“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. ” ― James Baldwin
And rage we shall. Minneapolis is raging, black people are raging, we are raging in the streets, we are raging on the internet, we are raging in the media. Black folks are in a rage almost all the time, but it seems this time is more powerful than times before. We are tired, exhausted, and fed up with how the police treat us, how the media portrays us, and how the system has confined us. George Floyd Breonna Taylor Armaud Arbery Sandra Bland Tamir Rice So many more, unarmed, innocent, black lives ripped from us, ripped from their families, ripped from their friends, and ripped from this earth. Police, overt racist white people and oblivious racist white people commit heinous acts of violence against our bodies and our spirit consistently. Their white skin and their fear act as a sword and shield, one to pierce our flesh and the other to defend against our reactions and retaliations. They gaslight us and then cower in fear and weaponize their tears to paint us as a villain. They call the police pretending to panic because they believe law enforcement to be their guard dogs ready to sic us. They incite riots and looting, then rely on the media to further paint us as thugs. We are allowed to rage because we have been oppressed for over 400 years. We are allowed to be rage because we have been beaten, shot, hanged. We are allowed to rage because white people have kept the proverbial and literal boot on our necks for generations. God bless Black folks and God bless those who rage.
I can’t watch another video of a cop brutalizing a black person, especially a black child. I can’t watch another video of a cop killing an unarmed black person. I can’t watch another video of a person weaponizing their whiteness to harass and attack black people. It hurts my soul each and every time I scroll past a video on my timeline. I accept and understand the importance of these videos. We must call out racism and bigotry every time we witness it. It must be on display for the world to see. It must be addressed swiftly and appropriately. Black Lives Matter isn't just a hashtag. It is a rallying cry. It is a motto, a creed. It is a statement that our black skin, our black love, black children, black parent, black cousins, black lives matter. God bless those who have been gifted with the resilience to fight it, we need you. I am not one of those people. I do not have the resilience to watch those videos, much less to scour the internet in search of them, or allow people to freely send them to me. It reignites traumas both seen and unseen. Everything that we take in leaves an imprint on us. Seeing my people be attacked, hearing the cries for help and justice stain my memories and siphon my emotional strength. It sounds good and a little cliché to say I channel my pain into my passion for working with young people, but that doesn’t come at a cost. Quite frankly, some of the stories I hear on a daily basis is enough, I don’t need to sign up for more trauma via social media.
Protect your spirit and protect your energy. Social media is fun, entertaining, and informative, but it can also be disruptive, damaging, and misleading.