Updated: Mar 25
This perspective will be a botched attempt of me trying to navigate the invisible line that zigzags between a militant Malcolm X and a politically correct Barack Obama. I care enough about being "politically correct" because of who might stumble across this. Yet, I am bound to fumble my concern about opinions because... well... simply put: right now isn't the time to give a fuck.
I'll probably never write another blog about the lynching of a Black man again.
Yes, the lynching.
I use a lot of words loosely. But I chose this one specifically because, let's be very clear, that is exactly what the stereotypical murder of Ahmaud Arbery was. I typically opt out of going too in-depth about my thoughts whenever a beautiful soul is riddled with bullets and discarded like trash. A life thrown away by white devils who only see the Black body.
Just the Black body -- never the irreplaceable value of the human who exists inside of it. Never the gorgeous smile suffocated by emasculated screams. Never the DNA of the mothers mourning for hundreds of mornings because they can't trick their brains enough to cease visualizing the viral recordings that offer front row seats to the deaths of their Black sons.
Always. Just. Another. Black. Body.
I should tell you I carry a heavy disdain for small talk. My prose and poetry may be sprinkled with floating, colorful butterflies and layered metaphors, but my morals and opinions are not. With that being said, I'll get straight to it:
1. Black people, stop begging White people to understand our pain. There is a distinct difference between sympathy and empathy. They are simply incapable.
2. To the White people who discreetly sympathize with Black people, but never publicly check their racist peers. Give us a fucking break. Seriously. We do not care whether or not you notice the racist shit we deal with if you don't have courage to stand beside us when it's war time against the people who look like you.
3. To our older generations: "prayer" is not enough. You may have heard us young folk say, "We are not our ancestors." We meant that.
4. It is never too early to teach our children about slavery, racism, and our real history. My 15-year-old godson did not know who Emmett Till was. At all. Let's not forget, Emmett was only fourteen when he was brutally murdered by racists, and his memorial has been vandalized and filled with bullet holes several times in recent years. Per usual, we can never count on a school system to tell our children what was really happening. And if they do happen to mention it, you better believe they are half-assing it.
When my biological son was four, he had a pre-school classmate whose father drove a dirty Dodge Ram covered in Confederate flags while his mother proudly carried a custom Confederate flag purse. I was horrified.
Teach our sons why it's better to jog down a main street instead of through a predominantly white neighborhood - even though this shouldn't be their reality. Explain to them why you sometimes say "no" when they ask to walk freely around their own neighborhoods. Tell them why you are afraid. There are ways to warn them without ruining their outlook on life in general.
5. Log off of Facebook. Too much of it will steal the joy you have left. Take a break from it. Allow yourself to stop thinking about it for a moment.
Speaking of Facebook, stop sharing the videos of these lynchings. Have some decency and respect.
6. Don't let it stick. A very wise woman recently taught me the importance of feeling the hurt and the anger, but to also be strong enough to let it pass through. In the midst of everything surrounding the #AhmaudArbery case, I was brain-deep into Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith (if you've read the book, then you know where I'm going with this... if you haven't read it, please do).
It was starting to stick. It was a mental and emotional struggle. Before I expressed it to my fellow Lincoln Theatre Incubation writers, the anger was winning. I could literally feel the hate multiplying like a cancerous mitosis.
Don't let it steal the vibrancy you still carry within. Don't let it cement your heart. Don't let it consume your logic. Don't let it stick to your resilient Black spirit. Don't let it seep out of your Black body pores.
7. Love on our Black men. A little harder. A little more gently. A little more intentionally. Daily.
Dedicated to the lynched Black spirits. The lynched Black smiles. The lynched Black love.
The lynched Black bodies.
Rest in love, Ahmaud.