Here’s What I’m Not Going to Do About Terence Crutcher’s Death
I am tired. I am literally weary. You know, like when you’ve been carrying a heavy backpack for a really long time and the straps start to dig into your shoulders and your back is burning like a pepper and you just want to throw the backpack into the streets with no regard for its contents and sit down on the sidewalk and weep? Yes, that kind of tired.
I’m tired because there’s another video of a black man killed by police all over my Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. I just wanted to creep pretty girls’ Instagram profiles for makeup tips and trawl Facebook for funny text posts, and here I am pissed off that another black man is in the morgue with police-issued bullets in his body. Terrence Crutcher didn’t get to go home to his family because an officer in a helicopter said he looked like a “bad guy” and the officer on the ground pumped him with bullets because he was backing away from drawn guns. Let’s all sigh together.
I’m not upset. I’m not sad. I am not even angry. I ran out of those feelings about 3 or 4 shootings ago. I’ve exhausted my stores of emotional energy for coping with trauma. What I am, is tired. Not apathetic. Believe me, I care. But I’m so tired of having to, you know? I just want to put the backpack full of heartache and outrage down. It’s heavy and I don’t want to carry it anymore.
Sadly, I don’t get a choice. I’m black. And being black in this world means that heavy ass backpack full of all the ways we’re discriminated against and the myriad of coping mechanisms we’ve developed to survive them is standard issue. I get to carry that on my back for as long as racial injustice is a thing. It’s starting to look like it’s going to be forever.
So since I can’t put the backpack down, here’s what I’m not going to do:
- Argue with #alllivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter people. Fight amongst yourselves in my comments. I’m not here for you.
- Reply to white people hurling statistics at me with absolutely no context and talking about black-on-black crime. Bye.
- Get into arguments about whether or not a black victim deserved to get shot for non-compliance. Go away.
- Watch anymore footage or view any more pictures of dead black bodies in the street. Not. Doing. It.
- Temper my anger about these injustices (when it inevitably beats out this chronic emotional fatigue) to protect anybody’s feelings. I don’t care about your feelings.
- Hesitate to hit the block button with the swiftness. Bye forever.
- Educate white people on why this is actually injustice. I am not a teacher, this is not a university and you are not paying me. Read my old open letters. Or don’t. Whatever.
- Engage with non-black POC who want to complain that BLM isn’t inclusive. You know hashtags are free right?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go try to muster the energy to put this backpack back on and keep walking, cause you know, no matter how many hashtags we’ve got, life keeps moving.