Or Any White People Who Have Black Friends,
At this time, I or your Black friends have heavy hearts. I’m fighting back tears. I had a hard time falling asleep last night and that rarely ever happens to me. Not just because it seems like my people, my community is under attack. Or that I’m terrified not only for myself, but for my father, brother, and nephews. But my heart is also heavy because you, people that I call friend, some even best friend are so damn silent during this time of tragedy in the Black community. Where are you?
Growing up, many of my Black peers were not nice to me because I was different. The way I spoke and the things I liked were different. But my White and Latino friends accepted me for who I was. Now that I’m older, I’ve found that my friendship with some of you has come with conditions. We’re cool as long as I don’t bring up race or racism. Thank God my writing has introduced me to many Black women that are similar to me. Otherwise, I’d have no one to talk to about what’s happening in our country. Especially, since you’re all so…damn silent.
Aside from the normal worries, like car accidents and stuff like that, have you ever worried about your husband, father, sons, brothers, nephews or cousins going about their day and possibly not coming home? Have you ever had to sit down and explain to your young male relatives how to conduct themselves when dealing with the police because he’s tall and muscular and would be perceived as a threat? Have you had to think about what you’d do if faced with unfair treatment and/or accused of something based off of the color of your skin? Have you made sure that when you’re shopping that your hands can be seen at all times or that you don’t reach into your purse or put your phone into your purse because you don’t want anyone to accuse you of shoplifting and it turning into a dangerous situation? Those are just a few of the realities of life as a Black person in America. That is my reality. One that I haven’t talked to you about, because most of you don’t want to hear it.
I know some of you are uncomfortable with #blacklivesmatter. I guess you feel like a traitor if you say it or type it. But I think it’s pretty clear to see that Black lives are under attack. And more so than many other skin colors. So how does stating three words make you a traitor to your race, when it’s the truth? Do I have to pretend as if I’m Matthew McConaughey in A Time to Kill talking to an all White jury? Do I have to say, “Close your eyes, now imagine she/he was me? Will that get your attention? Will that finally get you outraged? Or am I deluding myself into thinking that you actually cared enough about me to be outraged? I should say instead, “Close your eyes, now imagine they were white?” because maybe that’s the only way you’ll care.
Standing up against what is wrong, does not a traitor make. When I say I’m pissed when I posted about these injustices, I’m not saying I hate White people or cops. I’m friends with both. I’m saying, I hate what some White people and cops are doing. Which is the same thing most Blacks who are outraged are saying. But one of the only ways to fight the brutality and racism in this country is to do it together. To say something…anything, when you see some garbage that isn’t right. I’ve seen a few, and I do mean a few of you post about the injustices done to people outside of your race. But those few are not enough. If you’ve called me friend, spent time with me, love me, why can’t you just say something? Because maybe if you lead by example and you say something, your White friends that don’t know any Blacks will say, “Hmm…maybe they have a point.” Because it’s obvious that Black cries are falling on deaf ears.
So seriously, if you call me friend, stop being so damn silent. Or one day I may be silent.