You had such a beautiful name.
I can’t help but think about it.
I can’t help but wonder who you were meant to be in this world.
Were you meant to blossom like a rose?
Or were you meant to wither away in this world?
I don’t know.
You were stripped the opportunity to find out for yourself like our ancestors in Africa.
They were subjected to slavery in America.
What they could’ve been, just like what you could’ve been.
What were you thinking?
Why did you run away from the cop?
Who did you think you were?
Why couldn’t you just be Toby for the cop?
Why did you make that fatal mistake?
Then, I remember that you were a scared, 17 year old black kid.
You weren’t thinking.
You were just afraid and didn’t want to face the consequences.
You should have been apprehended appropriately like an armed mass shooter.
Instead, you were shot and killed like an unarmed slave running from his master.
I used to think that Pittsburgh was stronger than hate, until I read and heard comments about you.
I couldn’t believe the hate you received and the love the cop received.
There was no regard for you or your family.
There was only support for the cop that shot you like a beloved member of the KKK.
I must say.
They have the Reconstruction mentality.
They have that lynch mentality.
They have that Jim Crow mentality.
That have that sit-in-the-back-of-the-bus mentality.
For them, if you don’t follow their rules, then you deserve the hose.
You deserve the persecution.
You deserve the abuse.
Antwon Rose, you didn’t follow the cop’s rules, so your death is on you.
It’s sadly not on the cop because for others he did everything right.
He shot you because he had no other choice.
You were just too dangerous as an unarmed black kid.
He protected life and served properly as a cop.
He was true to his job as a cop.
He’s a blue, and his life matters more to us than your life, Antwon Rose.
This is the sad, sick and twisted mindset people have about you, Antwon Rose.
I wish that it could be different.
I have a dream that you were apprehended appropriately.
I have a dream that you were not at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I have a dream that more people would mourn your death.
I have a dream that your life mattered to everyone.
I have a dream that there was unity in Pittsburgh.
I have a dream that Pittsburgh was stronger than hate.
I have a dream that the cop faced justice for his fatal mistake.
I have a dream that you were still alive.
Antwon Rose, I wish I could be hopeful about my dreams.
Sadly, my dreams are meant to be only dreams and never a reality.
I read your poem, and I must say that you had potential.
You were meant to be something special.
Why did you have to get shot and killed like Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin?
I wish I knew.
I’m sorry that you ended up being a statistic.
It’s just not fair.
I think about my little brother Isaac.
He’s 17, the same age as you were.
He has so much potential just like you did.
I can’t imagine if his life ended just like yours did.
It would destroy me.
I can’t imagine what your family is going through.
I hope they have the strength to move forward.
I pray they do.
I pray that you’re in a better place.
I pray that I can be hopeful for better days.
I pray for your family.
I pray that love will outweigh hate someday in America.
I pray all these things and more, Antwon Rose.
May you rest in peace, Antwon Rose.
I will always remember your name.