Black Lives Matter!
*Trigger warning: police brutality, racism, harsh language*
This has been a very difficult post for me to write, but I felt that if I didn't that I would be choked by the words in my throat and I would be doing exactly what I suggest that my clients don't do: SUPPRESS my feelings and experiences.
I have risen on several mornings so incredibly enraged! Why? Because Black folx are constantly screaming that we cannot breathe but not only are people on our NECKS literally, but they also have their hands over our mouths, their hands on our bodies, their batons to our faces, their rubber bullets, tear gas, and zip-ties to our limbs and someone had the audacity to say that WE should act more civilized.
I woke up to Vallejo (CA) PD saying that children should not be at the protests because of the environment of marijuana and foul language. Instead, they should be seeing adults have civilized conversations! WHAT?!?! They are seeing the product of Black people sometimes doing absolutely nothing but being cooperative and being shot and left in the street like TRASH. If they are on social media, they have seen the videos of cops digging their knees into someone's neck crying for his mother. They will see three white men chase and hunt a Black man in the street who was jogging. They will later hear that one of these men stood over his body and called him a "fucking NI***"
Will we not address that a lot of the Jim Crow area children are still alive? These are the chiefs of police, modern-day klansmen, senators, governors, etc. These were the children who may have participated or seen a mob gather, steal a Black person from their dwelling, drag them down the street by a rope, hang them, cut off their genitalia, burn them, and take a picture next to it like they were at the movies! Smiling, laughing, having a picnic with their family. AT A FUCKING LYNCHING, they're LUNCHING!
These days, it's not just the remains that are seen, we are capturing it on video for folx to see the events as they lead up to these lynchings and it makes me SICK to my stomach to know that most of these folx will get off because of some ridiculous immunity or simply because they are white! I don't understand how we still have to say that we are human, have empathy when the BIAS and the HATE, and the FUCKING SUPREMACY is so deeply rooted in EVERY SINGLE CORNERSTONE OF THIS MUTHAFUCKING NATION!
ANTI-BLACKNESS! Anti-Blackness is at the root of laws, ordinances, etc. to enforce and inform how much our lives are at the mercy of those whom we pay to "protect and serve" us. Can't be too loud, can't be too smart, can run from danger, can't sit in your car, can't sleep in your car, can't be taken into custody, and come back to your family alive, and what do we get? "I was not acting like myself that day" or a complete cover-up by departments, communities, and officials.
As of June 15th, 2020, at least 5 people have been openly lynched in different cities, all people of color but most are Black folx. So everyday this month, I have opened my IG feed and seen yet another life taken too soon, calls to action, white folx, including police officer informing people that they don't need to be angry but white folx can accost, abuse, and manipulate situations without retribution. I am hearing about nooses that have been hung around Oakland's Lake Merritt, a countless number of Trans women and men being dismembered, shot, killed, and misgendered. I am watching the news as police officers are quitting departments because their colleagues are being held accountable and something leaves me to question: are they doing that so that they don't get reviewed?? The lack of accountability amongst these gangs is disheartening on so many levels.
As a therapist, I am tasked with supporting communities of those who are in PAIN and dealing with depression and anxiety BUT when the trauma is pervasive, what the FUCK are we supposed to do then? The complex and pervasive trauma that Black folx endure is CONSTANT. It's as common as a police officer following you down the street or on the freeway, and your heart starts to race because you are afraid that if you come in contact with an officer and questioning if you will make it home. And not living close to my family, makes that even more salient for me. Will they know what happened to me? Will they tell my family that I resisted? That I was a bad person? That my life was worthless? It's a vicious cycle of seeing these things occur, justice not be served, minimal to no changes made to policies, and being told that I should not be angry or told that what I am experiencing is not real or RACISM.
I have to admit, that as I am writing this, there is a feeling of hopelessness that washes over me because I am frustrated, I am saddened, I am enraged, I am fearful, and I am HURTING. The one thing that I attempt to get back to is: while I am fighting this fight, what do I do this for? Who do I fight for? And the faces that pop into my head are those of my nieces and nephews: young innocent, BLACK children who are inheriting this world and as I cry for them, I still want them to know how special they are in the time that we have on this earth. That they are incredibly special and beautiful, and that they are NOT a problem.
I am reminded that I am not able to control all things, the only that I can continue to do is:
*Be mindful of my feelings:
makes space for their complexities
that they may ebb and flow
that they may vary at any given moment.
*That my politic includes self-care: I am mentally and emotionally engaging the warfare that my clients are going through and I have a life to tend to as well. I have to rest!
*That I have things to be grateful for during this time: There are many things but the main thing is the ability to name my grief and rage, and still be present for those who are also experiencing the same.
If you don't take too much for this post, please hear the message that taking care of yourself is so incredibly important during this time and all the others to come! I hope that you know that even though I may not know you personally, I wish for your heart to be clear, that your voice remain strong, and that your healing be beautiful!