I’m taking time out from my usual words.
Grief is our heartbreak when a five-year-old tearfully asks (after being called the n-word), “Why do they hate us?”
Grief is acknowledging a 14-year-old girl in 1962 trying to buy stockings and make up for the first time knowing all the while that “flesh-colored” did not include her smooth, chocolate brown skin.
Grief is a 19-year-old woman in her first job. Hired and fired on the same day because a white woman told a lie. She burned with humiliation and anger as the owner smirked, “It’s her [Caucasian] word against yours [Black woman].”
Grief is fuel for the anxiety that people of color live with every day in their minds and bodies, day after day absorbing the toxicity of microaggressions at their jobs, in school, or when buying a goddamned pair of sneakers, for God’s sake.
Grief is seeing, fearing, experiencing racially instigated murder.
Grief is standing as a witness to the destruction of Native American lands and sacred burial grounds for the sake of a pipeline. Grief is the recognition of the historical genocide of Native American tribes.
Grief is being a witness to Mexican children separated from their asylum-seeking parents at our southern borders and put in cages. Grief is not being able to help.
We grieve without forgiving.
We grieve for all the children who are born without hate or prejudice and grow to become bitter and hate-filled adults. We grieve when those adults commit crimes against humanity.
The one who grieves seeks healing.
We grieve and are tired of Grief.
Our anger is fed by grief. We are enraged.
We are outraged, our throats are raw from screaming.
Some of us choose to burn the world around us.
Anger moves us to action.
We are outraged at the silence that meets our grieving.
We are outraged at racist strategies developed to persecute Black, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Jews, Native Americans, and Brown people from India and the Middle East. We are outraged at voter suppression, the caging of children, refusal to support DACA, and the banning of Muslim immigrants.
Until now, our grief has been met with bone-chilling silence.
I never imagined a day when hundreds of thousands around the world would stand up and say, “Enough! Black lives matter!”
We are exhausted.
Exhausted with anger. Exhausted with grieving. Exhausted with body-mind trauma.
Exhausted with having to give our children “the talk.”
Exhausted with a focus on surviving rather than thriving.
Exhausted with facing silence.
Exhausted with the lists of the names of the dead.
We have faith.
Faith in our resilience.
Faith in our action. Faith in our unity of vision.
Faith in our commitment to a world of respect between all people.
Faith in a bright and healthy future.
Faith that light will indeed overcome the darkness.
As I write this, the Dakota Pipeline has been ordered to shut down. The Supreme Court has determined that much of Eastern Oklahoma is Indian Land including much of Tulsa.