I’ve written and rewritten this post in my head a million times over the last few days. I’ve tried to let it go and to stay away from the subject, but I can’t.
I should have learned by now to not read the comments online. Read the article if it looks interesting, but for all that is holy DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS! I don’t ever learn.
I was on a site that I consider a safe space. The blog past was a serious question from awhile, middle income, pretty well known writer – who should she be reading more about in regards to privilege and the especially the events in #Ferguson? I thought it was a good reaction – she couldn’t understand what could make a group of people seemingly take leave of their sense and she wanted to understand. She had picked race and privilege as her starting point, which I thought was reasonable. That was the last reasonable statement I read.
The judgements flew thick and fast. I started shaking and had to shut down the page.
You cannot tell a group of people that they are animals, and treat them worse than you treat animals, and enslave them and dehumanize them and rape them and lie to them about themselves and steal their languages and religion and replace it with your own and give them tiny amounts of dignity and pay lip service to their inalienable rights and lock them in prisons and not let them vote and drug them and use them as medical guinea pigs without their knowledge and make millions from their labor, their DNA, their ideas and leave them in a ghetto and then tell them that they are lazy and have never contributed and systematically kill their male children and then expect them to act like what? Like it’s okay? None of those previous examples was hyperbole, by the way. THAT IS MY FAMILY TREE. That is my history. That is your history. Systematic conquest, rape and pillage, slavery and legal dehumanization.
My son is 14 months old. He runs flat out until he falls down and then he gets angry at the ground. He loves swings. He hates rice. His laugh is the best sound in the universe.
At some point I will have to start teaching him about how not to get killed by the police. I will have to teach him that he cannot walk this world as a man all of the time. He cannot hold his head high all of the time. He cannot wear his pride easily and comfortably all of the time.
It is not safe to walk in your apartment complex.
It is not safe to walk in your neighborhood.
It is not safe to drive anywhere. Ever.
It is not safe to talk to the police.
It is not safe to not talk to the police.
It is not safe to stand up for yourself.
It is not safe to back away with your hands up begging for your life.
It is not safe to be a Black male in this country. And I did that. I made him that. I made him something that could kill him. I am his mother and I did that.
THIS is the psychosis that years of oppression has wrought. The fact that I should have that thought, that I should carry that guilt and fear – that is the end result of what started thousands of years ago and has never stopped.
If you cannot understand the impulse to smash everything you see and to burn it all down to the ground, then I am happy for you. Good. You won the lottery and got to be born something other than Black in America.
I look into his big brown eyes and I see a brand new soul who is so excited about this world. One day I will have to look into those eyes and explain that this world does not value his soul.
Every 28 hours in America a Black man under the age of 25 is killed. If you don’t want to deal with the issues that cause this now, that’s fine. We never do. That’s ok. We’ll get another chance soon.
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