I choose Black women every time

Gabrielle Bunton shares op-ed following the Sept. 23 announcement of the charges in the Breonna Taylor case.

Gabrielle Bunton

was too young to fully grasp what was happening when Trayvon Martin died. I just knew it was bad. I knew it wasn’t right. I remember my mama saying something about the bigger picture.

At that point, there were so many murders of Black men across the country at the hands of the police.

Then I finally saw it happen — Sandra Bland. I saw two pictures of her that day. Her smiling face was paired with her mugshot, a vacant look in her eyes. This was my first time ever seeing a Black woman go through this. It hurt 10 times more because she looked like me.

I watched people post about it and make their noise, but it was a whisper compared to all they did for the Black men. I watched her fade away into a memory in the back of my mind of what could be my fate one day.

When I first heard of what happened to Breonna Taylor, I was shocked because not only was it an hour away from me, but also because I was able to finally grasp the concept of what was happening to Black women at the hands of the police.

Breonna led me to the discovery of so many Black women who died at the hands of the cowardly and cold-hearted police. She also showed me the light of how the world thought about Black women and how little our lives mattered.

I was confident that they would be quick about getting justice for her like they did George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, but the months kept dragging on. They kept poking holes in everything, digging up every aspect of her background, finding loopholes to not charge the three deliberate and dirty police officers.

During those months, I watched people put her on magazines, use her name as ammunition in social media wars, use her name on trendy memes to fit the theme of their timelines, make documentaries and even host a barbeque in her honor.

Even when Black women would try to defend her and shed light on our perspectives, we were shut down by everyone, including the men who were always there for Black men.

Her death turned into a capitalistic and fun way for people to make money and portray themselves as “woke.”

Then we came to the final moments of wondering what would happen to Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove.

It was crazy to me how this had played out because Black men had always bashed Black women for everything that we’ve done and had always tried to push the notion that they were going to protect us, but it was a Black man who ultimately gave us the final blow and spat in our face.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Breonna’s neighbors’ walls deserved more justice than her. He only charged one of the three officers with a meaningless charge and bond that was less than my student debt.

What was an even bigger slap in the face was the fact that the charge was not connected to her in any way. They charged the murderer for firing rounds into her neighbor’s house.

Wednesday told me everything I needed to know about how this country feels about Black women. I am hurt beyond measure because a life was taken and covered up with millions of dollars and the false promise of police reforms.

I cried real tears that day. I never thought I would find myself connected to someone I didn’t know, but I couldn’t help it. She was a Black woman like me. She went to sleep with the expectation of waking up the next day, just like me.

I watched my white counterparts post about her during all of this, while remembering the conversation I had with one of my editors who told me this after I went to a protest: “I would try to stay away from those things. I don’t want your career to end before it starts.”

I choose you, Breonna Taylor. I choose you, Oluwatoyin Salau. I choose you, Natasha McKenna. I choose you, Michelle Cusseaux. I choose you, Naytasia Williams. I choose you, Kathryn Johnston. I choose you, Korryn Gaines. I choose you, Charleena Lyes. I choose you, Duanna Johnson. I choose you, Rekia Boyd. I choose you, Aiyana Stanley Jones.

I choose every single Black woman who has been forgotten and treated as lesser than. I choose every Black woman who was murdered, harassed, assaulted, bullied, hurt and so much more. I choose Black women every time.

I will forever stand on the side of Black women until the day I die. I chose the path of journalism to be the voice of those who were not able to speak, and I will continue to do so. To me, a journalist is someone who exposes what is happening in this corrupt world and gives the people the truth.

The truth is, my sisters need someone like me out there. Someone to help them speak. Someone to help them stand on their feet. Someone to help them keep on forever.

While everyone keeps using their stylish propaganda to entice you to vote, I encourage you to look into a website called Black Girl Tragic, and they will give you multiple reasons as to why we need a change and why we need it now.

Black women matter now and forever, and I stand solid with every Black woman and girl all around the world.

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” — Assata Shakur.