I’m tired. Full stop. There’s no ‘but’, ‘however’ or ‘although’ that follows that statement.
I’m tired. The kind of emotional and mental exhaustion that manifests itself physically.
I, like so many Black people, are solely existing and going through life in a fog of anger, despair, and conscious, tempered rage that we have no choice but to push/work through. I’m tired of re-sharing my racial trauma for the white masses to “learn from”.
Why? Why is it my/our responsibility? Why do I have to periodically open up a long festering wound just to show you that it exist? Why do I have to show that which is raw and oozing, forever weeping? As if you seeing the damage inflicted in real time wasn’t proof enough.
Yes, you saw every lash of the racism whip every time you said nothing when a comment was made about my hair/education/experience/tone of voice, etc. You saw the thin veneer of safety ripped away when you knew that cronyism and nepotism were in full working order and you did/said NOTHING. You said nothing because you 100% benefited, either directly or indirectly, from structural racism.
Yet you act as if all of this is new to you. That the advent of racism is this newfangled phenomena and you are dismayed and flabbergasted that such a thing exist. You can catch me outside with all that bs.
Now you are trying to have an emergency episode of “Ask a Black Person” and “discuss” what needs to be done about police violence against Blacks and what white people can do. You are quick to exclaim that you’re uncomfortable and feel such guilt over racism and the denigration and disrespect of Black bodies.
First: Stop re-centering the narrative on you and your temporary uncomfortableness. Oh, you are uncomfortable with being called out on your privilege? Uncomfortable with being called out on your lack of support and the realization that silence IS indeed violence? You’re uncomfortable sitting on the other side of this screen from the relative safety of your home?
I’m uncomfortable every time I step foot outside of my home. History has shown that Black bodies, male, female, non-binary, trans, are not safe ANYWHERE.
Not at our jobs
Not at Walmart/restaurants/convenience stores
Not in our cars headed home
Not outside of our cars when they have broken down or have a flat tire
Not at home after work with a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream
Not on our couches playing video games with our nephews
Not in our beds after a long shift on the front lines of COVID-19
Not buying something with cash at a local convenience store
Not breaking up a domestic dispute
Not peacefully protesting
All of these “nots”…
So don’t talk to me about your uncomfortableness. Don’t talk to me about how bad/guilty you feel. Don’t ask me what needs to be done when in your heart you already know.
We’ve asked you for nothing but to acknowledge that Black lives matter. Black bodies matter. We deserve so much more than the corporate platitudes and false allyship.
You all need to talk amongst yourselves and leave Black folks out of this particular exchange. All of the non-BIPOC people need to convene and have a real dialogue about what you’ve done; your actions and inactions, how you have progressed and benefited from the white supremacist power structure. Work out how you are going to dismantle the racist structures.
You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. You know EXACTLY how you benefited, continue to benefit, and how Black People are repressed and subjugated by systemic and institutional racism.
You are inconsiderate and inconvenienced by our protest. Inconvenienced and annoyed by us screaming until our voices are hoarse and bleeding, bodies dehydrated from the sweat and tears that leach from us. Trails of salt staining our cheeks. I’m too tired to do this work for you, as we have been for the last 400+ years.
These labors are yours now.