Fear is a bitch with a vengeance. When it’s coupled with both the possibility of death and tbe loss of power, it’s not just a bitch, it’s a lowley bitter savage that’s hungry of soul and cold of heart. It’s ugly and treacherous and grimy. It’s the thing that filth and wretchedness are made of at their core. The center of hatred.
Racism is fear’s first born.
While we sit in our homes binge watching and critiquing the humor, wardrobe, and audacity of Black AF, two disturbing AF videos have emerged of Black men in Indianapolis and Atlanta being gunned down. One, Ahmaud Arbery during a jog when he was hunted and left for roadkill like an animal by a White father and son team, in what they claimed was vigilante justice. The other Sean Reed was driving, pulled over, got out of the car asking his Facebook Live viewers to come help him minutes after he was shot down by police officers, one who jokes after murdering this man that he may have to have a closed casket. It’s the same soup warmed over that we’ve gotten used to burning the roof of our mouths with… videos of our Black men being killed with no concern for their humanity. It’s Trayvon, Mike, Eric, Botham, Oscar, Renisha, Jordan, Tamir, Sandra, Philando, Amadou, and Freddie on repeat. These murderers don’t abide by the scales of Justice but by the code of the Grand Wizard. In a land where a young Black woman can be manhandled by grown men at the soon to be elected President’s rally, simply because she protested and disagreed while Black , it is no surprise Black men can be dead AF at the hands of those who pledged to protect and serve and men who claim to seek justice. There is no justice or protection for us.
When They See Us?
They won’t ever see us. We live in their neighborhoods in Calabassas, Brentwood, the Hamptons. We win their awards, when we are properly honored, and we aren’t properly honored because we’ll win their awards. We dominate their sports. Our faces are on their televisions and movie screens. We sit on Forbes lists ahead of many of them. We aren’t hidden, they know we are there. They see us with their eyes but they don’t plan to acknowledge us, our skills, our talents, our bodies, or our lives. Separated only by the color of our skin, the White people who hate us, they see us, but not as worthy of air, sun, life. Not worthy of this country’s nationality. If that ain’t some… I brought you in this country, Ill take you out … hateful AF foolishness, I don’t know what is.
Mostly, they are afraid that we will take their power because we have taken some of their accolades, prizes, and money as our own, through our own toil. But like a true bully, these bullies will only lay their weapons down if we either fight them or disarm them. They once poked holes through our bodies with water hoses and dog fangs, now they hide behind badges and semi automatics to riddle our bodies with bullets. Vigilantism is illegal, not jogging. Murdering a man who was no threat to you and then joking about it shows premeditation, he is supposed to run from murderers. They are afraid we will win their wares, secure bags they thought they had a skin color right to, and collect allies that share their skin tone but not their hatred. They should be. Bullets don’t kill spirits, they strengthen them. We get sadder but also stronger as a collective with each bullet you pierce our people’s skin with.
They are also afraid we will take their legacy. With the exception of a few acceptable Black faces, most of America’s history is only positively attributed to white people’s actions. They were the heroes, builders, creators, thinkers, great minds, and the politicians who shaped America and American government. When Ida B. wells (posthumously), an abolitionist, and Kendrick Lamar, a rapper, were awarded Pulitzers… trust it set some of them off. The higher we excel, the less their claims of higher intelligence, civility, and worthiness matter. The higher up we get in government and law making roles, the more we can pull back the veil on these institutionalized policies and systems that allow murderers to go free for months and allow judges to let their murderers go free. We saw that video of Arbery and our social media presence, sharing, and loud demands for justice had to at least be considered. But even small victories matter when our lives are being snuffed out.
Their legacy is also threatened by each biracial couple and child, White boy at a Travis Scott concert, White girl twerking on Tik Tok and speaking in what she thinks is some colloquial Black language. Cash me ousside. Howbowdat. It’s threatened by their mothers who love Oprah and Iyanla, and their wives who are our allies because every White woman is not the stereotype calling the police because Black people are having a BBQ, clutching their purse at our site, or being some version of privilege and acceptable American ignorance. They still carry confederate flags, wear their Make America Great again infamous red hats, and think Jim Crow is an actual White nationalist hero. They semi worship the American flag and the vestiges of a country where their Whiteness made everything they did acceptable. As they lose that foothold slowly but surely.
The Racist AF want us to be Invisible AF by diminishing us in any way possible. Ain’t no coming back from death. Nothing makes you more invisible. They don’t want to see us.
We here AF tho.
That’s the thing about Black people, we have been stolen and taken, beaten and bruised, relegated to 3/5th, razed, and shot dead. But still we rise. We find beauty in our ashes. Roses grow between the concrete squares that jungles. Let’s see… Black women are the largest growing sector of entrepreneurs in America. We have used the power of social media to make us small fortunes. We run for political office, and despite the stones thrown in our path, we win. We are billionaires… in America. We are the mighty Phoenix… we soar despite… even death. We have found our voices. We have already pierced America with our very existence, bullet free. But imagine us with the means to protect ourselves. That fear seeps from your wounds. Your hate is like a boomerang. Watch out for the ricochet.
Despite our accomplishments, we still end up in some second class holding cell despite being born in this country, citizens by jus soli. (law of the soil). We may not ever win in your courts, because they weren’t built for us. That’s the lesson. America’s internal structure was not meant to shelter us but to keep us out. The rules are different for us. We can’t just wear clothes, go to the store, drive, play, jog, watch TV, catch public transportation, or listen to music in your America. But we have been paying attention, we are whole billionaires out here, whole judges, whole Presidents. We win your awards and take your titles. We want nice thing too. Also. In addition. As well. We don’t want your power, we just want to harness our own. We don’t want your legacy, we just want to live long enough to build our own. See us. Or don’t. But we see you … AF!
You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still like air, I’ll rise-Maya Angelou