It is not my pain to own, this pain that arises from racism. Mine is a secondary experience. Even tertiary. Mine a bullet that grazes the skin before plunging into a darker-skinned body. My exhaustion and ache and anger don’t matter. This is not sarcasm. This is the truth. It is not mine and I don’t write to claim that it is. I just need that to be clear.
White men on the talking picture box keep talking about how angry they are at athletes who take a knee during the national anthem, a racist screed, to protest police violence. They shriek and condemn–which they do no matter how people protest racism–and take to Twitter to show their patriotism, which (shock) looks a helluva lot like plain, good ole fashion racism to me. (Seriously, click on this link and look at how Google tried to reroute my search from “racist act aimed at protesting players” to “racist act aimed at protecting players”). They get so upset about a cultural custom that has only been around since 2009, but there are crickets when innocent black bodies are in the streets and a cop who has shot an innocent man is consoled. It happens more than you might think.
Something has changed for me. I’m still committed to nonviolence, but I’m also committed to confrontation. I’m committed to confronting these evils, of refusing the notion that there are two sides to this story, at least two equal sides. One side is demanding that police officers stop killing citizens, especially POC. The other said is saying, “Well, it’s more complicated than that and…” Nope. It isn’t. Not really. I mean, I get that there are a lot of moving pieces and there is not a magic bullet (yeah, I went there) that will take care of everything. But it is as simple as making this issue a top national priority, and not for Congress. Fuck them. Fuck them and their corrupted bullshit. It is time for the people who experience this treatment to be given prominent seats at the table, are able to make and implement real, substantive changes on the local and national level, and that the traditional power brokers be locked out of the process. Fuck the NRA. Fuck the FOP, and their endorsement of Trump. And if you think this is an unpastoral thing to say, lemme ask you: have you read the New Testament? Jesus’ whole message is essentially, “Fuck Rome.”
So, yeah. Fuck Rome. And fuck White words and White inaction. Read Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and then you’ll see why I am using the language I am using and why I am trying hard not to give in to rage.
This. Must. Fucking. Stop.