And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
It does not stop. I open Facebook. I see a hashtag. Video pops up.
I watch it.
It is exactly what I thought it would be. I hashtag. I try to sleep. I toss. I wake up. I see more hashtags. I read blogs. Have I read this one before? Yes. No. Both? Here come the justifications:
It all becomes a blur of names and pain and anger and…
I don’t need to go over this again. We all know what it is. We know where we are. We know what this looks like. No one reading this saw the hashtag or the name posted and didn’t immediately know what the situation was. This is our reality.
And we’re angry. And we’re sad. And we can’t laugh. And we pace. And we lash out. And we cry. And we, and we, and we, and we’re numb.
Why keep feeling if no one will step up and fix it?
I have a question: Why is it that these shootings rarely seem to touch the demographic so intent on keeping guns available, Straight White Men? We see children, queers, POC, women brutalized over and over and the reaction from SWM always seems to be “don’t take our guns!!!” Are they worried they’ll start being treated the same way? Are they concerned that the lack of regulation and oversight will come back to bite them? Do they truly understand just what they’ve done to the rest of us?
I’m not as firm as the rest of my friend group on gun regulation. As I watch video after video of brutality reign down on my people I ask, “is it time that we all get guns? Is the answer to strap each and every one of us so diligently that the world walks around with the same fear we do? If every Black man and woman in this country were to open-carry would the police think twice about shooting a Black man dead in the street for fear that one member of the mob would fight back?”
I do not trust the government to be the only entity in this nation that holds weapons. I do not trust that the men in power will use that power in a just manner. History has shown us otherwise.
I’m not talking revolution. We are the minority. We are outmanned and out-gunned. But what happens when every Black and Brown citizen in this country decides to take advantage of our 2nd Amendment “rights?” What happens when the dust settles and everyone walks on eggshells through life, not just Black and Brown people in our neighborhoods and outside of them? What happens when this pre-, post-, and ongoing- traumatic stress is shared across all of our shoulders?
I bet we come up with an answer then. I bet we find a way to regulate and disarm the populace that is peaceful and we institute police reform.
Does the shit have to come to them before they can be brought around to try and make a difference?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m getting damn sick of this status quo. I can’t keep writing variations of these same themes again and again and again.
Numbness is the reflection of our collective failure.
And for my Black and Brown Brothers and Sisters:
They keep trying. They been trying. Let a motherfucker try. Through whips, and chains, and ships, and dogs, and sterilizations, and breedings, and lynchings, and fire, and crack, and jails, and loans, and guns they have tried to break us from the moment we stepped foot on this damn soil; but we ain’t broken yet. Today is not the day and we are not the ones.
They can not take away our humanity.
They can not take away our spirit.
They can not take away our beauty.
We will rise and rise and keep on rising because they will not break us down.
I walk today with my head still high and my feet still planted as a proud Black man. I’m here for you. I’m here with you.
We made it through the last fire and we’ll make it through the next. There is a strength burning within us that can not be extinguished and don’t you ever forget it. I won’t let you. And you won’t let me.
I love being Black.
I love you.