During college I was all over Facebook writing long statuses about race, police brutality, systems of oppression, my feelings, you name it. It was legit, my part time job. But then I stopped. At some point, I stopped writing and I’ve always wondered why.
Today has been so emotional. I checked Facebook first thing in the morning which means I started my day off crying. I watched the video of Philando Castile and his girlfriend while laying in bed. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet. It was hard to see my partner leave for work after that. He’s the perfect target for police to profile. Dark skin. Dreads. By no means a threat to anyone. Just a black man.
I’ve cried so many times since this morning and I’ve felt so many feelings. I’ve felt sadness for Diamond Reynolds and what she had to go through/is going through. I felt hurt watching Alton Sterling’s son break down on national television. I’ve felt angry at the multitude of intersecting issues creating these police killings. I’ve felt ashamed of not being a better community organizer. I’ve felt disappointed in myself for not having the discipline/fortitude to be a fucking superwoman amazing organizer while managing a [more than] full time job, a partnership, physical health, mental health, personal interests, and LIFE in general all at the same time. I’ve felt frustrated for being put in this position in the first place. I’ve felt resentful of all the people who don’t seem interested in getting involved in the movement. And I’ve felt hopeless because there’s education issues, and poverty, and transwomen being murdered, and a fucked political system, and Iraq, and Syria, and Puerto Rico, and Haiti, and. . . . . . . I want to fix it all.
I’ve been wanting to call my dad to tell him I love him but we last spoke less than 48 hours ago and it was a long conversation. So throughout the day I been wondering, “Is he gonna laugh at me? Am I being cheesy? But what if he gets gunned down by the police during a traffic stop and I never see him again? I’ll feel like shit if that happens and I didn’t call.” So, I called him. No answer.
Just watched the new video of Alton Sterling getting killed. This one is more vivid. There’s more blood, more everything. I started crying again and for a second I thought I was having deja vu, but then I realized why the moment felt really familiar. I re-call, about a year or so ago, waking up to a Facebook feed full of videos of some black person getting killed (I’ve seen so many videos now that I don’t remember which one) and beginning to cry uncontrollably at the thought of my father or my brother one day being a victim. My chest hurt. I couldn’t breathe properly. My stomach was in my throat. I re-call about a year or so before that getting thrown on the ground by a police officer during a traffic stop and taken to jail. I cried uncontrollably the entire car ride to the county jail and the entire day/night in county jail. My chest hurt, I couldn’t breathe properly, my stomach was in my throat. I sat in jail swelling with hatred for the officer, disgusted by the world we’ve created, and wanting so badly to fix things. I thought “well, there’s education issues, and poverty, and transwomen being murdered, and a fucked political system, and Iraq, and Syria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I WANT TO FIX IT ALL”
I’m an ambitious person. I don’t like No’s. I don’t like failing. I don’t like wanting something so bad it hurts and feeling like I may never be able to get it no matter what I do.
I used to write long statuses about race, police brutality, systems of oppression, imperialism, surveillance, love saving us all, unity being the answer, you name it. But then I stopped. At some point, I stopped writing because I was writing the same thing over and over again. Tragedy after tragedy. News story after news story. It’s so much. I cannot do it anymore.