Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not Guilty


I heard a single gunshot in my sleep this morning that woke me up.   I wasn’t nervous or frightened.  I just couldn’t determine if it was real or not.  It’s quite possible that it was a figment of my own sleepy imagination.  I decided to get out of bed and check on my three children. After seeing that the house was still, I found myself in route to retrieve my laptop. It’s time to speak…

I went to bed shortly after midnight and the only image in my mind was Trayvon Martin.  My 11 year-old son Jessiah asked me to explain, “Ma, how come George Zimmerman isn’t going to jail for killing Trayvon Martin”? That was the exact question and this was my response, “Jessiah, I have no words right now that can explain that to you because I myself do not understand”. My Faith in God above is what keeps me focused this morning as I will continue to remain in silence to some extent.  My emotions led me to write one Facebook status last night and I won’t allow myself to make any others.  I’ll refrain from doing so because I’m mindful that these can be the contributing factors for igniting anger; even anger within myself.  My 15 year-old niece Sina was reading her Kindle device when the verdict dropped last night and she said, “Titi, when it’s your time to die, it’s your time to die, and it was Trayvon’s time to die”.  I wanted so badly to resonate with that yet my flesh struggled and I wasn’t able to do so.  My mind takes me to this dreadful place over and over again; the idea of sending my son off to a store and the more dreadful thought that he could ever be targeted in the 21st Century because of the color of his skin. I think of those final moments of fear that Trayvon must have experienced.  The condition of having Brown skin in America is something that none of my White friends will ever be able to comprehend in this lifetime and I will never fully be able to explain it to any of them. God will have the final say because his will is always done for the greater good of the Kingdom of Heaven.  He doesn’t intend to confuse and/or hurt us.  He teaches us through different acts and situations even when these things involve immense trauma or pain.  I imagine that Tracy Martin is in great pain this morning.  I imagine that the wound she has been trying to heal for nearly two years has been reopened and someone has just poured salt on it.  A day may come when she and George Zimmerman are on the same checkout line at Walmart because our judicial system didn’t feel like he killed her innocent son. America condemns us but the Lord our God redeems us. 

If I could hug her today I would.  The hug would be heartfelt and in no way would I suggest to her that I know what her pain is like or what she’s going through because I don’t.  I’ll be heading to Florida in a few days and my emotions are somewhat mixed regarding that.  Part of me is dying to get there to see how people are responding to the verdict.  My prayers are that the races will united and that people off all races will see the injustice and understand our anger.  I’ve already heard people reminding us of how we kill ourselves all the time and are questioning why we’re so upset about this.  Ignorance is bliss. Yes, Black people kill each other every single day and here is my open letter to any White person that wants to know why we’re so upset about this:

Dear White America:

You hated us before we ever hated ourselves.  You taught our ancestors that we weren’t good enough to eat with you, to drink your water, to date your daughters or your sons and that we were worthless enough to not even have the privilege to enter spaces through the same entrance as you.  Our ancestors begged us to rise but we didn’t understand how to.  They told us we could be the change in the segregation and then Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that he had a dream for us.  He loved White people and people of color just the same and saw that we could be united in the country that stands on the basis of this premise.  The hatred drowned the love and then we begin to see color within ourselves.  We threw shade on the lighter shades of brown because we believed that their root wasn’t deep enough in its blackness.  We hate ourselves because you hated us first.  We hate ourselves because you made us believe that we were inferior to you.  We hate ourselves because you took the beauty out of Black for us.  You said the kinks of our hair and the size of our hips were wrong.  You told us we were dirty and that we resembled monkeys.  You forgot to point the finger at yourselves when you resembled pink pigs.  You assassinated all attributes of our character and then you said, “Look at them, they’re so angry”, but still our ancestors told us to ignore your insults and to rise.  We understand the root of our hatred for one another and when we kill each other trust and believe me we mourn. You kill us with malice.  We kill each other in ignorance and self-hatred.  You hated us before we ever hated ourselves and therefore I blame you.  We have the ability to be all you are and more.  We live in fear of you because we know that you can diminish our future with one stomp.  We are so intelligent and charismatic and even at the ivy-league level we try our best to show you that you don’t intimidate us but you do.  You’re at our schools, our professional offices, at the court buildings trying our cases. We want so badly to love you but we know that your hatred for us runs deeper than anything that we can fix.  While our ancestors told us to rise, your ancestors reminded you that we were to be hated, oppressed, accused, and beat down and slandered.  We love you but you will never love us back so we do what our ancestors taught us to do and we continue to rise.  The higher we go the more you feel like you need to remind us of our place.  We are the help and that is how you see us.  We ignore you but you remind us. We are the Black butterflies that our ancestors told us to be.  We want so badly to lift each other up but you taught us not to trust even ourselves.  God grieves when he sees what you have done to us but he knows that ultimately we are stronger than you.  He knows that you would have never been able to endure our conditions and he gave them to us to carry.  “To those that much is given, much is expected”. He knows how special we are and each time we love one another instead of hate ourselves like you taught us to do; he smiles.  We’ve started to embrace our hair, and love the utter beauty of our skin.  We’ve started to open companies and hire our own the way that you do.  We’ve started to hire you to clean our houses and we’ve started to rise the way that we were taught.  We have a long way to go and by no means will we ever accept you killing us.  You did that already and quite frankly we won’t tolerate any more of your malice toward us.  You hated us before we ever hated ourselves and still we rise!

***tears fill my eyes and I have decided to end with this.  For my Brown people please stay up!  Always hear the words of those before us and please allow them to penetrate your heart. Don’t let their struggle for us be in vain. Be strong and very courageous for the Lord our God is with us.  They can only kill our spirit if we let them. We will prosper and we will grow but this is our condition and we have to acknowledge it and be aware.  In the name of Jesus Christ, stay blessed.

Much Luv,
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