In Colorful Colorado, the color of one’s skin draws more attention than the color of the Colorado landscape, the apparent inspiration for the state’s nickname, Colorful Colorado. Black girls in Colorado, were attempting to enjoy a summer Sunday amid a global pandemic, and an overwhelming tidal wave of racial strife. They were approached by a group of police officers, with guns drawn. The girls, who range in age from 6 years old to 17 years old, were detained, their hands restrained behind their backs, and made to lie face down on the hot pavement. The police alleged the car the Black girls were in, was stolen. The police officers were wrong. Video detailed the horrific event, as the four Black girls cried, and screamed for their mother, one girl begging to be placed next to her sister while face down on the pavement, as police stood over them. Their car was not stolen, however in that moment, their humanity, and dignity was stolen. Should we count the girls as lucky because their lives weren’t stolen as well? Let us not forget, Elijah McClain was killed at the hands of police from the same police department in Aurora. Indeed, the girls are lucky to be alive, albeit brutalized, and traumatized. The police department later issued an apology, yet the words are only hot air.
Had the girls been white, the reaction from police would have been decidedly different. It is doubtful the police officers would have drawn guns on little white girls, or placed them face down on the pavement. The white police officers, would have seen themselves in white girls – they would have seen their families in white girls – they would not have seen a threat, as police too often see, when the “subjects” are Black men, women, and children – we are not seen. Systematic racism is real. Systematic racism is literally life threatening to Black people. I live in Colorado, what happened to these Black girls could happen to me. Black women are all too often not protected, we are preyed upon, automatically deemed a target due to the color of our skin. Whether we are in a classroom, a cubicle, or a car, Black women are targets. This is yet another example of Black women trying to push forward in a world that preys upon us. Preying upon Black women is cemented throughout our history. From being on the plantation, to face down on the pavement, there was no protection for Black women then, and very little protection for Black women now.