*This was written on 6/5/20, shortly after hearing about the death of George Floyd. I found this in my Notes app in my phone and I felt like it shouldn’t live there. These words were written at a time when emotions were high and all over the place. And in some respects, these feelings still haven’t really left.
There’s a stir in my soul; I don’t know what to do with it.
There’s a lot going on right now….there’s so much emotion right now. Should I cry? Should I scream? Should I speak out? Should I meditate in silence?
We’ve been through this. Black people have been through this. Since 2012, we’ve watched our cries go unheard. We’ve pleaded, protested, signed petitions, done everything we possibly could to evoke change; and yet we are in 2020, and there is still unrest. There is still doubt and distrust in our system, and there is still fear for Black people.
I wrote a poem that gives a little light to how I feel…but truthfully, I’m numb. I’m nervous. I’m afraid.
It’s been a week, and it’s been a difficult one. I’ve been watching the news to stay informed, but I find myself feeling numb to the events. I haven’t had a restful nights sleep all week, I’m not feeling well (may have the symptoms of a cold coming in), and I haven’t been the slightest bit interested in work. My job hasn’t talked about the things going on; and it makes me feel a certain kind of way. I wish they would say something. I wish they would acknowledge what’s going on because some of us are affected, and to sit in a place where we spend the majority of our days and have to not talk about something really effects you. It’s like being muted.
I feel very…heavy. I feel a lot of weight on my shoulders. I’ve wanted to just sleep for most of the week, but I’ve had to work. It’s not really a great feeling being at work right now because I have to swallow my feelings. Swallow them for 9 hours until I can get some relief when I go home. Then when I’m home, it’s hard to talk about when your spouse doesn’t want to really talk about it and your daughter is upset because police hurt people.
I have a black husband.
I have a black father and stepfather.
I have black grandfathers.
I have black cousins.
I have black uncles.
I have black brothers.
I have black male friends.
Whenever a Black man is killed unnecessarily in this country, I wonder who will be next. I pray I’m never on the other side of a family member or loved one being a hashtag. But the reality is, even in your simplest actions, something could happen. You never know the day or the hour and there are still times that I worry that myself or someone I love will walk out of their home one morning and something will happen and they won’t come home. Police officers still give me a nervous feeling in my stomach if their near me, because I don’t know if they’re going to stop me just because or if they’re going to go on about their business. Living with that type of paranoia is not healthy and unless your a person of color, you will never understand how it feels.
I keep seeing videos of police officers attacking protestors. Videos of them intentionally spraying tear gas in peoples faces. Hitting and physically handling people aggressively. I’ve read more articles about other black men who have been killed during the protest. Even still in this moment, innocent lives are being taken for no reason.
When will enough be enough? When will black lives truly matter? When will leaders understand that we will not stop until we are seen as equal? But how do you expect a country to treat us as equal if we were never meant to be equal in the first place?
We have to continue to assemble. We have to continue for our voice to be heard.
To all the Black men I care about in my life, I love you. I pray for you. To say “be safe” would feel hypocritical because even in your safest moments, something could happen. So just do what you can to stay sane and aware. Do what you can to make it home everyday.