I started this piece with a heavy heart and so it lingered. I actually abandoned it because I just wanted to tune out… Sometimes I just can’t come to grips with the world. But with recent events…No…I simply couldn’t curl up.
I’m hurt, upset and frankly just tired … and in that state I’ve debated the use of this account. I’m aware of the complexities of social issues and I typically never feel quite qualified to comment. But as a concerned human being and as a black person, it would be remiss of me to simply stay silent on this.
I have a lot to say but in times like these it’s hard. There is so much to feel and in my opinion, it is right to feel. I am not ok with what happened to George Floyd, with what happened to Breonna Taylor, with what happened to Ahmaud Arbery and with what happened to David McAtee… along with the countless other black people in the US and around the world. Anyone with eyes and a heart should not be ok with any of it either.
I don’t live in America, but stateside, the lives of people who look like me are being taken away – for no other reason than they walk and exist in a skin that we share. I’m afraid for my friends and family who reside there. I think about their day to day lives. What is it like to have that weight put upon your shoulders? For it to be the heavy burden that it is – testing you, following you … breaking you. The weight of realising just how little your life matters in a world where your contributions and influences are accepted but you are not.
I’m fortunate to know life without it. The experience is not my own and I am sensitive to that. My heart goes out to those who bear that weight because you don’t deserve it. Know that you are not responsible for it. We aren’t all the same but we are of the same root stemming from an identical pain and I empathise deeply. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected by the needless attacks.
As a whole we are a people who are trying to heal. It’s traumatising as a black person, not only to experience such criminality hearkening back to days where it was the norm for us to brutalized, but to be a witness to it as well. We know that not all officers are horrible and there are those who actually do their jobs in the manner in which it ought to be done – kudos. We also know our lives aren’t the only ones being taken away and there are other people of color and low income brackets being affected – acknowledged.
But the plight is such that blacks are disproportionately targeted in a violent manner, with little to no consideration, and it simply has to stop! African Americans are at the mercy of a system that was never designed to protect all people. Racism is real — it is a problem on the individual and systemic level. Justice is much deeper than an arrest, it is the quality of genuine respect for people with fair and reasonable administration of a society’s laws. And I do hope that justice is served at the end of all this.
We are not seen, we are not heard and we are exhausted. We can’t breathe!
This cannot continue. It should not!
I started this project to highlight the better things within us (people in general) . To focus on being a small reprieve from the never-ending barrage of bad news and hopefully to be a forum in which we can share and relate, prompted by the art being put out.
To that end, things were never overly political or religious on this account. Those aren’t the polarizing factors I wanted to use for this project. I do have a personal account to share my opinions on such matters and have always reserved it for that.
So I’ve looked on as so many – varying – injustices have passed, while keeping this particular voice out of the discussions because of a false notion that this was not the platform to speak on it. However this account and my art has been an examination of the human condition – human! – so how can I not give any attention to the ongoing and blatant disregard for human black lives. It’s a human rights issue as much as it is a race issue.
Yes, this project is all about promoting good vibes and sharing the love but none of that can be genuine without acknowledging the reality in which we live. We should not be afraid to put efforts behind reorganizing the world such that we demand and expect accountability. We should not be afraid to protect and support those affected by repeated tragedies. And yes our aim should be to nurture more love than we do hate…but it’s urgent that we address the horrific effects of racist law enforcement and racism in general.
Sigh… I’m not here to lecture or virtue signal on the matter. My hope is that by adding my voice to the collective, some measure of change can come of it.
As tiring as it is…we should not lose hope for a better future. We must continue to believe in the restorative power of good sense and conscientious action. Stay safe my friends, as best as you possibly can. In the face of all of this, do what you need to in order to cope.
Love and Light.