One of Those Mornings…
Today was one of those mornings when I felt the weight of my blackness. And hers.
The “hers” being the black female high school student in South Carolina who was shoved backwards, slammed to the ground, snatched out of her seat and dragged across the floor by him. We know his name. Officer Ben Fields. We also know the name of the other student who was arrested for trying to stop the assault, Niya Kenney. But what about her? What is her name? Tell us her name.
I drove to work in silence this morning. The usual banter and laughter of the radio shows did not mesh with the anguish I felt in my soul. How could they laugh and carry on when a teenage girl was violently body-slammed and dragged across the floor?
I did not sleep well the night before. I could not sleep peacefully knowing another one of my people was treated as if their lives meant nothing. As if their bodies were rag dolls to be tossed and thrown around by dogs.
Tears rolled down my face. It wasn’t even 8am. I wanted to be back home and disappear beneath my warm covers in a cold, cold world. A world that would rather dispel claims of deeming Fields a racist than admit to this was nothing other than a continued pattern of violent subjugation and degradation of black bodies. In other words, a racist act of terrorism.
We are not safe in our schools. Our churches. Our homes. Our streets. I cannot go so far as to say our world because in this world we are still treated as “other”. This is not our world. We have no place here.
Terror need not be limited to bombs and highly-organized attacks. Terror is the continual, practically automatic assault of black bodies all too frequently. Male and female. Young and old. Hooded and unhooded. Light and dark.
Terror is the fear that burns in my chest and the knots in my stomach because I am Black and unprotected in America. So is she.
Say her name.