I feel so strongly and ache so deeply for my friends, family, and students of color. I want to help. I want to do more. I can’t imagine the pain and exhaustion. The frustration. The fever.
I can’t imagine being a member of society, upholding a social contract with a society, that refuses to acknowledge my value and worth beyond my ability to fuel a sports franchise or fill a quota.
Can’t imagine being looked at like my skin, hair, eyes, speech, culture don’t measure up.
Can’t imagine driving or jogging or shopping or simply chilling in a country that believes that because my skin has more melanin, my motives are monstrous and mustn’t be trusted.
And now, these last couple days, I can’t imagine seeing and hearing people I thought were friends and allies complaining about the funeral of a murdered black man too closely resembling a “state funeral.”
The death of George Floyd became the catalyst of a much–needed revolution. He did not sign up to be a soldier. He deserved so much more than a brutal death at the hands of a man corrupted and influenced by privilege and power. But now, in death, George Floyd deserves to be celebrated. He’s become a hero in a war that never should have been. And he deserves to rest in peace.
His memory cannot and should not be left to lie uncelebrated. Cannot and should not be left to lies driven by hatred in attempts to villainize his life and corrupt his memory and the cause that has sprung from the ashes and dust of too many black bodies unjustly killed for too many dark generations.
By laying his body to rest, I pray we are laying to rest all the silent complicity of white privilege. I pray we are at the beginnings of an end to the blatant and latent racism that has driven this nation far too long.
I pray we continue to debride the wounds and break up the scar tissue. It’s not comfortable, not for any of us. It stings sometimes. It hurts. But for our friends of color — Oh-God-Have-Mercy — I can’t imagine the bone-weary acres and acres of buried bruises, inherited pain, and fresh wounds. So. Much. Pain. So. Many. Wrongs.
So while I can’t speak for my black friends and family and students… I can speak out for and with them. I can give them my support and my love and my voice. I can proclaim at the top of my lungs that #BlackLivesMatter. That they are important to me. That their equality is important to me. That justice for those unjustly killed is important to me.
I loudly proclaim I AM NOT COLOR BLIND. I see you, hear you, ache with you, and stand with you. I am ready to help, to do whatever I can. You have a friend and an ally in me.