While the black community has been mourning for some time now, basically since the 1600's. I've been beginning to notice a lot of white people rushing to their keyboards to post their thoughts on social media. Either to police our anger and pain, or voice concern for our lives and safety.
It's great that our white friends, family members and even strangers, have been using their privilege to publicly put a spotlight on our darkest, everyday moments. But in all honesty, there's not one bone in my body that feels compelled to thank you. It's more of a head nod. The head nod I give when I witness a white person wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on the subway, or a thumbs-up, when articles written by Shaun King are shared by that same white person everyday.
I use to thank white people for speaking up when we got murdered.
Then after awhile it dawned on me, and I asked myself this question:
"Why am I handing out cookies to allies?"
I found it bizarre that I was thanking people for being human.
Listen, it's cool that you're absorbing what's being said in our community, and then turning around to educate your own. This is where you're probably waiting for a "thank you" from me. No. I said it was cool. I can't help but be skeptical, and question, "Where have you been?" You've allowed this horror film to play out for quite some time now, and suddenly you're expecting something from us?
Our responsibility as humans, is to look out for one another, to stand up when we see something is wrong. What I'm actually saying is, a lot of you haven't been human for a large portion of your lives. I don't care about how racist you once were. I refuse to invest in your Facebook status, because I'm pretty sure you didn't reach out to your one black friend who is living in fear. You made a status update, you purchased a Black Lives Matter t-shirt (that was probably from a white vendor and not a black owned business.) You may have even attended a protest.
Just know, I'm not patting you on the back for things you're supposed to be doing.
That's like someone thanking me everyday, for taking care of my child, well that's my job, it's what I signed up for when I became a mom. It's my responsibility.
While being a part of the human race comes with it's own unique struggles, our responsibility is to look out for one another, despite the differences we all have.
Black people have been shouting "No Justice, No Peace" for years, and with the invention of camera phones and social media, we can now document every moment. We've taken "What's happening?" and "What's on your mind?" to another level. With this new virtual world, you are finally awake. Awake from a long and privileged, systemic racist slumber. One that you thought was an illusion, a nightmare, but in reality, you hung a curtain in front of people of color, and their struggles.
Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile, bled out repeatedly on your news feed one morning, and well, you woke up. That was some alarm clock huh?
I will not thank you for finally noticing my pain.
I will not thank you for the first time in your life, not policing my anger.
I will not thank you for hash tagging BlackLivesMatter.
I will not thank you for noticing that there's a problem in this country, and we are dying because we exist. I will not thank you for finally realizing that I matter too.
This is not your moment to talk, this isn't your platform to stand on, this isn't your space to take up. You should be outraged because you're human and your heart is breaking. I know some of you have good intentions and mean well, I acknowledge your sudden passion, but I won't pass out anymore awards, and I'm all out of cookies to give. Being a human, comes with responsibilities, you speak out when things get ugly, you don't get a "thank you" for that, well not from me anyway.