As of the start of me writing this, we are at the dawn of day 14 since George Floyd was murdered in plain sight. Ever since the news was revealed, there have been many thoughts in my head that looped over and over.
What if that were me? What if that were my brothers? My dad? My mom? Anyone in my family? What about my friends?
I’m exhausted. From not only learning of the news of George Floyd, but also of other deaths in the US.
Breonna Taylor. Trayvon Martin. Rodney King. Sean Bell. Eric Garner. Ahmaud Arbery. Sandra Bland. Amadou Diallo. Atatianna Jefferson. The list goes on and on.
Fannie Lou Hamer said it best: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Black siblings of life dying left and right. I am sick and tired of the media (and other people who don’t care/”agree, but…”) depicting our struggles and marching as awful. I am sick and tired of scrolling through my social media and having to teach others on how to properly do allyship. I am also sick and tired of having to teach people why things affect Black people differently. I’m definitely sick and tired of having to again scroll through my feed and some of the celebrities that I like that look like me not speak out about injustices that they face.
The fact that I can’t even do basic shit without being targeted is frightening.
I’ve seen so many times that people online have said that we need to tap out sometimes. True. Extremely true. But how long can we really be tapped out? The fact that the next one can happen at any point due to protests, rioting, and looting worries me. Not only that, we have to deal with our white and non-Black POC counterparts whether at work or online. The trauma will never end because we see that peaceful protesters are being targeted, injured, or worse: killed. Additionally, we have to sit and explain why these things affect us to people who aren’t Black and why we should be on board with abolishing the police.
For those who are asking: “what should I do” in this situation… I don’t know what to tell you anymore…
These issues are more than just police brutality. They range from the healthcare system to media to education to even housing and real estate.
The best I can say is to listen. Not hear. Listen. You will never understand the struggle of waking up everyday and praying that you will survive the rest of the day without being targeted by either law enforcement, healthcare, or housing. And when it comes to listening, do not apologize for being born into the race/ethnicity you were born in. By doing that, you’re dismissing our struggles no matter how unintentional it may be.
Also, don’t ask for statistics about police brutality, white on white crime and Black on Black crime because again, it dismisses our feelings as well as our narratives will never be heard because we need to display concrete information. For the people who are like this, reevaluate your approach. Do your own research and not ask for a Black person to do that for you. Which leads to my next point.
DO 👏🏾 YOUR 👏🏾 OWN 👏🏾 RESEARCH 👏🏾. We as Black people are neither Google, nor a peer reviewed scholarly article, nor an encyclopedia. We are in 2020 and in the age of technology. We have resources available everywhere. From various tweets people have tweeted on their own experiences, to different blogs that are written, to even books that have been published. Do your own research. If someone is delivering services such as narratives and research or even actual formal education, compensate them. Some people actually do diversity, equity, and inclusion as their line of work. Pay them. Because someone took the time to break down a complex concept of systemic and institutional racism.
Open your purse… Donate. Donate to bail funds and organizations that assist with the education of civil rights. Donate to the various GoFundMe campaigns that are cycling around social media. Donate to local non-profits whose mission is towards helping out the community.
If you don’t have money, sign petitions. There are plenty going out to reopen various cases such as Breonna Taylor’s. There is a video that you can watch on YouTube that all the ad revenue goes to donating to Black Lives Matter and other organization in the Carrd above.
If you have children, start the educational process of racism at home. No matter how much you can try to avoid it, children will still be exposed to it even in the classroom.
Check in on your Black friends. A lot of us are hurting.
We don’t want Black Lives Matter to be just a trend each and every time racial injustice happens. Black lives should matter in everything that is done around you. Our injustices affect the status quo and we can no longer afford to be non-racist. We need to be anti-racist.