I wrote yesterday with the temperament that many of you have gotten used to over time. I don’t get too high or too low usually. I look at situations and evaluate them instead of with my heart but with my head. I write tonight as a Black woman in a nation that hates me raising a Black son who they hate even more.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE I’M AT WHEN YOU HAVEN’T BEEN WHERE I BEEN?
I slept next to my child last night. On top of his sheets, holding him through the fabric and weeping off and on.
I wept for men and women who’s real names I will never know because those names were stripped from them by slave owners.
I wept for their families torn apart. Not allowed to love and marry like any other person rather bred for profit.
I wept for their babies ripped from the arms of mothers seconds after birth to be sold to the highest bidder if they were fortunate, and if not fed to alligators. For those mothers who’s afterbirth still lingered into the air while they were forced to feed the wife’s spawn with nourishment meant for their own brood.
I wept for both of my grandmothers born in the beginning of the 1900s. One who “passed” for as long as she could and when she was found was raped and beaten within an inch of her life. The other who never had the option to pass – she was trapped within her flawless caramel skin obviously flawed to those with hate in their hearts.
I wept for my dead uncle Melvin. Magnificent and beautiful in his onyx skin. A child of the 1930’s like my own mother.
I wept for my mother with the hair of our oppressor, and skin of coal, proof that the disregard, over sexualization, and rape of our women carried recessive in our blood would never go away.
I wept for my father – years after I swore to never shed another tear for that bastard. He survived in a time when so many Black men were broken. By war – by heroin – by government manipulation. It turned him though into the man he would eventually become and that man is ugly.
I wept for myself. I was reminded….again…that this land is not my land…this land was not made for me yet it is the only place I’ve ever known and my birthright.
I didn’t have tears left for my son…. all I had left was terror.
A fear that no other race quite has or will have in this nation.
A fear that no matter how its been explained I am told is irrational – is holding onto a long gone time – and to get over.
I can not ever watch my son and not fear for him. I have to actually fear for him more because of his Autism and the color of his skin. You can’t look at him and tell right away that he has Autism. You can see from a mile away though that he is Black.
He can never be a child – that is not allowed for us. We go from baby to threat in 8.5 years. Our daughters are sexual objects and our sons are criminals. To all who are not us.
He can never make a mistake. He can never have an error. He can never misspeak. He can never be imperfect because it might kill him.
He might be on a BART train and take a bullet instead of a taser shot.
He might be anally raped with a plunger and die of those wounds.
He might be driving on the interstate and an officer might lose sight of his hands and he might get shot.
He might be coming back from the corner store with candy and get shot.
America is taught to fear the Black man in part because of her history. You don’t treat a race of people the way that America has treated and is STILL treating Black people and not live in daily fear. What goes around comes around and you spend all of your time fearing what comes around.
And I and those who look like me spend every day dealing with your fear – your hatred and our blood runs through the streets.
Our sons rot in your jails.
Our women hate their own bodies and hair and skin.
You did this to us and we have swallowed all that you jizz in our faces.
Some of us because the need to belong is overwhelming. Others because the fight has been eradicated from us.
Others still because you use all of your power to oppress us and how to fight is never taught as you also don’t teach us the simple things our public education should like reading and writing.
You did not hold your child last night and try to figure out how to explain that this world hates him more than you could ever love him.
You don’t lay down in fear of the man your son will become, who is not able to speak, and who gets disturbed easily, excited easily, and who if ever confronted by law enforcement might not make it out on the other side because he can’t follow directions when his senses are overloaded.
You don’t live in fear that your child is more likely to die from violence than old age.
You don’t have to teach your child how to behave…they can simply behave as a child because they are allowed to exist uninhibited.
Until you have that moment like I did last night reminded of the zero value you place on the life of my child and live with the terror that there is nothing you can do about it…. you don’t understand my life – my pain – and my existence.
When you fear for the life of your child… you will do anything to make that fear end.
Until you realize there is almost nothing that you can do.
Which makes you fear even more.