Approximately seven years ago Eddy and I ended our visit to Senegal on the day White Supremacy entered a sacred dwelling, a church and shot down nine congregants. And that boy got burgers on the way to jail.
Barack sang Amazing Grace. Bree took down the flag.
Two years ago, five years after that massacre at Mother Emanuel church, we watched White Supremacy rest its knee on Brotha Floyd’s neck. And shoot Breonna in her bed. And run Ahmaud down in the street in a damn pick up truck, the kind that has kicked up fear for generations of Black people.
I cried out then. And, again, on Saturday. No, no, no. Not again. Not again.
It is not hate, generally. As they have already begun uncourageously to call it. Or the lack of gun control. As some have begun to insist. Or some switch that clicked on or off in this boy’s head. Ambiguity has a price. A huge one when it ofuscates the brutal truth about what really went down in Buffalo. A price we keep paying. With our lives. Our love. Our loss. Our grief. Our peace of mind.
This, as Eugene Robinson reminded us in his NYT column yesterday, is White Supremacy. It is the pernicious racism Roxanne Gay named in 2020 when White Supremacy killed George Floyd. And Breonna. And Ahmaud.
I will cry again. Today. And, tomorrow. And rant. And rave. Outloud. Here, in writing. And, tap. And, shake. I will breathe deeply and intentionally in child’s pose or butterfly fully supported by my mat, bolster, blankets and blocks. And my ancestors. Supported by music, soul music. Beautiful Chorus. Robert Glasper. Anthony Hamilton. I will sit in community filled with love. All to settle my nervous system. My spirit. To temper the grief and rage. The damn dismay.
And, like Roxanne and Eugene. Resmaa and Dr. Kyra. I will say exactly what this is. I will say Black when I mean Black. I will say anti-Black racism in lieu of vaquely referring to some non-specific hate. I will say white supremacy. White violence and terror. The kind that lynches and murders innocent Black folks in church and grocery stores. On branches of magnolia trees. Like Emmet’s mama insisted with her child’s open casket in the hot ass summer of 1955, we must see and look directly at this brutality, this terrorism. The capacity for the nation we built for free to wring its hands and talk sideways. Again. While simultaneously engaging in the rhetorical gymnatics in legislative chambers and rooms where school boards meet. This is that. The history that they want to protect their kids from. A violent fragility that erases reality and brutality. The kind that we saw on Saturday.
I will name what is. I will settle my spirit with my body and breathe. And the word.
My hope is that you will too. May you find and know peace. Because, for real, this is some f^#ed a$% ish.