We have attended so many funerals for people whose lives we did not know, but death we all witnessed. And in seeing breath pass from their bodies, a part of us dies as well. Our formidable Black cracks, knowing even in the quietest and most sacred moments, you can lay in bed to sleep, and wake up as a hashtag.
So today, I just want to do what should have been done a while ago.
A check in.
How are you doing, how are you really doing ?
I make Dua for the families of the murdered. I pray that God watches over them in the afterlife, and the invocation of the masses reaches heaven to remind them how much they are loved. I make Dua for their children, and family; with their family, I mourn the promise of a lost future.
I pray that the hearts of the wicked will not rest until justice is served in this world, and if the courts will not serve this justice, then God must. If God will not serve this justice, then I invoke the names of all our ancestors to offer their own justice. If they will not, the streets will speak for themselves.
I am grateful to those who attended protests and to all the organizers who put their bodies at risk in the middle of the pandemic;for the safety precautions they took, and their continued courage. The protests subsided, people stayed safe, and when we go home, they continue the struggle.
I’ll admit that I am glad we are teleworking. I am stuck between wishing my boss would care enough to check in, but am relieved that he has chosen not to do so. He tried to say something, but spilled his words on his shirt. I am equally disappointed and relieved. I’ll likely quit earlier than I wanted. I’ll leave a note on my desk saying “A Black man died here.” Lived here. That’s what it will say. “A Black man lived here.”
I’ve been thinking eey, if I am keeping it a buck, our colleagues, neighbors, friends, just learn new words, but hardly change their behavior. It took a whole global pandemic for them to show up. Our people keep dying. Our kids keep pushed out of school. Our women and babies keep dying. All we are asking is that you treat us like human beings.
Why would anyone want to live in a society where their neighbors are not allowed to live. Does it actually need to take a global pandemic for y’all to pull up for us your friends, your neighbors? Suddenly y’all are using words like anti-Black racism, and anti-racist and buying all these books to educate yourself. I am reading a book about rocks, that’s what I am doing. And guess what? Rocks didn’t need to die before I cared about rocks. Look how I made that magic happen!
I don’t really care if you believe systematic racism exists or not. I don’t care if you say it in French or English or Dutch or Finnish. I don’t care if you are not racist or anti-racist. I just want accountability and consequences. If you are listening and learning, it’s time to leave, and make room for someone who is ready to do the work. Listen and learn on your own time, not on our blood.
I long for brave politics. One where I do not have to die for you to dream. I want a job that I can come to with my whole self without having to cringe before a conversation. I want my people to live. I don’t want to go to bed one night, and wake up a hashtag.
I can’t ask how you are doing without being super transparent with myself. This is a community check in.
How are we? It’s been a rough couple of months. It’s been a rough couple of years. How are you really? How can we lift each other up, and assist each other to reach our full potential, despite the forces trying to tear us down?
Here are some mental health resources if you need them.