“Like the boys in blue, when they come through with them boots/
And they kickin down the door, and they don’t care who they shoot/
But we do care who they shoot, so we do what we must do.”

– Andre 3000

Who is Aiyana Jones?

My little sister. My cousin. My future niece. My future granddaughter. My future daughter. Me.

Police malfeasance in regards to the underclass is nothing new. It’s as cliché as a Memorial Day cookout. If excessive force is systemic, and the system has persisted for over a century, then what is a person to feel? It’s obvious that America has found a way to live without a certain percentage of its citizens.

These “excess Americans” seem to be little more than enemies of war and cannon fodder for cops and thugs, who both carry out the same agenda of Black marginalization.

But we do care who they shoot. So we do what we must do.

Hopelessness and utter despair is what I’m thwarting as I attempt to find the balance between outrage and calm, methodical and effective action. Indifference and apathy from grown men and women whose daughters and nieces and cousins look just like the victim is as confounding as the implausible details of the story.

Who is Aiyana Jones?

A girl who is known more for receiving a bullet than any accolades. A girl who loved Disney like any other girl in America. A girl who couldn’t sleep in the comfort of a bed for whatever reason. A girl who won’t graduate from elementary school. Get her driver’s license. Go to the prom. Get the steppin’ out of Detroit.

A girl whose potential will remain potential.

Who is Aiyana Jones?

Her truncated life yields more questions than answers. If we fail to vet those questions in any form whatsoever, we’ve failed her. We’ve failed her predecessors. And we’ll continue to fail others who’ll fall victim to the discharge of the “protectors and servers” of their communities.

Who is Aiyana Jones?

A reminder to ensure that every little girl is loved, valued and protected.

A reminder that a group needs to unite to create real change.

A reminder that despite the frequent disregard of minorities’ civil liberties, there is still resiliency within the group affected.

A reminder that we must NOT tolerate nonsense around our babies.

A reminder that our inaction have profound consequences on our loved ones.

My perception of Aiyana Jones currently resides in the abstract, because the prevalence of questions. But this can be stated with certainty:

She is not collateral damage. She is not their throwaway. She is not a cause. She is not a footnote.

Who is Aiyana Jones?

More than a rhetorical question.

Rest in Power baby girl. We do care who they shoot.

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