Last week, a man was murdered. He was murdered by the State, by those whose job it is to “protect and serve.” He was murdered because they suspected him of something. Anything. Everything.
I watched that video play again and again. In it, I saw someone’s child, one who could have been my own. This is one of many videos we have seen in the last weeks, months, years. We hear their names. We tell their stories. We march, we rally, we rage. These stories are familiar. Today my heart could not hold the story of this life lost. Taken. Today sitting on this call, it bubbled up and boiled over.
And so, today I can’t talk about the things we discuss on these work calls. I won’t discuss your newfound love of baking or online yoga classes while quarantined. I can’t talk about your post quarantine travel plans to far away beaches. I won’t listen to stories about how overwhelming it is teleworking from the safety of your home office. I, too, am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a mother to a Black son. I am overwhelmed at being charged with teaching and loving and protecting a child whose very existence is seen as a threat. My child, whose confidence is seen as arrogance, whose curiosity is called defiance, whose behavior is criminalized by the time he enters pre-school. This brilliant, energetic, engaging, amazing, child who I love fiercely and for whom I am terrified will be taken from me by a world who cannot see what I see in him. Taken by a world who only sees the Blackness of his skin and calls it a weapon.