Pardon my bluntness….
I am sick and tired of people policing the reactions of others in regard to the police brutality in Ferguson. Police brutality and racial inequality are issues that myself and many others have always been concerned with, have always spoke about. 75% of my writing is about inequality. This isn’t something new.
When I first heard of the murder of Mike Brown, I was heart-broken. I had the same feeling about Eric Garner and the other men murdered by police this month that I heard about via news sources. The day after Mike Brown’s death, I wrote a blog. I tweeted and Facebooked my thoughts and pains and feelings all week. I went to a protest here in Portland to show unity and support.
On Friday, I announced that I was taking a break from talking about it all. Why? Because every time over the last 10 days that I have said anything about Mike Brown, Ferguson, police brutality or racism in general, I have had to fight.
I have had to argue with other Black people who ask me where my outrage is towards Black on Black crime. I have had to argue about the myth of Black on Black crime. I have had to watch white people dismiss the issue all together. I have had to watch white people take over protests and completely disrespect and disregard Black people for their own selfish reasons. I’ve had to convince people that the way I choose to address the issue is good enough.
And you know what? I’m tired.
I am very concerned and outraged with what is happening right now in the world. In Ferguson, in Portland, in Gaza, everywhere. I’ve been outraged. The only thing that has changed in the last 10 days is that other people are outraged too. I felt like maybe we could be outraged together and actually make a difference. But right now, at this very moment, I just need a break.
I still have to get up and go to work every day in order to feed my kids. I still have to fight my constant battle with depression that isn’t doing well in light of all the drama going on. My grandfather passed away last weekend. And Friday my daughter will celebrate her 6th birthday.
So yeah, all of this is currently taking precedence over proving to anyone how much I care about Ferguson, over arguing the difference between Black on black crime and police brutality, over trying to deflect racist comments from ignorant people, over marching up and down a street with a sign in my hand. Over EVERYTHING.
I don’t want to spend my entire day talking about the issues of the world. I don’t want to get so overwhelmed with the deaths of people around me that I can’t focus, that I can’t get out of bed. I want to shrug some of it off. I want to post silly pics on Instagram and laugh at the good in the world. Because if I forget about the good, I will forget why I’m fighting in the first place.
Don’t ridicule me about enjoying the positive things in life, no matter how trivial they may be. I’ve been fighting this battle long before most of y’all woke up. What’s going on currently is no more important than what’s been going on in this country and around the world for years, decades, centuries. While I’ve been screaming and yelling and trying to fight ignorance about injustices, where the hell have you been? F*ck Ferguson, I’ve been fighting for the world for the last two decades.
And beyond all that, Twitter and Facebook are not an accurate reflection of my life. I actually go to Twitter to escape reality, I use Facebook to maintain community and connect with friends and family. My real value in this fight will not be seen on social media sites. Don’t think I’m ignoring it all off because I post a selfie or retweet a music video. You may not have the intellectual capcity to juggle whimsical entertainment with grave concerns about society, but obviously, I’m not you. Besides, all the time you’re spending worried about what I’m worried about is keeping you from worrying about the right things.