- I’m afraid of being killed by police
In getting ready for work in the morning, I have added extra steps to my daily regimen that have become more important than the act of going to work itself. Right before I put on my clothes, I make sure to perfume my body with a scent that is sure to linger long after my body has vacated any space that my feet have touched. Once I get dressed and have gathered my belongings, I go into my 22-year-old’s room, kiss her cheek and tell her that I love her before saying goodbye.
I do this because the probability that I may not make it home one night due to being killed in the streets by the hand of another has become my realty as a black person. I am afraid and angry that I now wear perfume so that my daughter remembers the way I smell in case I am murdered through no fault of my own
2. I’m afraid of the racism that propels Trump
Conversations that once included plans for future travels to chase bands I had yet to see live or pursue dreams I was finally ready to move forward with have been replaced with discussions about if we will be safe as black people if Trump is elected president, why white people want to see black people dead and whether we need to leave the country before the race riots start.
3. I’m angry that police continue to kill unarmed black people with impunity
The nightmares of being forced to the ground at gunpoint by a police officer as bystanders stand in a circle around me with their hands up in the air and not intervening started two weeks ago.
4. I’m angry that Black Lives Matter is routinely misrepresented
I am tired of hearing Black Lives Matter organizers compared to violent criminals and rogue vigilantes. The bottom line is that the movement was created after the death of Michael Brown and is a stand against anti-black racism. The movement does not support violence.
5. I’m angry that so many people ignore or don’t know our history
The fear and rage of black people surrounding such things as oppression, discrimination, violence and racism is not unfounded. Despite slavery ending, the mindset that influenced slavery did not end with it, and legalized racial discrimination in housing, voting and every other aspect of life continued for a century. Yet somehow there are people who claim that racism began with Barack Obama’s tenure.
6. I’m afraid of what the future holds for our nation
The footage of police brutality, random acts of racism and rioting in the streets seem strikingly similar to movies like Mississippi Burning and Rosewood. This brings fear to my heart because the journey to reach an end in these movies was filled with unspeakable tragedies.
7. I’m afraid that my skin color is perceived as violent
I think my biggest fear may be hyper-vigilance on both sides of this war against racism. It feels as if being black is like having a target painted and your back and it is assumed that you are angry, armed and ready to go to war so you must automatically be laid to rest. I wonder how long it will be before someone decides to defend themselves.