You Can Mourn Without Knowing the Victim. Girl, It’s Called, “Humanity”…
I’m tired. I’m tired. In fact, I’m not quite sure whether this will be a proper and/or eloquent entry this week. How do I function? This past few days have been rough (Mercury is in retrograde, and the son of a bitch is done on Thursday) but I don’t think I am staying afloat, yet I’m not drowning in a numbing abyss either. The purgatory of the two extremes, actually…I’m feeling this damn near paralyzing tightness in my chest, this throbbing in my mind, and the aching of my spirit dragged into a conundrum. I am feeling like TV static times 10; the tingling in your foot, but so painful you can’t walk or stand on it.
I feel that all over my body, but not to the point where the tingling sensation builds into a stabbing autoimmune attack (the body is decimating itself) that then goes into a warm and then cold numbing overdose. An overdose of pain with no release because you’re not given a break in between, submerging into deeper depths of despair you give into because it becomes normal to feel this way. You have forgotten what floating on the surface feels like. You’re actually afraid to allow yourself to heal once you’ve reached this extreme, because you understand that healing requires going through the same process — from the worst pain to the least.
On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, these five names have me in mourning: Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Demetrius Griffin Jr., and Tyree King. More unarmed, Black men and boys (and many more women and Trans men/women) are murdered…for what? Being Black in America.
Mind you, we never saw their living bodies shift to a dead carcass right before our eyes like we always do following the “graphic video” disclaimer.
Well here is a KEY aspect in the series of tragedies of the Black experience is repressing your thoughts and sentiments to ensure everyone’s comfort (everyone who is not Black and/or “blissfully” ignorant to the genocide of Black bodies). While you sit fighting slight episodes, thinking you could either break into tears (or an immediate fit of rage), you quickly shut that down before anyone sees you and asks, “What’s wrong?”
This occurrence 1) confirms they don’t know (or choose to be in a ignorant bliss) of the current events 2) prove they aren’t as affected by the chain of events, 3) may genuinely be asking, “What’s wrong?” or 4) invalidate your mourning of the recurring ethnic cleansing of African-American people in the United States because you lack any relational attachment to the victims.
Choice 4 took place on Wednesday (long story short). This week has been particularly rough in the wake of the four names added to the ever-growing list of victims to police brutality. Since, I have lost focus, grew overcome with grief to attend my classes and missed major deadlines for academic presentations and extensive papers for my classes (sadly, this class included). I have been waking up in the morning (looking up to the ceiling with a sigh) praying that a name doesn’t turn into another social media trending hashtag today, praying for my loved ones and wishing complete safety for them, and lastly, praying that my mental health will remain intact and the lurking anxiety doesn’t cave in on me. The anxiety that lurks in the closet and makes its presence known when everything is going well, paralyzed my will to act like all is well and be privileged I’m not one of the Black victims of police brutality or corporate media’s lynching on the Black victim’s character (because digging up their past and saying “if they didn’t act, dress, or move a certain way, they would still be alive” bullshit. Guess what…they’re STILL dead. Alton Sterling’s son and MANY other children are now fatherless and more women are widowers).
I was affected by the trauma of seeing someone murdered in cold blood. I was affected by the oversaturation of the “graphic video” disclaimer, and knowing what was going to happen next. I may not have known the victims personally, BUT AS I RECALL the world mourned during France, Orlando, and the annual anniversaries for 9/11 without being questioned of their relational attachment to the victims. It’s understood that innocent lives were taken. Mind you, we never saw their living bodies shift to a dead carcass right before our eyes like we always do following the “graphic video” disclaimer.