The Most Honest Thing I’ll Ever Write

I just need to get this out somewhere so I can deal with it later, and take a break from all of this. Just bear with me.

Watching the Baltimore Riots- It makes me uncomfortable to say that. Because I know it’s not just black people looting, or breaking things, or causing problems. I know so much better than that. I know why that woman beat her child, I know why the conversation about anything related to Baltimore is so difficult to have. I saw Joseph Kent get legitimately kidnapped on live TV, I scrolled through a sea of faces of black women no one had ever heard of, at least not in the same way they knew Freddie Gray, but they suffered similar fates. I read every word of every argument trying to understand every possible perspective and why the solution is obvious but seems so undesirable. It’s not just a race war, everybody is looking a dog in this fight.

Not just a race war? You have white supremacists with way too much power looking to get rid of the “problem”, and you have very powerful people who understand how to control people to get more power. That second group doesn’t care about race. Is it hard to imagine that someone looking onto this moment isn’t absorbing everything and figuring out how use it to their advantage? But it is a race war first and foremost. Race war seems a little harsh doesn’t it? That doesn’t excuse the violence, Zakkarrii. They’re destroying our city Zakkarrii! Yes and people will continue to protest until something changes. The protests aren’t the problem, they are the result. You care so much about your city but where were you when blood was being spilled on your sidewalks, when your neighbors were getting assaulted and shot in your city? You seemed pretty quiet then but those were your people too. And it’s not just Ferguson or Baltimore, it happened in San Francisco, it happened in Chicago, it happens all over and it will keep happening.

I’ve kind of just resigned myself that when we have these conversations about race and validating violent action for violent action (not that I’m condoning it), I might be looking into the face of someone who doesn’t care if I’m next. If I disappear off the streets because I went to a club for the first time in two years, who will look for me? Who will march? Who will wonder? Who will be next because people love to be quiet?

That’s a social convention I always hated. Stay silent, keep your head down, don’t stand out.. Blend in, do the white “right”  thing, pull your hair back. I honestly feel standing out is the only way I’ve gotten through a lot of fucked up shit. And that’s not why I do, but imagine my surprise when I found it out. And through all of this, I’m still expected to compete like it’s just a normal life, in a normal world, with normal things. Like living in a country that can allow a volunteer cop mistake a gun for a taser because of all those donations.

But NOT ALL COPS! Of course not all cops! We’re not talking about all cops. This is the single most amazing fucking thing about talking to people is they can never actually look at the problem, and I know you don’t want to but goddamn we’re going to keep having this conversation until you get your act together. No one ever said all cops, but there seems a significant number of cops that don’t follow procedure and then get rewarded for it. I’m not taking about your friend who has never and will never hurt anyone. I’m talking about the cop your friend works with who raped 2 women while on duty, and then couldn’t explain where he was. You want to defend the rapist with your not all cops? Then sit down and actually pay attention. Open your eyes.

I want to live so bad. I finally got into university. I can finally see a future ahead of myself, I am the happiest I have ever been and now, at the same time, for the last two weeks the most depressed. I don’t want to give up, but if it’s not me, then what if it’s someone I love, what if it’s not them but one of our kids in the future? I don’t want to have to explain to them what racism is in a present tense. I don’t want them to hurt like I do. I don’t want it so much that it seems better not to have them and I want to meet them so bad.

By myself I never have to worry about the story people write for me when they look at me. To myself I am just trying to be better, achieve so much, and live my life. But you can see the gears turning when people look at you, how many times am I going to have to deal with the “exotic black girl, must be easy” situation? Because every relationship has been that except one. And there are so many times when you think you’ve escaped it, you found the right neighborhood, the right people, the right everything and it slips out from your “friend’s” lips and you have to spend at least an hour and a half explaining the problem, the legitimacy of you being upset with that, and it goes on and on. Followed up closely by two weeks of having to weigh every moment in the fucking friendship to see what’s right for you and god it’s exhausting.

I know a lot of my friends are going to be like why do you care so much, why do you let it bother you? Just be yourself. And I’m not saying this like it’s all about me, because I imagine so many other people to have the same stories and the same fears and the same problems, and people who have no idea about any of this at all. Karyn Leslie Washington? Do you know who that is? She was a black activist who did some of the coolest things ever, For Brown Girls and, later, the #DarkSkinRedLip Project. She killed herself. I thought she was such a badass for all the things she had done, and I put her on my list of people I would like to meet and then she was gone.

I want to write about everything, I do. But I’m the kind of person, unfortunately I know, where if one thing is wrong as deeply as this is, then nothing else can be done before I get it out. I’m not going to give up but I don’t think I’ll stop being scared either. I have such a long list of things I want to do before I die, it’s like a small novel in my head. I’ll post it for you. If racists and sexists and awful people are going to try and take my personhood from me or anyone else I will show them how human I am. I don’t want to be an inspiration to just black women or black people (you know if I ever do something inspiring), but everyone. That’s the goal. I know who I am I can share with everyone, or at least I’m going to try to.

Not all my issues have to do with race, gender, (orientation isn’t a big one, because I think most people just assume I like guys, which I do. But I also like girls…..sooooo….yes) but those problems do exasperate them quite a bit. Just in case you were wondering. I have been holding this in for SO LONG you don’t understand. I feel like I can move on to other productive things now.

Huge weight, off of me.

Until next time,

Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.

Z.e.D.

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