The Black Man's Salvation

Submitted for Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about inaction.... view prompt

14 comments

Fire and thick black smoke tower over the city street like an avenging angel gazing down on razed retail stores, restaurants, and a police precinct. 

“This is what happens when good men do nothing,” stated his father. “But then the others were just as evil as the one who did the killing.”

“Several attempts have been made, pop, but when will people realize the destruction of the black race will never come to fruition. Mankind in its finite thinking refuses to accept truth and consequences.”

“Systemic genocide, son. In the moment, at the end of the day, it’s evil, is what it is.”

“What’s done in the dark, pop comes to the light. The man is handcuffed, stable⎯in that he still has his faculties about him⎯he’s lying on the ground and no longer a threat. Mentally capable to understand his rights, if stated to him. Instead, he is executed over an eight-minute period. Simply checking license, registration, and writing a ticket, if need be, seems never to be an option. Instead, a simple traffic stop becomes a death march?”

“It shouldn’t have, son, But it did. That’s the reality of things. This man was removed from his car, set on the ground…”

“And then marched in circles as if being led from his prison cell to the gas chamber⎯dead man walking. Did this man commit treason, pop, one of the few crimes punishable by death?”

“Don’t know.”

 When did the investigation occur, pop?”

“It didn’t.”

 “When did a jury of his peers discuss the evidence?”

“Never happened, son.”

 “How is it that we are witnessing film of his execution, yet no decision of innocence or guilt is rendered?”

“Son, many individuals have never been convinced that the system of innocence until proven guilty applies to everyone, especially black people, brown people, and people who have fallen into poverty. What a few do realize but many other people don’t, until it’s too late, is that evil has no respect of person.” 

“Pop, this is not about some fairy tale shadow figure with a pitchfork and a long pointy tail. These are real people working with us, living beside us, claiming to honor the same God as you do, attending your grandsons’ and granddaughters’ schools and sporting events.”

“And that’s only part of why this is frightening, son.  A large part of society cannot understand that what we ultimately fight against is not mankind, but against the evil within, or spiritual despotisms.”

“Come on, pop⎯go on with that. Systemic racism or systemic genocide as you like to call it...is about real people, not some faceless and bodiless thing that floats through the woods at night⎯haints...like what great-grandpa tells stories about. This is real bullets ripping through real flesh. This is real blood being spilled.”

“Son, the individuals committing capital punishment without a trial refuse to accept that something more sinister is moving them to exterminate black men and women. Evil’s focus is to kill two birds with one stone: The individual whom the crime was committed against, as well as, the person who committed the crime.”

“Pop, you’re making excuses for these racists. I’m not trying to hear the devil made me do it. Real people, pop. Real people are what I saw. A black man lying on the ground, gasping for air, grasping for life, and the white cop kneeling over him. And what am I to believe next, pop, that he was praying for the black man’s salvation while his knee was planted firmly in his windpipe?”

“Naw,” says pop with face scrunched up shaking his head. “But there is a grander scheme at play. The destruction which stems from the act of the genocide destroys from the inside out. The racist believes he or she is justified in their crusade against the darker-skinned people and those who support them, and why not, they have been trained from birth that the annihilation of other races not their own is righteous.”

“Pop, let’s just call it what is⎯pure hate. Pure hate for what’s different. That’s it. Some of the white folks they hired on the force were simply born with that hate in their heart. You’re doing the same thing the lawyers did in other murders of unarmed black and brown people...build an insanity case.”

“There’s no case to build. I’ve already told you, son. The white cops executing capital punishment without a trial as they did to this black man in Minnesota is more proof of systemic genocide. What these officers fail to comprehend is that in the moments this man’s breath was leaving his body, they as well, incurred the same fate⎯dead men walking.”

“How, pop? The system is rigged. There’ll be a trial...okay. A short time will pass and they’ll be transferred to minimum security Their remaining time well spent with a big-screen television, a bed, a couch, and their every desire. Conjugal visits, they should be denied, and with women not their wives⎯reward for a successful mission in this race war.”

“You’re preaching to the choir, son. We’re the taxpaying citizens that must uphold the truth: If we forget the past we’re doomed to repeat it. Of course, they’ll transfer these officers, if we allow it. We must make our voices heard through peaceful protest, calls to our representatives, and then make sure after we have stood hours in line to vote that our votes are counted.”

“Pop, peaceful protest ain’t where it’s at. When we protest peacefully we’re disrespecting this nation, the flag, and all it stands for. I’ve been reciting the pledge of allegiance since I was six years old, I served in this nation’s armed forces so that the rights stated in the pledge of allegiance would apply to me along with you and anybody else who decides to become a citizen of the United States, but when I speak out or protest against some injustice I disrespect the stars and stripes; red stripes representing the blood of the fallen. They forget that much of that blood stems from the fallen of black and brown folk.”

“I remember it well, son. Every day, it would be the official start of our school day. We would stand up, place our hand over our hearts, look to the red, white, and blue and recite the pledge of allegiance. Our parents worked, paid taxes. Our fathers, mothers, and grandparents fought for this country. When did black folk come to the point of disrespecting this nation? The next to last line of the pledge of allegiance states one nation under God. The problem is these officers have no relationship with God, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. For if they did it wouldn’t be so easy for them to break the commandment thou shalt not kill.”

“What happened to justice for all, pop. If justice for all was in play we wouldn’t be having this conversation so often.”

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14 comments

Kelly Vavala
15:49 Jun 16, 2020

Very well done! Captivating! Would you mind checking mine out as well? Ashen Tears

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Elliott Laurence
02:48 Jun 17, 2020

Will do, Kelly. Appreciate it.

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:07 Jun 15, 2020

This is very well-written. I loved the title!

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Elliott Laurence
02:06 Jun 16, 2020

Thank you, Roshna.

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:46 Jun 16, 2020

You are welcome. I would appreciate if you could have a look at my story too. Thank you!

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Elliott Laurence
10:16 Jun 16, 2020

I will. You're welcome.

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Batool Hussain
05:37 Jun 14, 2020

Wow, Elliott! Everything has been described so well. Brilliant! Also, will u mind checking my stories out as I'm new here:)

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Elliott Laurence
15:13 Jun 14, 2020

Yes. And appreciate the read.

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Grace M'mbone
07:57 Jul 26, 2020

I love the concluding statement most. It leaves much to think about. You captivated me as a reader from the beginning. I loved the ending most especially. This was great Elliott. Applaudible even. This was awesome. I love your writing style and have learnt a thing or two about penmanship from reading some of your narratives. It would be delightful if you would take a look at just one of my stories. Once again,this was an awesome read.

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Elliott Laurence
02:33 Jul 27, 2020

Thanks Grace. I'll give some a read.

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13:33 Jun 25, 2020

This is so good. Well-written and interesting. I love the conversation between the boy and his father. How the boy was trying to open his father's eyes to the world of racism. Great job on this! Could you please check out my stories, too whenever you're free? I'd really appreciate that.

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Elliott Laurence
01:18 Jun 26, 2020

Thank you, Kelechi. Father and son were both trying to help one another see racism from their individual perspective. And I'll continue to read your stories.

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Evelyn Cloonan
20:43 Jun 23, 2020

Great plot it kept me interested the whole time! You are truly a great writer. Can't wait for your next story! keep writing and stay safe!

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Elliott Laurence
02:31 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you, Evelyn. You too

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