Wednesday’s Charleston shooting was a bloodletting that took place in the one of the most sacred spaces in the historic struggle for black liberation in this decrepitly racist nation. Are we supposed to just continue on in our daily black lives, as if this heinous mass shooting isn’t indicative of our nation’ s disgraceful systems of discrimination? I can’t. Does any white person need me to explain our outrage? I won’t.
This is not a think piece. It’s a feel piece.
Today in #BlackLivesMatter news, we are presented with an untenable conundrum: to continue discussing the real consequences of the socially constructed nature of race — the bizarre case of Rachel Dolezal, a woman whose sanity some folks continue to question — or to feel the anguish and terror of the black folks praying in a church in the last seconds before a white supremacist monster massacred almost everyone present.
This is a false choice if there ever was one — but the false choice has become the persistent reality for some of us.
The #AMEMassacre or the #CharlestonShooting, as it’s become known on social media, was a bloodletting that took place in the hallowed halls of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina — one of the most sacred spaces in the historic struggle for black liberation in this decrepitly racist nation.
Are we supposed to just continue on in our daily BLACK lives, as if this heinous mass shooting isn’t indicative of our nation’ s disgraceful systems of discrimination? I can’t.
Does any white person need me to explain our outrage? I won’t.
The steady stream of police brutality and our criminal justice system’s disregard for black life translates into endorsements for the sick vestiges of white supremacy, racial hatred, and racialized violence that was reflected in last night’s carnage. The reality of black existence is to be intermittently but persistently susceptible to the complete shattering of your life, your identity and your community into a thousand fragments.
A thousand fragments. I can’t. Even. Write. This. Piece. I can’t talk to my family. I can’t breathe. I am paralyzed by the racist realities of the world. Anti-black hatred is fracturing my reality.
I can’t take the lies anymore, the veiled racism masquerading as conservatism, religion, or “battle flag” pride. I can’t stomach the constant moves by politicos and pundits to circumvent issue of racism in America; the petty in-fighting amongst progressive “leaders,” the self-hate of people of color who are more outraged at the president’s comments on the slaughter of black human beings in Charleston than the actual massacre itself. I can’t take the fact that we have come this far but we have so much further to go.
BLACK PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
Each time a human life is taken from this world as a result of unchecked evil, that person’s life — her family, her community, her everything — shatters into a thousand fragments. For so long, black folks have been working hard to pick up the pieces of our collective humanity — the existence of which continues to be vulnerable given black humanity’s tentative status in this nation.
The political leaders of this nation — especially South Carolina’s leadership in the aftermath of this tragedy — must come to terms with the semiotics of racism and white supremacy.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of hatred representing the treasonous terrorists of our nation’s not-too-distant past who were willing to fight and die for their “right” to own human beings, rape black women, and conscript children born of those rapes to lives of enslavement. To separate and deliberately destroy black families. That is the history that the Confederate flag represents.
I call on all the leaders of the Confederate/Battle Flag movement to defend the fact that South Carolina did not lower said flag, which flies on the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia.
I call on all leaders of the Tea Party to denounce this murderer and explain to our nation how the Tea Party rhetoric about “taking back this country” can be disentangled from what fueled Dylann Roof Storm into doing what he is accused of doing to the Emanuel AME prayer group.
We live in a world that hates black people. I get it. But today might be the first day where my belief in the capacity of our community’s extraordinary patience, endurance, and love to overcome that hate has been shaken.