The word IF is filled with possibilities that can be viewed as positive and a motivation to move forward or it can be negative from a personal and business aspect.

“IF” is often filled with regrets because of wrongs we or others have committed or for yearnings for a better place, better friends or better spaces in time.

“IF,” for me has a frustrating and sad connotation when it pertains to black lives and the violent, inhumane way they have been treated for centuries. The way the treatment continues unabated and save for a select few, I don’t know if it will change.

With the continued brutalization of black and brown people, the world over I frequently hear about white people blaming the victims, in this case, black and brown people when they are being murdered, attacked or mocked because of the colour of their skin.

“If only that man never questioned the police,” is said after yet another black person dies at the hands.

If only the black person had not walked there or slept in their bed, or asked for directions, played outside, and painted their house, and so on. The list is endless about what black and brown people should not do to stay alive and well. 

The common thread among all these ” IF’s,” (if there is a modicum of honesty in this assessment), is that the victims were and are black and brown people. What should effectively be said to maintain that honesty is, “If only you were not black!” 

At least if that was said black and brown people would understand that they don’t have the “freedom” they think they have and that the freedom is only on paper.

Any laws throughout the centuries that have been written on paper, remain ink on paper until those laws are implemented and adhered to.

Black and brown people the world over have a history of brutality and dehumanization attached to them. It is with that history from the day they take the first breath that follows them until the day they die.

If only white people could walk a mile in their shoes and realize the problems have nothing to do with black people’s inability to follow orders. Instead, it has everything to do with the colour of their skin and the failure of society to treat black and brown people as they treat white people.

“IF,” is a longing for the freedom that for now is found only in storybooks.