As a writer, I am learning that writing is therapeutic and has become a positive outlet for me. I feel so much right now in this moment and I’m finding it very difficult to compartmentalize my feelings the way that so many of us do on a regular basis. We are in the middle of a pandemic and have had our lives upended by Covid-19 over the past couple of months. This pandemic has created some stress for a lot of folk and it is not hard to understand why … when you are forced to alter your way of life and have to remove things that help make your lives more comfortable and the conveniences that make your life easier. I am okay with not being able to get my normal pedicure(it’s sandal season, so it’s uncomfortable, but not unbearable) and I am okay with not being able to go to happy hour with my girlfriends. I am okay with not being able to go out to dinner with my family at our favorite restaurants (it’s an inconvenience, but we are in a pandemic). I am even okay with not being able to attend church in our usual building because I know that the real church has never been a building, the real church has always been us (the people). I am so glad that we have the opportunity to stream our weekly service and participate and fellowship that way.
I am not okay with how some people see my skin, the skin of black and brown people as a threat or a weapon. I am not okay with how people that look like me are marginalized and constantly mistreated by a justice system that sees people who look like me as a threat. I am not okay with the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old black woman who was shot and killed by the police in her own home in the middle of the night. I am not okay with the white vigilante father and son duo that followed Ahmaud Arbery in their pick up truck and murdered him in the street while he was out for an afternoon jog. I am not okay with Amy Cooper, a white woman who called the police on a black man in Central Park, because he questioned her about having her dog in the park without a leash. Although she was in the wrong and there were clear signs present that stated all dogs must be on a leash, she took offense and attempted to bring harm down on this black man by calling the police to report that a black man was threatening her. She understands how this society views black men and was comfortable flexing her white privilege to contact the police, because she felt it would grant her the outcome that she was seeking towards this innocent black man. I am not okay with how police in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed George Floyd in the street even though he was already handcuffed and lay begging for relief.
Fortunately, the majority of these atrocities were captured on video and leaked via social media. Only after public outrage and leaked videos were arrest made in Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd’s case. All of these experiences are traumatic and before we have time to process one, there are two more that we as people of color are forced to deal with. I know that until this country begins to address the racism that is just as American as apple pie and begin to dismantle it and annihilate the belief of white supremacy, black and brown people with never have any peace nor will we be safe.
My skin is not a weapon! My skin is not a threat to anyone! I am not okay with anyone who sees my skin in this way!