Buffalo Soldiers

Pushing your cart with the rickety wheel through the supermarket, picking up the unbruised apples and putting them in the plastic bag you just snatched apart from the roll, grabbing spaghetti noodles and sauce off the shelf thinking of the dinner you’ll serve to your fam…

“There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America” -Bob Marley

This shit doesn’t stop. In markets, where we pick up the staples of nutrition to feed our families. In SCHOOLS where we drop off our babies in the morning to learn so they gain the knowledge to build or destroy. In church where we praise God, and we all are infused with the spirit of building our communities. In the capital where the elected officials, our ancestors died to give us the right to choose, make laws. In the capital where our elected officials need to pass laws that make it harder to get a gun than a driver’s license. In the capital where our elected officials need to look more like the community at large and less like the graduating class of Harvard in 1950, a bunch of old White dudes. White boys who are taught they alone are the majority, the mode, and the median begat White boys who write manifestos about losing their rightful place on their social, financial, and professional throne, and plan to take it back with ARs and AKs.

So ingrained in them by privilege and supremacy that they are the numero uno, the most important thought and voice, that the minute someone doesn’t agree or someone’s voice is elevated, they terrorize churches, schools, supermarket. These are the last places one expects, but suddenly the places people fear, to be threatened. They use guns to paralyze us. They use police to legally murder us. They use courts to disproportionately cage us like animals. We are being terrorized by tyranny. We are being traumatized by racism.

“Buffalo soldier, Buffalo soldier
Will you survive in this new land?”-The Persuasions

18-year old Payton Gendron killed ten Black people in Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. He had been seen for psychiatric help based on a murder-suicide letter he wrote but didn’t have his guns taken away as allowed under New York laws. Instead he went to Buffalo, because it had the most Black residents in his area. He originally planned to go to a church or school, but chose the grocery store hoping to kill more people. He went the day prior to stake out the store posing as a panhandler. The murderer legally purchased the AR-15 style gun used in the attack. bought a shotgun in December and received a rifle as a Christmas present at 16. While one must be 21 to buy a handgun one can buy an assault rifle at 18. A bill to change this will likely sit in the Senate after passing the House.

Sounds like January 6th. Which according to the idiots who support racism wasn’t a coup or insurrection. I guess this wasn’t a murder either.

Children don’t vote. The average age of the Buffalo victims minus the youngest victim is 65. 65 year old Black people vote, primarily Democratic, in record numbers. So after 22 mass shootings killing 246 people this year alone; babies shot at Parkland; Columbine; and parishioners killed during bible study in Charleston, we finally get some action. Our lives don’t seen to matter when we are living, Our lives aren’t worth protecting only our potential votes. Black bodies and young bodies are treated as invaluable until our bodies littering the ground and floor affect their bottom line. It feel like a political move not a humanitarian one. Yet we continue to fight.

“Buffalo soldier
Tell me when will they call you, you a man?”

The trauma of racism is real. Like all trauma, it needs to be medicated and healed, perhaps not with pills but definitely with therapy. Like my bestie says, Everybody needs therapy. So employers need to provide trauma counselors for employees who deal with this constant trauma. Organizations that address Black issues need to host group therapy sessions to deal with racial trauma. And these racial attacks need to be identified as such.

Our racial trauma needs to be prioritized. We need to be honored for fighting for freedom constantly in a country that doesn’t seem to value us. We need to be valued. Our trauma needs to be recognized. Since the Civil War, we have been fighting against racism by serving in the Union army against the Confederacy. Over 150 years later our hair is still curly and our bodies are still used as shields but our humanity denied. Those ten Black people who were shopping in that grocery store were Buffalo soldiers.

“There was a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival”-Bob Marley

When will surviving annihilation become living peacefully…

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