For nearly a week now, the city of Charlote has been in turmoil.  The shooting death of 43 year old #KeithLamontScott on Tuesday, September 20th by CMPD officer(s) has brought both a great deal of attention to the city, and a call for protests demanding justice.  Protests from supporters (across all races) chanting the growing mantra of #BlackLivesMatter.  Unwanted attention to the city as CMPD dash and bodycam footage have been released (partially), and the Live and recorded videos of the victim's daughter and wife.

What started out as a week full of promise, ended in not only the life of #KeithLamontScott being taken, but also the like of #JustinCarr, an innocent bystander and protester, that took to the streets in support of the cause.  Here at Queen City Magazine, we had the week of September 19th - 23rd planned and mapped to celebrate the launch of our new digital platform and site whereby we highlight and celebrate women throughout this beautiful city we call home.  Considering the recent turn of events and state of emergency declaration, we thought it in good taste to stagger content over the course of several days instead of the full release we originally had planned.  As the Editor-in-Chief, and a mother, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, and lastly black woman, I have found it difficult to post and talk about things such as beauty regimens, the latest fashions, fitness routines, and tasty recipes, as a greater message is needed.  We've all watched, re-watched, commented and vented our frustrations with the local and national news coverage, and Live videos via social media, but I too must use my platform to cry out in anger, disgust, and even shame for our beloved city.

Charlotte is home for me.  It's the city that I grew up in, the city where I came into my own, the city that I choose to raise my daughter, and the city that I fully intend to grow old in.  For the countless times that we've seen blacks and minorities killed at the hands of police, it's a little different when it hits close to home.  I distinctly remember the community where #KeithLamontScott was shot and killed.  After my divorce many years ago, I remember viewing a condo in that same area, and prior to that, I would travel Old Concord Rd to attend evening classes at UNC Charlotte.  For the last week I've watched local media give their account, inflict their opinions (good and bad), and in doing so, my thought process was always, I wonder what his mother, wife, daughter, sister, friends are thinking and how do they feel?  How do you explain the void of loosing a loved one so sudden and tragic?  And at the hands of those whose mission is to protect and serve.

It is from that perspective that I compose this article.  From a mothers - sisters - daughters - friends point of view.  After all, that's what QCM is all about, all things Charlotte from a woman's perspective.  While I do not have any blood brothers, I do have 3 step brothers, and although we may not be close, these situations make you fear for one's safety.  I also have a father, and nephew, whom I love dearly, and countless male friends.  It's unfortunate that in a world that brags about equality, there are still racial, social, economic, gender, and sexual divides between us.  While many of the shootings and killings of those detained by police have been racially charged, the bigger picture is the great divide between black and blue; people of color and the officers that police them.  Somewhere along the line, communication was halted, stereo types set in which instilled a fear of blacks, and profiling began.  While many would like to say that these things are untrue, unfortunately the numbers lend creditibilty to this ideology.  It is not our intention at QCM to debate or go back and forth on the issue, but to create an awareness and to speak out boldly that #BlackLivesMatter and that blacks are dying at an alarming rate, at the hands of law enforcement.  Do we believe that #AllLivesMatter, of course we do, but within that population, is a group of people who risk a greater chance at dying based upon the color of their skin.  

During this weeks protest, we've witnessed an outcry of the people; men, women, boys, girls, and even children.  A call to action is needed.  A healthy dialogue must take place.  Change is never easy, and will always be met with resistance, but it is possible.  We each can play a part in restoring respect, trust, and love, and it can start today.  

Last night I witnessed unity....all races marching as one; understanding that this is not exclusively about the killing of our black men and women but about the inequalities blacks and minorities face on a day to day basis. People were Strategic about making sure people were safe, hydrated, and supported to fight this system of racism. - Anonymous
photos: Jonathan Brashear | Shutter Anthem

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