For History’s Sake


I am writing this because I have no words and yet words are all I have.

If you woke up today, got ready for work or school, and went about your day without any sorrow, or fear, or anger, or helplessness, without a moment to push down the knot in your throat, or a second to wipe away a tear that burned in your eyes, if you went about your normal day today without any heaviness in your heart, then I have to congratulate you. Society has gifted you with a privilege I do not have. You can walk around today knowing you don’t have to worry about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or fitting a description, or exercising your rights like any other person, or simply existing in the presence of police while also being a person of color. Congratulations because you lucked out. You won a lottery that no one sanctioned, a contest created to maintain false superiority. And I know for most people that are unbothered today, that was just a happy accident. Luck of the draw. Today is not your day to be upset, outraged, hurt, or devastated. Today you can carry on as if nothing happened.

But something did happen. Another black man lost his life at the hands of police who, yet again, failed to deescalate a situation. If you are having just another normal day, congratulations. You didn’t scroll through your timeline muttering, “Please not again. Please not today.” You get to go on living your life without the weight of knowing that no where is safe, no action is safe, nothing is safe. If you can go about your day without the nausea of heartbreak, without the sickness of injustice. You are a lucky one.

I’ll be honest I’m tired of talking about all this. I’m tired of writing these posts. I believe I was as tired yesterday when a different black man was gunned on the streets by police. I was as tired less than a month ago when Orlando happened and again Congress failed to pass any meaningful legislation. I am as tired today as I was a year ago and even five years ago when at the epicenter of all this violence again lies a gun. And I am, once again, exhausted to be writing about these issues again, because nothing ever changes.

But I am writing this because I have no choice. I am writing this because if I don’t speak I will add to the ocean of silence that rises every time another life is lost by the hand of injustice. I am writing this because Black Lives Matter. People of color matter. Ask yourself what will be written in the history books about this time in our society. Ask yourself what you will say to your grandchildren when they ask what you did. Will you stay silent? Or will your voice be heard by the annals of history as one that stood on the side of justice and equality?

Black Lives Matter. Say it. Say it if you have one iota of respect for the people, for the slaves who built this country, for the indigenous blood on which they were forced to build the foundation for this “great” country. Say it for all the people who live in fear. For the people who dream of nothing but having a roof over their heads, and food on the table, and maybe a better future for their children but because of where they were born, or the color of their skin society says they can’t be safe. Say it for me because my heart aches any time I wonder if I or someone I know and love might be next.  And say it for yourself because in another lifetime it could be you.

To my family, friends, and any POC hurting right now, stay safe. Stay alive.

I am writing this because I have no words and yet words are all I have.

#BlackLivesMatter #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastilo #SayTheirNames

“We all bleed red, but whose blood is in the streets?”

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