Why I Can No Longer Stay Silent

I often feel that I have to have something important to say if I must say anything. But often, I’m speechless. Not from the lack of words but all the words screaming within me. Feelings that are so hard to articulate they burn and seethe. And I’ve been seething for the last 8 years. 

Ever since Trayvon Martin, a boy about my age at the time, was gunned down by a vigilante and the system cleared him despite the evidence as they assassinated Martin’s character in the media as justification. Of all the senseless black death since then. The ones circulated in the 24-hour news cycle, their deaths played on loop for the masses, and the countless others we don’t see but they happen all the same. 

I’ll be honest. I experience a certain level of discomfort of talking about his especially in public spaces even as a black person. Especially as a black person in predominantly white spaces. Trauma runs through my bloodline and is the birthright I inherited. I was always keenly aware of my blackness but I grew up being taught that it was a thing of the past. That racism is no longer an issue and America is this glorious melting pot where all people and creeds are equally valued. Even with the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that haunted even my youngest days, I still believed that however subconsciously.

That was my privilege. 

History is as long as it is recent. Slavery ended less than 200 years ago. The Civil Rights era was less than 60 years ago. Rodney King was less than 30 years ago and we’re living in an era where police brutality still continues to be tolerated by the powers that be because it’s in their interest. White supremacy wears many faces in our laws, our justice system, and the very essence of our society. It’s just as much a part of our DNA as the Constitution, the flag, and apple pie. 

This time we are living isn’t unique. It’s a chapter in a much longer struggle where we try to force America to live up to the values it espouses for liberty and justice for all. Right now, not everyone can share in those ideals and it’s been that way for far too long. 

Right now, we live in a world where state-sanctioned murder happens with impunity. Where black people are systemically and economically disadvantaged by decades of exclusion, suppression, and terrorism. We live in a world where arguments of perceived aggression and noncompliance is a death sentence for black people. Where criminal records and photos pulled from social media are used to retroactively justify it. Where white people are given the benefit of the doubt and people of color aren’t afforded the same privilege. 

I’m not good at articulating anything when I’m heated but I’m no longer content in saying nothing.

 I want justice. Justice for George Floyd. Justice for Breonna Taylor. Justice for Ahmaud Arbery. Justice for Tamir Rice. Justice for Freddie Gray. Justice for Eric Garner. Justice for Sandra Bland. Justice for Trayvon Martin. Justice for all the names we don’t know. I want justice for them all. 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Ways to Reach Out:

Black Lives Matter Instagram // Website

NAACP Instagram // Website

The Bail Project

Reclaim the Block

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Justice for Breonna Taylor

I Run With Maud

Nothing Like Fireside Rum Coffee during a Pandemic

Good Afternoon Everyone!

While the world falls into a steady pandemic decline, nothing comforts like a hot coffee. All the more so when the weather decides to hit a cold snap after several days of spring.

I’m sitting here stretching out my writing muscles on my keyboard. Muscles in my wrist fight against the motion unused to the strain. I haven’t written much this week. My motivation has been stagnating these last few days much like the US economy. I’m unsure whether it is appropriate to make such jokes while the trauma is still fresh. (Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s poor taste but I know no better way to cope in such times than to find jokes and brighter sides).

Here’s a brighter side! Due to the scares, my job closed down for the next two week. There’s still a lot of uncertainty there but that does free up my time a bit. I can catch up with writing, watching movies, trying out some recipes, and finishing up some books in a messy pile by my bedside. Self-quarantining doesn’t have to be boring.

I wish I could talk about something else here. I’m picking my brain for something–anything–but my brain keeps returning here. Even while watching Carmen Jones (1954) on Turner Classic Movies an hour ago with my family, my thoughts went back to the hour and how if things were different I would be dressing for work . That’s the panicky workaholic in me sitting in my pajamas wondering if this was all real. Shouldn’t I be elsewhere?

You see! I returned to it again.

I hope we all can find some comfort during these trying times. I ultimately believe things will return to some sort of normal but it’s best to be cautious.

Stay safe everyone. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

(She says, before repeatedly doing so while editing…)