Month: August 2015

When ignorant people try your life

This message is for folks who are in, or are going into, tough situations. This is for folks for whom this summer, indeed, this past year, has been traumatic.

UMass Amherst's Black Student Union repaints a Black Lives Matter wall after it was vandalized. photo by L. Barkakati

UMass Amherst’s Black Student Union repaints a Black Lives Matter wall after it was vandalized. photo by L. Barkakati

Prepare yourself to meet people (both white and non-white) who have no idea what happened in Charleston, South Carolina this summer. Prepare yourself to meet people who have no idea who Sandra Bland is or what happened to her. Prepare yourself to meet people who have no idea what happened in McKinney, Texas. Prepare yourself to meet people who have no idea who Bree Newsome is or what acts of courage she has done.

Brace yourself for that rage. Brace yourself for the frustration (if you are that patient) of explaining to these humans what happened in these places, what these people did (not that you owe them any explanations. I wouldn’t give them one. They ought to know). Brace yourself for the responses you are going to get to these explanations: “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time”, “Well, why wasn’t she more polite?”, “Oh, but she smoked weed”, “This photo looks photoshopped”. Brace yourself, above all else, for the hurt, the pain, for the way these people prove beyond any doubt that Black lives don’t matter to them. I can’t guarantee you’ll meet them, but I guarantee they exist.

This is the part where people say be strong or some shit. I can’t tell you that because I can’t do it myself. When I meet people like this, I want to scream and cry and throw things. Sometimes, that’s exactly what I do. Sometimes, it’s even in public (okay, without the throwing things, but the other two things have definitely happened).

It can’t be all that consoling coming from me, and you don’t need me to validate you either, but just to put it out there, you’re still worthy. These people’s lack of fucks given does not mean you are any less of a person. You are (still) enough. You (still) matter. You do because you exist. Period.

#BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName

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