I grieve/we grieve
It has really taken me a moment to sit down and compose my thoughts on the outcome of the Ferguson decision. I was certainly aware of what the decision on Darren Wilson's indictment would be, but that did very little to calm the sick feeling that I felt in the pit of my stomach as the prosecutor announced that he would not be indicted. We grieve for Michael Brown and his family. We grieve at the fact that he died for no reason. We grieve for all of the young black men and women who lose their lives because society has chosen to view us as a problem.
How does it feel to be a problem?
We grieve because society has created a very problematic narrative around the racial inequalities in this country. This system, a system which was built on the backs of black people and was never meant to protect us in the first place, is upholding oppression and people are refusing to acknowledge that it is. They distort, misconstrue, or ignore the lived experiences of people of color in this country. "Racism doesn't exist anymore, so what are you complaining about?" "Why must you always play the race card?" "If you didn't bring up race then it wouldn't be a problem!" "I don't see race...I only see people." These are common refrains that take different shapes and forms, but they all seem to say the same thing: you are the problem, you are to blame for whatever oppression that you think that you are experiencing.
I think of Darren Wilson's interview with George Stephanopoulos and his description of Michael Brown as being a demon. It is painful to say that Darren Wilson is not the only one who has felt or expressed that sort of sentiment. I've heard it before and it lurks malevolently beneath the surface of many a discussion of racial inequality in this country. You are a problem. You and the black body in which you exist are unnatural and demonic.
How does it feel to be ignored?
They continue to uphold the white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy while insisting that we live in a colorblind, post-racial society and that the oppression that we experience is imagined. Irrational. Not real. Not relevant. We deserve to be heard.
To tell our truths and to be heard is revolutionary action, it is a step in the journey towards liberation from oppression. Revolutionary action is uncomfortable and inconvenient, yet it is absolutely necessary if you stand for freedom.