I shared the following post on Facebook this morning. I realize I don’t have enough strength or fortitude to write about my feelings again so I’m sharing it here as well.
When black men die, I mourn in silence. I’ve gotten to a place where I feel completely numb & my only coping mechanism has been weeping alone; inhaling and exhaling until I’ve pushed the pain to a place where it no longer feels like it’s strangling me. This strategy has been extremely helpful until today. See, I grew up in Maryland where all of my friends were people of color so every time a black man’s life was taken, I’d witness a collective mourning on all of my social media platforms. I felt safe from the stupidity of having to read the opinions of those justifying murders and not understanding rage, pain, sorrow and trauma. I witnessed old teachers I’m friends with on Facebook avoid the conversation completely but their passivity was the extent of it for many many years. Today, however, a girl I knew years ago added her two cents to the conversation & for the first time my timeline strayed from that of collective mourning to tasteless judgement. After un-friending her immediately, something within me began to stir and I decided to write this post. I think the following list is important to share because the generational traumas that follow the African American community coupled with the everyday traumas of our own personal experiences & our collective experience CANNOT be fully comprehended by “having a black friend”, reading Facebook posts or having conversations with black people. If you are an outsider, you will likely never have a full understanding of this experience.
So, for all those who do not already know this:
-my rage is not for you to comprehend,
-my pain is a burden you will never have to carry
-& If you ever feel inclined to speak negatively on an experience you can’t even comprehend, DON’T
Ps: I will choose my peace every time. As someone who is STILL trying to process this fresh tragedy, I will not engage in arguments over the Internet with tone-deaf people who should’ve known that “it’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”