist. Waiting for the irony taste of the punch’s fang. Irony taste, the irony of my fate as consciousness fades. Will due justice be paid? Always I thought thy spirit unbreakable, today taught skin pigment makes violence acceptable. Like an enabler to substance abuse ethnicity ignites the fuse. Victim, offender, violence – asthmatic, steroid, inhaler. Every victim the inhaler of an asthmatic offender’s steroid. The last thought as I lay prone on the road staring up at an arm with a clenched fist.

      The reason I said I knew, but felt reluctant to admit, split between boarders. Cultural, national, circumstantial, and historical. The division though, is horrifically minimal. Slight though it is, never more brightly has it shone in sight of public eyes. Feeds, screens, streets sing our cries. Newscasts and radio streams bust at seams with our dying screams. Finally, no longer split between boarders.  Bound are we in union of oppression prayed upon warrior survivors of governmental systemic aggression. Cultural, national, socio-economical, circumstantial, and historical. The division though, horrifically minimal.

      Forget not our sisters, mothers, aunts, and daughters missing and murdered. The tears of family’s left tortured by questions unanswered. No place of safety sacred offering feeling of female empowered for and by when each blinked eye could mean goodbye. Because I am male, of the fear brought by this affliction I have no indication. Yet I am attuned to the need for its recognition. Forget not our sisters, mothers, aunts, and daughters missing and murdered.

      I stared down the barrel of a gun today whilst laying prone on the road waiting for the irony taste of the punch’s fang. The reason for my breathless pain: the shade of my colour my pigment at birth gained. To live life in fear is to live life in death; but to live life might be my last breath. Yes sir, yes sir, bought three bags full, a few apples rotten does not speak of soil. The violence enacted by authority figures speaks to a picture much bigger than questions and answers. What inspired their anger? All we want is harmony and equality between us and those in authority devoid of racial toxicity. Not to be found this way. For the lust yearns for lethal power ignites the fuse. My last thought as I stared down the barrel of a gun whilst laying prone on the road waiting for the irony taste of the bullet’s fang: What did the police officer gain?

Now a question direct to you I must ask in vein, am I a Black American, or an Indigenous Canadian?

Neither…we are victims the same!

July 7th, 2020
Signed,
Tanner Reiss
Pho3nix19xx
Written by Pho3nix19xx
Published
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