Dear White People,
In the wake of the Philado Castile verdict, now is the not the time for White tears. Now is not the time to ask Black people, “What can we do?” Now is not the time to ask Black people to console you, to make you feel better, to absolve you of your guilt.
While I know that many White people woke up Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and realized that America is still ripe with injustice, greed, corruption, and racism, this is something that Black people have always known because we live it every day. Our history in America begins with tragedy and suffering and continues daily. While I know, you have marched, made protest signs, read Ta-Nehisi Coates, listened to Kendrick and got in Formation with Beyonce; you will never understand the deep-rooted, gut-wrenching agony of defeat and pain we feel, almost collectively, when yet another officer walks free after they murder a Black person.
These names are not just catchy hashtags for us to toss on Twitter or Facebook to make us feel like we are a part of the revolution.
For every loss of life due to the hands of a police officer or a renegade neighborhood patrol, we mourn. We mourn the lives of people who we will never know but that we know can easily be us. People that look like our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters and friends. Justice for us is buried in an unmarked grave.
We weep because we know in this world we will never be safe. We weep because we know our children are not safe. That driving for us can have life or death consequences. That wearing a hoodie can be our death sentence. That a simple trip to the store for Skittles and tea can lead to our families picking out caskets. We know that driving while Black is criminalistic, that walking while Black can be deadly. That breathing while Black has been known to cause death. We live in a world that doesn’t value our lives. That never valued our humanity, That never saw our humanity. That will murder us in the street like a dog and charge us for the bullets. That will hang us from trees and expect our families to cut down the rope.
We went to bed last night angry, and we woke up today in rage. Anger, mixed with pain, underscored with agony. And the last thing we have the time, inclination or energy to do is make you feel better. Concern for your tears is no longer on our agenda.
The atonement that you seek can only be found by looking in the mirror.