The War – Through A Lens of Rage and Truth

Living in a perpetual state of rage and understanding Black people have never been safe in this country. Though there is so much to be said, there is so, so much more to feel. The myriad of emotions daily. Thinking about it, a young white boy can just kill us. Young black kids kill, they do. They aren’t going into white spaces and killing wypipo. Their rage targets those who look like them. Buffalo was Charleston over again. It was Rosewood. It was Tulsa. It was the shores of The Motherland. It was the continuously public murder of Black bodies. Yet, some people act shocked or appalled.

The outrage, disgust, frustration and sadness. It hits different when it’s our elders. My pain isn’t monolithic. Yes, my thoughts went immediately to Charleston. My thoughts also went to Bloody Sunday and Harriet Tubman. Just pause and think about what it means to be part of a group of people hated, vilified and persecuted the entire time they have been in this country. Now add that it has always been public, documented even, as town events/gatherings.  We can say our elders are not safe. The truth is, not one person with the hue of our skin has ever been safe. Not in the Motherland and certainly not on this land.

There has been no change. But for over 600 years though. Murdering us is complex. It is a constant reminder of how much we are hated. Murdering each other is constant reminder of how much we hate ourselves.

What are we supposed to do? Better yet, what are we expected to do? Show up to work the next day as if our grandmothers, sisters, mothers, friends had not just been slaughtered in the grocery store. A place we all frequent and “run to” just to pick up those 1 or 2 things. The place we can’t wait to send out kids, for us, once they can drive. How do we parent the next day? What conversations do parents have with their school age kids versus teenagers?  You know, while they navigate their own emotions.

These tragedies absolutely do not happen inside a bubble. That white boy didn’t wake up that day and decide to kill Black people. There were signs. We soon found out their had been strange behavior, including stalking the store. Even he has a story of how he came to be the kid who drove to Buffalo on a Saturday morning to murder Black people in cold blood. When I think, logically, about how many steps it took and the length of time from his first thought to do it to firing the shots. How fucked up do you have to be? An even better question, what happened to the people who radicalize these kids?

It is always the “what happened to you?” for me. Though he wasn’t born hating us, he could have learned to hate us from birth because of what he was exposed to. What is his mitigation?

Once again, my perspective adds to my rage. I know Black kids who have killed for similar, reasons, a perceived threat to their life or way of life, their safety even their life; whether real or perceived. These thoughts and beliefs so are often based on someone else’s rhetoric. The biggest difference, Black kids kill people who look like them. People often speak of people killing those in proximity of them.  What messaging have the mind of 18-year-old white kids received, manifesting in writing a whole ass manifesto loading a car with weapons, getting gas and driving for hours with the intent of murder Black people; to protect the white race. Then, goes live on social media while he does it.

(The way my mind works, that 18-year-old kid is the son of the white supremist {political} system who says the government can, once again, dictate my body. But that is a different build.)

This is not some oversimplified version of causative factors of harm. In fact, this is but one portion, of one clog in the wheel of violence that is amerikka. To vilify this 18-year-old kid is no different than when our kids are vilified. They are products of systems designed to hate and a country that has always solved issues with violence. Violence really does beget violence.

What message does this country send to young people who do not have access to mental health services, healthcare, safe neighborhoods, healthy food, employment opportunities with livable wages, but can send billions of dollars to aid a war halfway around the world.

To be clear, for someone reading this who may not know me, the differences between white and Black kids who harm are far more significant than the similarities. That doesn’t negate this country created both of them. Ironically, the two, in twisted ways, fuel each other. This country historically and continuously tells Black people their lives don’t matter. If you have internalized the lie and no one told or showed you the contrary, you could not value your own life.

Being Black in this country is exhausting. All these thoughts of the possibilities of what could happen to you or someone you love. Where is the line between cautious and paranoid? Where is the balance between making your (adult) kids aware and projecting your fears?

When I speak about the complexity of mass murders of Black people, it is more the constant reminder of the fact that this is what this country does to us, to Black people. It will always be this way. The reminder of having been sold a dream of college and good jobs as the promised land. The feeling I felt inside most of my life because I never subscribed to it. Yet, everyone around me did. I never wanted to be the white man. Since I was 13, I wanted to be Blackity Black. Angela Davis, George Jackson, Jonathan Jackson Black. Assata Shakur, Fannie Hammer, Fred Hampton Black.

The constant reminder of how our existence is devalued. The constant thought of pain up to death can occur at any moment, in any location. The War is ever present. The War serves as a reminder of how much we have to do to inform our people, to spread wisdom and knowledge about healing our historical trauma in order to reject striving to be the white man.

And with all of this, I am, we are expected to show up to work, interact with the people of the people who have oppressed us, continue to kill us with impunity, attempt to dictate how we respond and how we show up, all while performing our job responsibilities. As my daughter would say, “Are you nuts?”.

Yet it is business as usual because the harm to Black bodies is amerikkka’s usual business.

The constant thought process of facts – change can and will not occur. That very notion is in direct contrast to what hundreds of years of history and our current experiences have demonstrated. No one is coming to save us. Yet, saving ourselves, literally, cost us our lives which evokes fear and interrupts progress. Are we even healed enough to know that we need to drastically organize? Are we doing the best we can to survive with zero capacity to do anything else? The complexity of being Black in this country.

How much trauma is my mind capable of holding? Historical, personal, professional, what is the breaking point? What is the second to the last straw? Am I the only one thinking like this? At 59, I am exhausted of being Unapologetically Black and Woman. Yet, there is no alternative but to continue to enlighten, inform and rage against The War.

The state of rage is constant as we are constantly reminded, nobody gives a fuck about us. Black people have been brutalized, lynched, raped & murdered in this country for well over 500 years. An increase in violence against Asians in the past 10 minutes and there is Hate Crime legislation on deck. A law against lynching BARELY passed LAST year!

Oh, the math is mathing. amerikkka is doing exactly what it been doing. Not giving a fuck about Black people.

I no longer ascribe to the notion things will ever be better for people who look like me. The truth of a country built on theft, murder and lies, is it will never destroy its own foundation. It will never destroy that which has given it the power and domination it thrives on and lives for. Capitalism requires others to have less than, to be oppressed. amerikkka will never fight against its own interest. White supremacy is amerikkka’s own interest.

The War is real. Our people often don’t even realize they are at war. Never do I subscribe we are any way complicit in the continuous harm and trauma which lives in our DNA and is consumed in our bodies, minds and spirits daily. So often how we show up is a manifestation of all of it. How, then, do we get the message to the masses? The first line of attack is to heal to unify to strategize to decide…what will we do?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: