Today, like most days over the past week, I woke up riddled with emotion, and felt fatigued from the ensuing night of restless sleep.
No, I haven’t joined a protest or even made a single comment on social media. The exhaustion I feel is mental.
My thoughts overwhelm my mind, which is surely working overtime to process the world, and everything that comes along with being a person of any color inside of it right now.
Facing some of these thoughts may be the most courageous thing I do this year, but I have to get them out in the hopes that they make more sense.
These are 35 thoughts constantly spinning around my head:
- This is a lot.
- What does the silence of my friends, who don’t look like me during these times, say about our friendship?
- Am I a hypocrite for expecting their vocalization when I too have been silent?
- I don’t want to speak, but maybe it’s my responsibility. Solidarity is better than silence. Right?
- If we don’t see the change we’re advocating for, do all the newfound allies grow tired and give up? Where does that leave us?
- Am I seen as bad for touching this topic? Does it make me look contentious to those I work with?
- White privilege is real because privilege is real. I have privilege simply being born in a great country. Privilege isn’t something you “do” as much as it is something you have. It’s just a statement of fact. Why can’t people learn what privilege is and own it?
- Some of my friends (regardless of color) seem much more affected than I am. My heart breaks for them. I pray for their peace. You can’t shoulder the entire burden single-handedly.
- What’s next?
- It’s devastating to see how careful and strategic some ethnicities are about detaching themselves from the target group. “We stand with you, but we’re not you.”
- What does “black” even mean anymore? Are we talking about ethnic origin or skin tone? Someone make it clear.
- 10 and 11 point to why this is an issue of racism and not race. But I don’t think I’m politically correct in holding that notion.
- God bless the people who’ve understood their part in this, however big or small. Growth is revolutionary. I’m glad they’ve arrived.
- “All Lives Matter,” yes. But all lives are not at stake right now. It’s simple, yet incomprehensible for so many.
- If I get pulled over by a cop today, am I more or less likely to die in our current climate?
- People who claim to “not to understand” are frustrating. I appreciate the acceptance that being of color is a reality they will never face, but the understanding shouldn’t be hard. Racism is bad.
- A coworker liked my IG post. Does she agree with me or is she quietly reporting me to management? Have I just been red-flagged?
- Referring to groups based on skin color like “blacks” or “whites” is divisive rhetoric. We need to choose our words wisely.
- I want to feel good again.
- Not all people of color are Democrats. Not all white people are Republicans. We’ve made them synonymous.
- When did we become our political affiliations?
- Our political system isn’t working.
- Communication is dead. We’re more concerned with proving ourselves right than listening and understanding opposing views and reshaping our opinions from them.
- People are still allowed to smile even though things are hard. Life goes on: birthdays pass, the tooth fairy visits, weight is gained, laugh lines form, and time doesn’t freeze.
- Generalizations are dangerous.
- Are people supporting the cause out of compulsion? Is there an authentic dedication to advocacy or should I not get my hopes up?
- Does the above make me a pessimist? F*ck! This isn’t about me…wait, it is.
- Will people change?
- This will not be an exhaustive list. It can’t be.
- Friendships are ending. Hate is expanding. So many lines have been drawn in the sand that the beach looks like a life-sized chess tournament. We’re failing.
- Everyone knows looting is bad. Looters know looting is bad! That’s not what we’re talking about here. Every time looting and rioting is prioritized over the crux of the issue, it diminishes the value of the fight for equality.
- Protestors protest. Looters loot. They are not the same. One is not the other.
- Raising examples of past indiscretions from the White community doesn’t cancel out indiscretions from the Black community (and vice versa). We all have to fix our eyes on what’s right…right now.
- I love white people. I wish the world knew that. My heart is with a white person. I cherish my white friends. My mom is white. I love you, mom.
- How did we get here?