What's on my mind tonight, what been on my mind, and heavy on my heart, is Philando Castile's little girl sobbing and hugging her mother in the back of a police cruiser after seeing her father shot in front of her by a cop who pulled him over for a broken taillight. Castile had very politely made the cop aware that he had a liscensed firearm in the car. Not a minute later he was dead. By now you've heard the story so I won't rehash it here. But that video of his little girl, 4 years old, begging her mother to stop cursing and screaming, begging her to be quiet because "I don't want you to get shooted!" The panic in her voice. The two of them sobbing. And moments later, the little one putting her arms around her mother's neck and saying, "Don't cry, Mommy, I'm here with you," and "I can keep you safe." And then whimpering, "I wish this town was safer. I don't want it to be like this anymore."
I also watched the dash cam video of the actual shooting. It tore a piece of my soul, and I don't mean that as a metaphor. I mean to say I am not the same today as I was before I saw it. White people in America can carry licensed firearms all day long but make no mistake, if you're black, the law doesn't apply to you. You'll be pumped full of bullets before you can take a breath, with your little girl in the back seat and your fiancée beside you, and the NRA will be dead silent, because when they defend the right to bear arms they aren't talking about you.
After watching these videos released in the wake of Castile's killer being acquitted of manslaughter charges this week, Trevor Noah said, "This broke me."
This broke me.