In the midst of a pandemic, Black people still have to deal with the danger that comes with simply being Black. I guess I just hoped that maybe one part of racism might die down as we will deal with another crisis. How naïve of me, clearly.
It’s tiring. I don’t think some people -read non-Black people- realize that when we say tired, we literally mean tired. It’s not just a figurative term, although that applies too. It is a feeling that sets in your bones. That feeling of helplessness, not knowing what you can do, if there is anything to do, to make this world better. That question of what will ever change the ignorance and hate behind racism. And even more – the fear for yourself and your loved ones at all times because with every story you think about how it could easily be you or them next.
It’s hard to get out of bed, to want to get out of bed, when all these thoughts and feelings are going on in and around you.
So yes, tired. That’s the word. I could give statistics and quote research that verifies that the stress of dealing with racism has a correlating negative effect on one’s health. I could talk about the statistics of racial profiling, adding real stories of all the people – myself included- who have been affected by it. But it angers me that numbers and stories have to be given for people to see humanity and real pain. And in this day and age, where a lack of regard for facts, figures, or eye witnesses, there are people that will see all that and still choose to argue and not care.
Here I was just concerned about the number of people dying from COVID, the risks posed to essential workers, and feeling for all those who have lost loved ones during this time and haven’t been able to have proper send-offs for them. But no. Even with all that going on, you still have police using excessive force in situations that do not call for it, and racists antagonizing and killing innocent Black people because of supposed perceived threats. And so the list of people to pray for, the list of causes to donate to grows. And so does the already rising anxiety, and fear that comes with the heaviness of being Black in this country (hell, in this world really, but PARTICULARLY in this country)- where racism can lead to you losing your life simply because the color of your skin symbolizes that you must be a threat.
The pandemic and all that has come with it in terms of the altering of normalcy is hard enough. It’s a reality slap of truth that the same fights and struggles and frustrations continue on even in the midst of that.
RIP George Floyd. RIP Breonna Taylor. RIP Ahmaud Arbery. And to all the others, the long list of names – we say your name, we remember you, we will never forget you.