Wednesday September 9, 2020 marked another evening of Black Lives Matter rallying and marching through Kingston, NY. This was a smaller crowd than when the first wave hit back in June. But the smaller marches feel personal, and more approachable in getting involved and getting answers.
Recently Kingston, NY has been hit with "stop and frisk" which historically is targeted towards Black communities. On a personal level, we were pulled over. I didn't realize the stop and frisks were happening but I was instantly annoyed as I know I hadn't been speeding, I didn't run any red light or stop sign, and my turn signals had been used appropriately. When 2 cops came to each window I was floored. They said they pulled my over because my license plate was missing a screw; didn't realize that was a reason to get pulled over. In my typical light skin privilege I rolled my eyes and huffed before saying in a very annoyed tone "Yep, this happened today, I'm taking care of it tomorrow." He then asked me if I had been drinking in which I replied, "I don't drink." and then he asked me where I was going.
On the other side, my white boyfriend was bonding with the second cop about skateboarding.
This wasn't a bad experience it was annoying. It didn't ruin my life, it just ruined a moment. I'm lucky.
As I stated, I didn't know there were stop and frisks' happening so I thought of this as just an annoying moment inflicted by bored cops. In the following days I was informed of what was happening in Kingston, and then heard they did a stop and frisk to a black 3 year old. Can you imagine the outrage if a white 3 year old was stopped and frisked? Disgusted doesn't even begin to explain my feelings.
At the rally we learned about more killings of Black individuals that had been killed by police but the murder had been covered up. Nothing new, of course; but not any less sad, frustrating, confusing, and scary that even with the people speaking out we're just continuously being ignored.
I also learned of a hate crime targeted towards a trans woman in the Hudson Valley community. When I heard her cat was murdered and the body was left at her home in a threat towards her, my heart broke into infinite pieces. I have a personal connection with cats, and love animals. This cats life shouldn't have been taken. More so, this member of her family who was probably a close confidant shouldn't have been taken away from her world that is already harder than most of ours. Facing adversity in closed minded communities is hard enough, and having it to do without unconditional love from a human or pet is even harder.
There is so much more work to do. We want to make it clear here at Hudson Valley Eclectics we stand very loudly and proudly with the Black community. Not just because I, Amelia, am Black, but because it's the right thing to do. We stand with all of the underrepresented communities. With the LGBTQ, with the Indigenous people, with immigrants. With all black, white, brown, asian, hispanic, latino, muslim, jewish, so on and so forth. We stand with the disabled communities, those with issues with mental health. At the end of the day we all have hearts, more importantly, we have feelings. No matter your background or where you are from we know you feel and we know you can hurt. We will never stay quiet about what we feel is right and we can only hope you can join us to help elevate the voices of everyone who has face adversities in their lives.