I’m angry. I can’t watch the damn Chauvin trial because it gives me flashbacks. And while I’m not watching Chauvin’s lawyer blame George Floyd for his own murder, yet another brother, Daunte Wright, has been slaughtered ‘cause he had air freshener in his car. Flashbacks to my friends and fellow Black Panthers being shot dead by police. Flashbacks thinking about every Rodney King incident. Flashbacks to the long list of “say their names” dead Black folks and to the thousands who will remain nameless. Flashbacks to my mom telling stories about our enslaved family members.
What’s next? Are we going backward in time to Dred Scott?
Flashbacks to my dad’s story of being beaten to a pulp in uniform while he was a Tuskegee Airman. Flashbacks to my kid brother’s suicide jumping off the Empire State building because he didn’t want to be Black in America.
I’m fuming and punching the wall because Black people are only 13% of the population of this country we built on our bloody backs and we have to depend on white folks to decide to do something to change our fate and avoid a major race war up in this mother, and how many more centuries is that gonna take?
I don’t want to hear any more “Oh, how terrible” statements of “sympathy.” My AA sponsor told me over 30 years ago that “sympathy is in the dictionary between shit and syphilis” and I agree. Every time I turn on the TV, and I see yet another elected Republiklansman I get angry ‘cause I don’t just see them—I see all the people who happily voted for them. Those same people would be elated to see me and mine dead. Some of those people are your family members or coworkers or neighbors.
Don’t tell me how you feel about it. Tell me, what the hell are you gonna do about it?
Till then, I be mad.