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To an extent we are all stuck doing what it is we do, even at a time like this.
Even when the racial biases in America are being scrutinized at a deeper level, we are still stuck doing what we do. At a time when simply watching The News can beg a lot of personal questions of its audience members, each viewer must also remain attentive to their personal affairs, friendships, families, and jobs.
For some people, for many people, delving into the stories of this year’s police brutality non-indictments may touch every aspect of their lives.
At a time like this People Of Color respond by developing and honing vocabularies, sensitivities, and routines to foster peace in their relationships, order in their business, and confidence in their very survival.
Some will tell you it’s even hard to breathe at a time like this.
For some people, for many white people, to stay knowledgeable of this year’s police brutality non-indictments is to develop entirely new ways of speaking, new ways of feeling, and new things to do.
What honest American can avoid introspection and critical reflection at a time like this? This is a time when the stench of injustice hangs in the air as taxpaid cops walk free despite the killings of Michael Brown1, Eric Garner2, John Crawford3, Darrien Hunt4, Aiyana Stanley-Jones5, and the disgusting churn of underreported unarmed-black deaths in America to the tune of 1 every 28 hours.
All people, whether or not they get it, are observing the poor excuse for legal justice Black and Brown bodies are expected to settle for.
Nobody, whether or not they get it, could find peace with what our public officials are flaunting as a job well done were it they or theirs in the crosshairs.
In a time like 2014, witnessing the biased process of police unaccountability with regards to violent racism cannot help but suggest thousands, millions, countless more cases of brutality throughout history that no informed citizen could discover even if they tried. If this is what the making of ‘history’ looks like, how can one have confidence in what they ‘know’?
In 2014, unnumbered atrocities are becoming present all at once for a good many good people. This presence has been and always will be felt by people genuinely engaging and reflecting upon concepts of race. Numb is a popular alternative.
We live in an era of tragedy. In a time like this, it is good work to legitimize and acknowledge our tragic conditions so as to rightly justify a range of healthy responses.
We live in an era of tragedy. In a time like this, it is good work to encourage our loved ones to rant, to listen if our friends vent, to ask honest questions when there is truly time to discuss the answers, and to shut the fuck up every now and then.
In a time like this, it is good work to consider POC as kin in that you try to feel for them without totally understanding them, to interrogate your privilege to not feel crazy or scared, to agree with facts that are facts, and to side-eye the cops in search of a different picture.
We live in an era of tragedy. In a time like this, it is good work to assure ourselves and our loved ones that the pain is real, that the pain is okay, that the pain makes sense, and that people are free to hurt.
I live in an era of tragedy. I’ve always been alive in a time like this. There has always been so much to do, so many things needing to be saved, torched, reinvented.
But shining vividly through the atmosphere of tragedy will be opportunities for rebirth and love. To tap into such wonders we must begin by acknowledging the tragic conditions in which we live. We must act, let ourselves make mistakes, learn, and expect the same from others.
At any other time, that’d be called a basic doctrine for good living.
In a time like this,
References 1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/25/ferguson-grand-jury-evidence-mistakes_n_6220814.html