When you wake up and look in the mirror, you realize you’re still black. You realize that, that target that the white supremacists painted on your body is still there. No matter how much good, or neutral things you do. You keep your head low and mind your business. You see cops you walk calmly in the other direction. If you can’t avoid them you calmly respond to anything and everything they say in the most non confrontational voice you can muster.
Meanwhile your blood is boiling. For your brothers and sister murdered in the street. But you don’t want to be next, so you bow your head. You never look them in the eye. You keep your composure, hoping that when you walk away it won’t be the last thing you do. You stop planning for the future because you don’t know if you’ll actually live long enough to accomplish any of these plans. I mean your black, right? So, death could be at your doorstep at any moment.
You try your best to be peaceful. To protest and stand for your rights. Your right to be treated more than dirt, your right to be treated better than animals, your right to be treated as a human being. But the men in the white hoods set the precedent. Anything we do is a “hate crime,” but they go galavanting in their bed sheets terrorizing our neighborhoods. They traded in the bed skirts for flags and still threaten us.
They want us gone. Wish we never existed because their white guilt can’t be explained away. They fight us, they terrorize us because they can. Because they hold the power. They brought us here just to hurt us. They ran from their oppressors to become the oppressors. All we ever fought for was equality. All we ever wanted was some respect and some human decency. But that’s asking for too much. We should be “grateful,” for all they done for us.
But I lay awake at night, and wake up terrified. That one day someone I know will be next. Will it be you? Will it be me?
Will me reading a book be the last thing I ever do?
Will my brothers playing at the park be the last thing they ever do?
Will my cousin walking home with his hood up to fight the wind be the last thing he does?
All these seemingly innocuous acts were cause for death, but if we were paler….If we had less melanin we would be okay. Any act we did to offend the officer would be waved off or ticketed. We would be detained not slain. But because we were kissed by the sun we are put in the death queue. A line that ends when all of us are gone.
When they kidnapped us, they took our family, they took our homes, they took our culture, and they even took our lives. But they can beat us within an inch of death and they’ll never take our strength. We have been through so much, and have only gotten stronger. We have survived so much and only gotten braver. We just have to keep fighting. I know it’s hard, and I know it seems never ending. But we have to show them, because it’s seems like they forgot, we matter.✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
Let us march on until victory is won.