I laughed and wept, both alternately and simultaneously, as I read Angie Thomas’s
For a couple years now, I’ve witnessed as names become hashtags. I’ve seen people killed twice over:
when breath was stolen
from their bodies;
when their lives were stolen,
too, swept away by words like
“no angel” or “drug dealer” or “thug,”
as if an entire life
is worth no more
than its worst
I’ve understood how a person, once painted an “offender,” is seldom understood as worth one more thought. I’ve struggled to explain how
each life taken
is a loss insufferable,
a. loss. of. a. whole. life.
(that could have been anything)
When I read the fictional-but-not-really-fictional, staggering, powerful The Hate U Give, my whole body sighed. I saw that this is how people understand the life behind the death; the years of needless hate behind a moment’s sanctioned bullets.
While this exact Khalil never lived in this flesh-and-blood world, he lived in a heart that bled onto pages. Those pages are now being read by thousands upon thousands of people. And this Khalil, though he lives in heart and page, represents many who lived
Once upon a time, each of these people lived and laughed and cried and yearned. Their ability to do these things ever again was stolen from them, but you and I? By remembering them, we can change the world.
By remembering them, we can
Many thanks to Alison Doherty for the recommendation
I watched Jordan Peele’s Get Out tonight. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write, but I do know it needs to go behind a cut. There will be spoilers.
If you’re like me, you’re super uncomfortable talking about race and racism as a white person in the U.S.
If you’re like me, you’ll keep on talking–and, more importantly, listening!–anyway.
For more on this, please read “On Building Racial Stamina: the Journey Out of White Fragility.”
I need to tell you about a nightmare I have, often.
I’ve told you about the facts of Black men killed by American state actors, hundreds of men-turned-hashtags daily and the numbers to which their lives are boiled down, but I need to tell you about this nightmare. This hurt.
I need you to know that I don’t care how you cast your votes. I don’t, though I obviously did until a few weeks ago. This isn’t about votes, though the post was inspired by yet another White Hillary voter telling me I must be so glad Trump is coming to office.
He spoke those words because he has no idea the weight I’ve carried the last few years. He has no idea that this Terrible Thing Just About to Happen in his eyes is already a moment from happening day after day after day after day in mine.
He has no idea that when I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders in the general election, it was because I already knew that Hillary Clinton was no savior for Black men.
“You didn’t find the right words,” people like this man have told me dismissively. “It can’t really be that bad, or I’d have noticed it.”
No, you really wouldn’t have, I’ve tried to say dozens of different ways. Your life is hard and scary and sad enough as is, even without looking beyond your own day to day.
You didn’t notice, and that’s understandable.
I did, because I had to.
I did, because every day I kiss my husband goodbye as I leave for work, I’m acutely aware of how I might never see him again.
So, please, follow my nightmare … and, please, for the love of God, do anything you can to see it doesn’t come true for anyone else, no matter who ascends to the White House next month.
I am sitting and playing with my two young boys in my living room when my cell phone rings. Read more…
my family and i
paid for our hotel room
in usually lily-white eugene, oregon
before we were actually able
to enter said room
went for a walk
for our room