She saw the police car’s flashing lights and instinctively felt dread. She hadn’t done anything wrong, though, so what did she have to fear? She pulled over – and the next 24 hours became a nightmare.
The police officer’s flashlight dug into her eyes. He barked at her to get out of the car – apparently she had a warrant out for an unpaid speeding ticket! As she tried to explain, he twisted her wrist, forced her to the ground, and grinded her face into the pavement.
Her shoes had fallen off, so he forced her to walk barefoot to the patrol car, where he shoved her into the backseat and slammed the door.
Despite her fame and accomplishments, despite how much she had given to this country, still this police officer was targeting her?
Mae Jemison, a Peace Corps volunteer and the first Black woman to go into space in 1992, was now being brutalized. If achieving at the highest level can’t earn us respect from racist police, nothing will.
Jemison filed a lawsuit against him and the police department, but he wasn’t even prosecuted. No amount of accomplishment will ever grant us humanity in the eyes of white supremacy – racism never sleeps!
What are you doing in your life to fight for racial justice?