i am so tired of seeing black bodies shot by police, by hearing women sob, children beg for the right to breathe. i am exhausted from the weight of worry-for my husband, every Goddamn time she walks out our door-for my black friends, who survive just on happenstance. The stars aligned just right to not get shot for being black.
i try, very hard, to live close to my own values. Of course, i’m a slave, and that means one thing-i obey. i obey my Owner when she demands i not go to protests, even though i find sitting here praying to be morally corrupt when i should be doing something to make a difference.
i smile at every black and brown body i see. All the time. i am always praying, always acknowledging, because so 0ften our young men go from adorable little boy to perceived threat overnight. No one smiles anymore, not even other black or brown faces.
i try to use my Facebook page to be a place where i encourage social activism, social understanding, mindfulness, strategies that cost only time and heart. i try to not be a part of the problem. i vented my feelings-briefly-on my Facebook page and got called out, which i didn’t appreciate.
i live in a place where stop-and-frisk happens on the regular, targeted at black and brown bodies, targeted at poor people in poor areas. i actually yelled at a police officer this week, the first time in my life. He was yelling at us to pack us further into the crammed bus, where there was no place to move, like we were his children, like we want our big assess pressed into strangers, like he had the right to damn near strip search us over a two seventy five fare and then demand how we rode too. This doesn’t happen in white spaces, white places. i yelled at him, ranted, and the people around me were supportive and loving, in the way only people who also experience the regular harassment can be.
The police wonder why we snap, why we don’t trust them, why sirens mean something bad here. The new white officers-kids, really-don’t know a damn thing about how to behave in the world.
At what point to we admit this is attempted genocide?
i’m weary. i’ve been doing the work since i was 15 fucking years old. When will we have to stop explaining that Black Lives Matter? When will white people stop being so entitled that they think its okay to retort-All Lives Matter?
i am taking a class that reminds us we all have racial baggage, that “colorblind” is subversive racism, that-yes, black people can be racist against other black people, things that should be obvious but aren’t. People talk about hair styles, appropriating culture, are mystified when i tell them to google “inappropriate workplace hairstyles” and see HOW MANY PAGES of black women show up. This is not an academic exercise. There is no excuse for the black body count. i’m tired of trying to find civilized ways to point out unacceptable behavior. i’m tired of being mindful, of lighting candles, of praying for the safety of black men and women and children. i know i’ve earned the right to be tired, but even that seems so selfish right now. And so i pray, one long prayer into another, and smile, and force myself to feel warmth to push that into the world because i still believe that love is stronger than hate.