Photo by Christian Smith on Unsplash

Will I Live To Be As Old As My Mom?

As we’re reeling from the losses of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade Black people are in mourning. We are suffering again as we remember this society and world at large cares nothing for our lives. How many times has it been? How many times have we all collectively asked ourselves that painful question?

These individuals are but the few among the generations of Black lives we’ve lost. These human beings committed no crimes in this nation except for existing. Again, we have to feel the pain of our mortality and the remember how things really are. The difference now? Us Black people have time for you white majority society. The time for peace and respectability is over. It’s long been over.

We rage, we protest, we riot, we are rebelling. Like a wise Black woman said: “We learned the violence from you”. That is the language of America and you will not tell us otherwise.

In a truly just world, these human beings would’ve not been victims of oppression. The police are the tools of white supremacy and overt violence. They are the raw unfiltered version of whiteness, they demands order and operate to erase the voices/lives of Black people. Without batting an eyelash cops (whom again products of white society) saw no value in these people. Hell, they see no value in our fellow sympathizers and supporters. They will take our lives anywhere they can based on a whim or show of force.

In a fair world, we wouldn’t have to hear the same speeches. See the same tears, seeing the same actions, and or feel same the soul crushing anguish. Again, the Black community in the US and across the globe is hurt. I can’t put into words what this all feels like. We all are experiencing trauma and are rightfully concerned for Black person we know.

As I watch people peacefully or not so peacefully protest, life is painful once again. Oh no wait, life has been painful like this since I learned about the danger the police pose to me since the age of 6. Overtime, I tried to fool myself but sure enough daily interactions and this news reminds me of reality.

Eventually, this gave way to the question I’ve countless asked myself: Will I live to be an old as my mom?

This is a question so many of us have asked. This is a question that I’ve never shared with my mom about life. This is a question, I try time and again to not hear. However, as much quiet and peace I desperately seek…I hear it. I hear it in my mind when I talk to my partner on the phone. I hear it when wake up. I hear it’s whispers as I seek the sweet distraction of sleep.

All this unnecessary Black death is a reminder we are not equals. We have not been equals for multiple centuries.

Will I be lucky to live to be as old as my mom? A this police state steals our lives the answer I keep hearing is no. I have little reason to believe otherwise. No amount of acolytes, achievements, or favor by the white majority will protect me. None of that matters or should matter for any human being. A life has value because it exists.

It’s funny that the threat of a pandemic can’t protect us from racism. We are reminded often that you can only control what you can control. What do these words mean to me if my existence is a coin flip? It’s a miracle that Black people can even move with these struggles. Getting out of bed is a grand undertaking.

You maybe wondering as to why I’m not discussing more about my pain. Well, white society lives off our tragedies. So, I do not offer that to you. You all think you need to recognize our humanity.

First of all, how dare you. Your whiteness has played a part in the injustice of my peoples. Imagine that? We merely can’t live because you people have a system in place that to works to keep us down. Your machinations will push us down until you win and we are in graves. At best? You’ll break our spirits to the point where lose our fight and or we’re conditioned to believe your lies of equality.

How many times will I have to write an article like this? Why did I even bother writing an article like this? Why am I finding myself not being able to stop writing? Why? Why? Why? Like a friend told this is how my heart is processing this pain. Well then so be it, I’m coping.

Let me be clear again, if you’re white it is YOUR job and duty to stop this. Much like those of you whom are protesting, take action. If you’re white and reading you may compelled to reply and offer words of comfort. Allow me to save us both time.

I (and other Black people) no longer care for your words. Your platitudes, your good intentions, your kindness, and whatever good you think you’re doing? For myself, it’s meaningless. What does any of the aforementioned mean to me when the face of our oppressors have been you? I don’t want or need any kinda comfort you think I want from you.

I demand justice from you and Non Black people whom are in better social statuses than we are. If you care about Black lives, help us defund the police and eliminating them. Dismantle the systemic racism you literally benefit from day in and day out if you care for Black lives.

You also probably expecting a part of this article were I speak of positivity and hope. Given my demeanor that would make sense but nah. No white America, I will not pacify the truth for you. What hope can I really believe in? Read the title of my article outloud and ask me why I don’t speak about hope?

Instead focus on truly undoing the system that adheres to you for us. Stop lying to yourself in thinking the world is fair. Realize peaceful protests and talks by Martin Luther King still resulted in his death. Stay fearful as you see our police continue to harm and antagonize people like always have. — the real thugs of our nation.

Perhaps I’m expecting too much for a nation like America. A nation that allows two existences for its citizens. A nation that truly had fooled it’s white populace. I truly found humor in the fact so many white people didn’t see this breaking point coming. If you didn’t expect us to riot well you never had any meaningful relationships with Black people.

Welcome to a nation engulfed in Black rage. You maybe scared about property damage. You maybe scared you’ll never have proper relationships with Black Americans. You maybe also scared that Black people will finally tell you about the horrible work environment you’ve fostered against us. These are a small price to pay for the amount of pain your white supremacy has rained down upon our lives. If you’ve been an anti racist and have been working then none of this should be surprising. Again, that’s a strong IF…and statistically unlikely with the rate of which you all ask us to learn about racism.

I wish more than anything that the lives of the murdered could be returned. I wish more than anything we could’ve truly change things. However, we are now in position to force change. The nationwide insurrection you see are from people whom will no longer wait. The tired will no longer wait for white society to provide them humanity. We riot for the sake of living. We riot so we will never die at the hands of the police. We riot to tell majority society, we’ve had enough.

As my feelings and that of millions, try to make sense of the world, we have to move on. I wish ever single Black person in the world would get a month’s worth of a peaceful vacation but alas. We still have to show up to work and make a living…during a damn pandemic. Because again, inequality means we are more than likely to be essential workers.

The only hope, joy, or solace I can find during these times? That would be hearing the voices and seeing the joy from other Black people. We are all we have, we are there for each other when it’s not trendy. We’ve been there for each other unconditionally. We’ve been there for each other for a long ass time. They help ease my pain and existential fear, I hope I’m doing the same for others.

To the last and most bothersome question I’m tired of: Are you OK?

Did you read the title of this article?

I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in. https://linktr.ee/jeffreyrousseau

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