Rain is coming. With no clouds in the sky. With no forecast given.With no warning, Black people can tell you that rain is coming.
Weeks ago, before the “panic buying” started in America, my daughter told me, “Mom, we need to go to the store and start buying stuff.” We made a list, and I started buying bleach, alcohol, water, and yes, even toilet paper. My daughter is 24 years old, but as a Black woman in America, she could see the rain in the distance. It was coming. We could smell it in the air.
Sadly, what I and many Black people knew was coming has now arrived in the form of Coronavirus-19. I knew it. I didn’t know how it would manifest, but I knew many in America had yet to feel the pain. Too many people were comfortable. They were okay with a little racism. They were fine as long as their 401K looked good. They didn’t care about kids being locked in cages. That wasn’t THEIR problem. But now you see.
Black people can always smell the rain coming because we exist underneath an umbrella of survival. We enter the world, fighting to survive. Our day to day existence isn’t footloose and fancy-free. Every day we enter the world, it is a day of merely trying to survive. We have seen too often Black men, women, and children that started their days “normally” only never to make it back home again. Trayvon Martin was simply going to the store to buy a pack of Skittles and tea. Sandra Bland was simply traveling to a new life. Jordan Edwards was leaving a party. Sean Bell was leaving a bachelor’s party. Rekia Boyd was walking in the park. Philando Castille was riding with his girlfriend. Aiyana Stanley-Jones was just sleeping on the couch. What started as a “normal” day ended with each of them dead.
Black people fight just to exist in space.
This content needs a strong trigger warning for police violence.
This young man was stopped by a plainclothes police officer this evening in Canarsie, Brooklyn, apparently for being in a park shortly after the 9PM closing time. pic.twitter.com/RxYHWKfIho
— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) March 5, 2020
Black people exist always surviving. Our ancestors were given the scraps and made a five-star meal. Black people know how to survive. We come from a legacy of Black people that survived slave ships, rampant disease, enslavement, the Jim Crow Era, the Civil Rights Era. Every day we wake up, we are fighting.
And let me be clear no one blames Trump for Coronavirus. Viruses have happened throughout history. It is his lackadaisical RESPONSE that has endangered Americans. His constant media updates filled with lies. His firing of the executive branch team responsible for coordinating a response to a pandemic. His constant need to center himself and speak about how much he knows about this virus even though he is not a doctor or scientist. His need to center the economy at a time when people are dying.
His statement that he doesn’t take any responsibility for what is currently happening in this nation. One thing I have learned as a leader, it all starts and ends with you!
In case you missed Trump’s press conference here’s a summary:
“No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”pic.twitter.com/a3il2aLywz
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) March 13, 2020
Entire systems are shutting down. THE PLANE IS ON FIRE, and Trump wants us to pretend we don’t see the smoke.
This is what happens when you place a narcissistic racist in office. This is what happens when you are driven by hate and not love. This is what happens when you don’t listen to those IMPACTED for years by oppression. YOU THOUGHT you would be okay in your MAGA hat, chanting “Lock Her Up” and “Four More Years.” You could only see as far as yourself. And many Black people in America were trying to get you to see the bigger picture! We understood what was coming down the pike. This wasn’t just about Black people. Our fight was for ALL OF US!!
Black people were SCREAMING, trying to save this nation. But you didn’t want to listen.
Can you hear us now?
LISTEN TO BLACK PEOPLE!!
THE RAIN IS COMING!!
PREPARE FOR THE STORM!!
Additional Reading: Chickens Always Come Home To Roost