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If I Die in Police Custody…

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[Content warning:  death, police murder, swearing]

If I die in police custody,
I died a soldier, a warrior, a hell-raiser, an instigator, a maker of the good trouble.  

 

If I die in police custody,
Make them respect my disabilities in the news reports.  Don’t dare let them erase a damn thing.  I am unapologetically Black and disabled.

 

If I die in police custody,
Don’t weep for me.  You better NOT shed one fucking tear.
My name means “to love and cherish life” in French.
That’s what you are to do for me – share about the love I gave you and how much I cherished the little and big things.

Don’t play that weak ass sad music at my funeral.  Play Beyonce’s “7/11,” Rihanna’s “S&M,” N SYNC, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, anything by Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz – that is how you are to celebrate my life at my funeral.  

 

If I die in police custody,
AGITATE.  AGITATE.  AGITATE.
If you must, burn it down.
Burn the city down.
Burn the city down.
BURN THE MOTHERFUCKING CITY DOWN.

I was never a docile crippled Negro – don’t be afraid to raise hell to be heard.

 

If I die in police custody,
Fight for my justice.  Fight until there’s nothing left.  I do not want to die in vain.  

 

If I die in police custody,
Do know that I know my Lord and Savior.  I will be in heaven with Grandma, and I will be at peace.  I will be waiting for you, and we will be able to sip tea, and reminisce about our time on Earth.  

 

If I die in police custody,
Know that I died fighting, and I was no punk bitch.  

 

If I die, these are your marching orders.  Always remember that I wasn’t afraid to speak up and speak boldly.  Continue my work as an advocate, demanding that disabled people of color and our voices are to be respected, valued, visible, and that we are immensely loved.  

 

If I die, know that I loved each of you with all my heart.  You brought me more joy, laughs, and happiness than I deserved.  

 

If I die, then my purpose has been fulfilled.  Don’t weep – rejoice that I did what the Lord had for me, and I had to return to Him.  

~ Vilissa

(Featured headlining image:  Courtesy of Pixabay.)

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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