Ramadan Reflections: Day Twenty-Four — Tired

I am tired.

This reminds me of a quote I came across a while back. It reads:

“There are two types of tired, I suppose. One is a dire need of sleep, the other is a dire need of peace.”-Mandeq Ahmed

With this in mind, I am twice exhausted.

Nothing I write in this reflection will be new to anyone who is a member of a marginalized group or anyone who cares about people in marginalized groups. Perhaps I will be more original when I am less tired. Until then, I will keep this short.

A 17-year-old girl, Nabra Hassanen, was beaten and killed after leaving a mosque on Sunday. This was heartbreaking and horrifying enough to discover on the day it occurred. Days later, I am finding more and more articles and posts that leave me feeling physically ill and mentally drained.

Versions of the story now include:
 — Nabra Hassanen was in the U.S. illegally. 
 — Nabra Hassanen’s murder is not being investigated as a hate crime.
 — Nabra Hassanen was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is all garbage, but when I express my frustration, I am met with things like, “Well, what do you expect?” or “This always happens.” Then, people blame the media.

I am tired of these responses for two main reasons:

One: of course I know that this happens — the distortion of facts, the rewriting of narratives. I know this is not new. I know that this happens to Black and African Americans more than anyone else. It is disgusting, racist, and gut-wrenching every time. The fact that I already know this happens does not take away from my outrage; it adds to it.

Two: I am tired, but I am not apathetic. Apathy is a luxury. Some of us cannot afford to stop caring. We are fighting for our lives. The fact that this “always” happens or is the fault of reporting are not reasons to stop caring. Care more.

In addition to my frustration with those who try and minimize tragedies like these, I also can feel helpless. These major, deep, systemic, toxic, racist issues are overwhelming. They are far larger than any one person. This is why more people have to care. The weight of these issues is crushing the shoulders of those of us who are invested in this work. We need help. We need help from everyone.

You can donate to Nabra’s family to assist with funeral costs here, but I do not have a link to share on how to become a better person or how to start caring. Maybe I am too tired for that today. For everyone’s sake though, I hope those who care do not become too tired. You will need us one day.