To Be A Black Woman in a White Newsroom

On Tuesday, the Attorney General handed down the news many of us feared. 

None of the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude will face charges. 

We waited for months hoping the Grand Jury would hand down justice, and yet we’re here again in a very similar place. 

I heard the decision while at work at one of the local TV news stations. I’m a producer meaning I need to know every detail of the stories I write to make sure they are told correctly to the public. 

To be a Black woman waiting for that verdict.

To be a Black journalist in a white newsroom waiting for this decision.

My stomach was in knots

I fought back tears when AG James said a Grand Jury believed these white officers did their job that night. That accosting and treating Daniel Prude like an animal was well within their rights. 

I was writing teases and transcribing soundbites and all I could think of was Joe Prude and the rest of this family. 

A family that will never be whole again. A family who never got to say goodbye to their brother, son, and father. 

I was writing to the world this terrible news. Doing my job and duty to the public when all I wanted to do was scream.

Daniel Prude and his family deserves more. The thousands who marched for his life deserve more. 

I will not respect this decision and it was not right for the AG to ask the public to do so 

I get that her hands are bound by law; that doing this through the mantle of the justice system will do nothing but serve disappointments.

For someone who claims disappointment, she is perpetuating a system that has left Black people to die. 

This is not a time for “re-imagining” or “reform”. These buzz words are overused and are screamed out of politicians mouths every time something like this happens. Reform has done nothing for Black people. 

In a few weeks we will see think pieces on Rodney King. This April will mark exactly 30 years since he was brutally beaten by four LA police officers. 

30 years since four men were acquitted of all charges and allowed to walk free. 

Three decades and reform and re-imagining has gotten us nowhere. 

Protestors and advocates have done that work. Fighting for families. Fighting for justice where there is none. 

That night LA burned. It burned as Black people cried in pain of being openly hunted down and killed. 

We’re killed and it’s recorded and the murderers walk free. Every time. 

To be a Black woman listening to this other Black woman speak and say nothing helpful.

To be a Black journalist who has done her best all month, all her career really, to put Black stories on air. 

This Black History Month ends on such an angry and hurt note. 

Police do not deserve a pat on the back for not harming demonstrators last night. They do not get kudos for trying to kneel. Time and time again they show us they ain’t worth s**t. Not a damn thing. They keep playing in our faces as if it wasn’t their colleagues who killed Prude and pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl; as if they didn’t cheer when the Attorney General gave the news.

We should be allowed to feel this pain and react however we see fit. Because it’s our people whose blood runs the streets.

All Black Lives Matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *