Let’s be very clear about what’s happening to black people these days (or for the last few hundred years for that matter)…we are being destroyed. Point blank and to the period. We are living in a time where a hash tag like #IfIDieInPoliceCustody is necessary and relevant. The destruction of black bodies is so prevalent that we are inching toward being desensitized. Almost.
I’m writing this post through tears which means that I haven’t become desensitized yet and neither have my counterparts. I’m shedding tears for Sandra Bland in Texas. Tears for Kindra Chapman in Homewood. For Renisha. For Eric. For Freddie. For Yvette. For Rekia. For Mike. For Trayvon. For the Charleston 9. For them all. For all of our women, men, and children that keep dying at the hands of a racist, police state. Every bullet, every knee to the neck, every bumpy ride in the back of a police van is another noose.
At this moment I am experiencing not only sadness, but rage. The kind of rage that lends itself to revolution. The kind of rage that sits like a brick on my chest. It’s easy for me to tap into that feeling not just because I’m black, but because I am the mother of three little black boys that will biologically be grown men in the next ten years or so, but are seen as grown men right now at the ages of 8, 6, and 4 by the wrong group of people. People that could care less about the fact that they are in their formative years and still hold a beautiful, untainted spirit. They don’t care because they only see them through eyes of fear. I could go on and on about where that fear comes from, but there’s not enough space and time for that because I could right a million words on that topic alone. And now, the light is being shed on the attacks not just on the black men, but all black people. Every. Last. One. Of. Us.
No black person is safe and that’s the bottom line. We aren’t allowed to be outraged at the public decimation of our people. We are told to get over the digital and systemic lynchings that we are forced to watch over and over again. Ignorant white people say things like, “You should stop complaining, slavery’s over. Affirmative action exists because of your people. Be grateful.” “It’s not just black lives that matter, all lives matter.” My response to that sentiment is FUCK THAT. My loyalty to the people that gave me life, especially in the face of physical attacks, in no way says that I want other groups to suffer. What is does say is that self-preservation is apart of universal law and I look to preserve my own kind. I live God’s law which is one in the same as universal law.
We’re sick of this shit happening over and over and over and over again. In my personal opinion, my fellow, younger millennial counterparts are the leaders of the new school of activists and social change and they are not quiet. As a whole, my entire generation has a hold on the steering wheel when it comes to racial and social changes.
The fear of a racist system that was instilled in my 88 year old grandmother who grew up in and raised children in the Jim Crow south of the 50’s and 60’s is not present in this current generation. She came of age at a time where she’d literally have to step off of the side walk if a white man were to walk by to keep the threat of physical attack or death away. Her fear was, and sometimes still is, all over her body language. That innate fear of racist white people has seemed to lessen through the generations. With my mother, it was not the same kind of outright fear that showed in her body language, but in her fear of the system and through her advice to me about my interactions with white people. I can remember the day, while pregnant with my second child, I told her that my OB/GYN was a white woman. The look of concern in my mother’s eyes was instant. That concern filled the room just before she said, “Oh. Okay. You need to be careful.” and she went on to explain her fear came from the fact the white doctors would sterilize black women without telling them, at least back in the day. My response to that was exemplary of how the fear has lessened with my generation.
I knew that my mother’s concern was a valid one and I had always known to be “careful” in certain situations involving my white counterparts, but I knew that I wasn’t afraid to speak up if I thought something was off. I was not living in fear of what a white person could DO TO ME, but what I, and most of my counterparts might agree, would do to a person trying to hand me mistreatment. The younger sector of my generation have taken it a step further through the marches, the vocal expectation of accountability for those that have done wrong and the like.
Even though I say all of this, I’m still crystal clear about the fact the my black body and yours is endangered. I’m over it. These acts of violence against people of color (because this does include our brown comrades) is not something that lives in a vacuum. It’s connected to every move we make.
I literally participated in #IfIDieInPoliceCustody without a second thought. What does that tell you?
“IfIDieInPoliceCustody, know that it’s bullshit. I have three sons that I’m trying to keep from dying in police custody.” -Simone
I have moments of not knowing what the hell to do to be apart of the change, and then I have moments of complete clarity on what I’d do if I found myself in a compromised position with the police or any other situation of that kind. I seriously consider the possibility of just taking my children and leaving the country altogether, but I’m not so sure about that. I think about being prepared for the revolution should it show up on my literal doorstep. I think about what I would do with my sons should we have to fight and that sucks. The dam is going to break if we don’t stop receiving reasons to post #BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName #WhatHappenedToSandraBland #ICantBreathe.
This is important. Please comment below on your experiences or thoughts on the current state of the black body in America.
The Charade by D’Angelo is dedicated to the fallen and those still trying to live…