To be clear, this piece is personal and coming in the midst of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. Right now America is seeing just how angry, hurt and tired we are. We are protesting, praying and pleading for social equality and justice now more than ever. While I am grateful to see people from so many races, religions, cultures and economic backgrounds come together to speak out against the blatant crimes committed against people of color in the United States of America, there is another event occurring that not many are acknowledging. Black men are emotionally crumbling from the repeated stories, images and audio recordings of death against themselves.
Let's be clear, Black Americans have always known racism. PERIOD. We have known that it existed, we have known that it has been widely supported, we have known that it has been LEGAL. Dealing with racism is apart of our genetic makeup. There is not one black person born in america that does not have a direct descendant that has not dealt with racism. From Bel-Air to Bankhead, there is a trace in our blood line that can identify to racism directly. The difference between today and the generations before us is access and media. If we recall the American Horror Story of Emmett Till, in 1955, the details of his murder were shared via newspaper and radio. His mother allowed pictures of his body in his casket to be shown. These images were shared world wide in magazines and newspapers. This was one of the first graphic visuals of racism and the results of being black in a country that was structurally built to embrace racism. We had seen some televised marches and speeches during civil rights protest but to see the results of a racially motivated murder was sickening.
Fast Forward to February 23, 2020, Ahmuad Arbery, an unarmed black man is murdered for simply jogging through a white neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. Not only is this man chased down by a group of white men with rifles, his murder is recorded and released to the public. We had to sit and see this man run from pickup trucks and be attacked and murdered on EVERY NEWS OUTLET in America along with every social media platform. Over and Over again. Then, we go into the next month and March 13, 2020 we wake up to hear about Breonna Taylor's murder in Louisville, KY. An innocent, sleeping African American woman, murdered in her home by police that were executing a search warrant for a person that was already in custody. Now we get to May 25, 2020 and here's yet another video of an unarmed black man being murdered. A man that pleaded for his breath and his deceased mother. This video went viral and we had to take it all in, AGAIN....
We did not have recordings of Breonna Taylor's murder, only reports and press conferences, maybe that is why we couldn't attach as much anger to her name. When the video footage of Ahmuad Arbery's death came out, we were heart broken and outraged but we found solace that he died on his feet, as a man. HE FOUGHT BACK. George Floyd, is the camel that has broken our backs.
My African American husband broke down in tears the night we watched this on CNN. The substantial person in my life, BROKE. I had perceived my husband as the strongest person in the world and here he was balled up on my couch like a child with tears flooding his face and all he could say to me was " Why do they hate us so much?" My silence was the most painful thing i have ever had to "not" say. How can I comfort my partner that is hurting when i have no answer to his question. I have no resolve to his issues? What help am I to this country and the people that are suffering if I can not help the closest person to me? As a companion, we committed ourselves 'For Better or Worse' and now here we are in the worse. I can not imagine the pain of waking up and figuring out how to avoid an unforeseeable death. Even when you are just causally jogging, sleeping in you home or paying for goods at a local business. How can we heal our partners without filling ourselves with rage or pain? Is it even possible? To all of the wonderful couples that are apart of this #BlackLove movement, hold on to your partners just a little bit tighter tonight. Tell them they matter and you will fight for them. We may not have to the answers that will heal their pain but we can be there as they get up everyday choosing to not only survive but fight back.
"The healing will no longer be theorized and wished upon
We will be walking manifest of healing"