When they kill me
When they kill me, I hope it is in broad daylight. I hope I am carrying a Bible. I hope I am wearing all white. I hope I have my degree in my hand. I hope I was holding a graduation photo. I hope I was saying big words and code switching. I hope I wasn’t switching my hips. I hope my hair was laid. I hope I looked non-threatening. I hope my hands were up. I hope the sun is out. I hope the birds are chirping. I hope Obama got that third term we’ve been hoping about. I hope I’m on my knees. I hope I’m laying on the ground. I hope I’m asleep. I hope it’s on camera. I hope I’m not already dead inside. I hope we’re in post-racial America.
None of this will matter. It will not matter how respectable I was, they will leave my body there for hours. They will replay my lynching on television for weeks. They will refuse to call me by my name. They will say I deserved it. They will say I should have just stayed home. I should have just never been Black. I should have just never been born.
Just don’t let them ignore me like they did Renisha, like they did Ayania. Don’t let me become one of the forgotten ones. Don’t let them deny you your pain and anguish. Don’t let the boys in blue steal your blues. I want you to scream until it feels better, even if it never feels better.
I don’t want calls for peace. I don’t want calls for forgiveness. I want you to indict the system. Justice won’t come with a verdict, with an apology. Put America on trial for his crimes and testify.
Don’t let them cleanse me. Don’t let them do to me what they have done to Rosa. Suffocate them with my humanity. I was not perfect. I was not a saint. Don’t let them scrub me of my sins and make me a more palatable victim. Don’t let them do to me what they have done to Sandra. When they kill me, don’t let them call it suicide. Know that even if it were at my own hands, I did not want to die.
When they kill me, I hope to God I am wearing white. Maybe they’ll realize how strange angels look dead in the street.
(This was originally published on my blog, you can find it on troublehasarrived.com)