I sat in the dark in my apartment as Baltimore burned wondering how is it that there are any people anywhere that think it is ok for the police, as an extension of the state, to treat citizens with such aggression. Why isn’t everyone devastated when a Black or Brown person is murdered at the hands of the state without due process? Why is there such a lack of compassion?
I remember praying for the Black babies in my life. The absolutely awe inspiring melanated darlings who are all smiles and curiosity growing up to be considered threats. How that false perception puts us all in danger every single day. How I live knowing that. Having an 8 year old dealing with the murder of Eric Garner, knowing that the police think he’s “bad” because he’s Black. An 8 year old that I still affectionately call my Chunkn Munkn even though we are almost the same height and he’s no longer 8.
And remembering Oprah and Barack calling out the only people bold enough to stand up for the lives and legacy of Black and Brown folks as misguided. But they have so much kindness in the reserves for the Parkland students.
I am struggling to have compassion for the Parkland students. I am struggling with the overwhelming kindness they’ve been shown. I’m struggling with the care taken to uplift them, because that wasn’t there for the Black and Brown youth who stood up, who continue to stand up as our worlds are being torn apart by a nation intent on eradicating our existence.
The watoto, the youth of my community, are the canaries. All the ills of the country hurt them first. And the country doesn’t care. Because the canaries die first, and you all think it won’t hurt you too. But it will. And part of me is glad. If we have to live in this reality so should you.
Part of me knows that you won’t solve it, because you didn’t notice the canaries then, and you can’t see us now.
BYP, Movement for Black Lives, Black Lives Matter, Dreamers: I see you, I love you, I stand with you today and always.