I haven’t spoken out here about what is going on in the nation, the world, until today. No, I didn’t need to be pushed into it or to be shamed into it, as others have been from their fans asking and demanding they speak out. To be quite honest, I post here so irregularly that I’m fairly certain my “fan base” is only accessible via Ouija boards.
The reason I haven’t spoken out until now is simple: I have been too furious to put my thoughts into any form other than unintelligible screams inside my own head. Until now.
There are those out there who are pissed off that there is support for Black Lives Matter. There are those still, who feel moved to violence simply because someone who is black is demanding equality.
Yes. I said demanding. And no, I don’t see anything wrong with that statement. The time for “asking for equality” has long since passed.
What color am I? some of you may ask. Well, let me put this as simply as I can for you. I have two colors–ghost, and fresh steamed lobster. The second happens when I get in the sun for longer than 30 minutes. But the color of my skin should have absolutely no basis on my ability to empathize with someone who is living their lives in a constant state of never-ending trauma.
I will never truly understand the horrors and terror and utter exhaustion my black brothers and sisters live with. But I will tell you this, I have sat with a friend and listened as she spoke about her fears for her children who want to join the protests. I have listened with a broken heart as she told me how grateful she is that her children don’t look like her, that they look more like their father, and how relieved it makes her that they can pass for white. I have listened as she has told me, in a myriad of different ways, that growing up black in this country has–in ways that she may not even truly be aware of–has made her hate herself.
I have sat with friends who are Muslim, and listened as they have spoken of their fears, their trauma, their anger.
I have tried to see this world through their eyes and found myself lacking. I have cried, in the privacy of my own room, in the privacy of a bath. I have closed my eyes and screamed so loud in my own head, while never letting a single sound leave my mouth, because I simply don’t have the words or the ability to explain all that I am feeling and thinking.
I have listened as friends and family have said things that incite such rage in me that I can barely breathe, but have remained silent. And why have I remained silent in the face of the things–often “subtly” hateful–that they say? Because I learned a long time ago that my midwestern extended family will see the rights and struggles of Native Americans, but can’t be bothered to see the same struggles for a black person. I used to try calling them out, until I learned that they would actively not listen.
To those people of color who may be reading this post right now, please comment and tell, not only me, but all of us, how we can help you. If there is something you want us to be cognizant of, share a link to an article or write an essay in the comments. If you think that the thoughts of another would grant us better insight, share with us the link to their podcast or YouTube channel. If there are stories you want told, message me or leave a comment with the information–such as the name of the victim, or the date of the incident and the city, or anything that marks what that story is and who that story is about.
I may not be shouting into a megaphone or leading a march, but I am here, and I am listening.
To all my black brothers and sisters, I stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter.