Every day I wake up knowing that I am living on borrowed time in this country. Every day, I wake up knowing that others Black people have had their lives prematurely ended at the whim of white people, white supremacist violence, and anti-Blackness. Every day I become more aware of who is being slaughtered, traumatized, brutalized, and victimized by the unchecked, entitled patriarchal white supremacists that are enacting the purge to mold this country into one that openly & violently enacts its mistaken belief of superiority upon all those who would challenge it. Every fucking day.
And every day I sit in my home knowing that I am not doing enough, risking enough, sacrificing enough to try to change this shit. I sit here going through the motions day by day wondering if I should hunker down, run, or die fighting. And I hate that these are my fucking choices because motherfuckers want to oppress rather than cooperate. Knowing that too many of these bastards want to rule someone or kill everyone. Knowing that I’m existing in a system designed to exploit the many, protect the few, and destroy anyone who challenges it.
I know I don’t want to live like this anymore and that this shit isn’t going to change because white people don’t want it to change.
They say they do. They pretend they do. White people are all about looking benevolent. They love the image of themselves as peacekeepers, maintainers of order. They see themselves as civilizers, not murderers. They tell themselves that their cannibalistic way of life is the best way. They fucking scream it from the rooftops as they serve their family the amputated leg of their neighbor who wasn’t fit enough, ruthless enough, take charge enough to survive. They blast it on the television as they roast the children of their relatives who just couldn’t figure out that the climb to the top is merciless. They create entire genres of fantasy creatures who lack reflection and openly feed upon people, then glorify that parasitic existence as romantic and ideal. They call themselves patriotic protectors of the “right” way of life, while they greedily feed upon those who either seek to become one or choose to pretend they can never be victims of their overtly white and cannibalistic hunger.
We walk alongside creatures who do not see themselves as people. They think they have evolved past humanity and that it’s their job to cull the herds of people into the livestock they deem valuable. We live amongst monsters who don’t think they are monsters - parasites who feed on the power of oppression and tell themselves they are better than those they feed upon to live.
And it is terrifying.
It’s always been terrifying. When I told people I didn’t walk around with headphones on so that I could hear who was around me, people called me paranoid. When I wouldn’t go to white doctors who’d only been educated in the south, they told me I was being ridiculous. When I would fuck men but never sleep next to them, they called me outrageous. When I refused to put my lunch in the work fridge, they called me silly. For most of my life, I have navigated this world with the resolve to live the way I wanted to do but with the understanding that there are people who would kill me simply for being a Black woman. And for years, I was shamed for my “paranoia.” I was mocked for my boundaries. I was accused of being distrustful and creating my own prison. Then I let some people in and ended up marrying a racist, putting myself in danger with his racist ass friends and family, and having Black men steal my work and then work to discredit me at every turn. And while I take responsibility for the choices I made to get here, I wouldn’t be here if violence, exploitation, oppression, and murder were not common experiences for Black women and Black people who are LGBTQIA+.
There was a time when someone I no longer associate with said, “I had no idea that you walked through the world constantly expecting someone to try to kill you.” At the time, I thought it sounded extreme, but still, it was true. And to think, despite that constant paranoia, it turned out that I wasn’t scared enough.
It’s frustrating to see that despite hundreds of years and multiple daily accounts in which the abused share their struggles, those not experiencing them still push the “you’re overreacting” narrative. It’s ridiculous to see egregious acts of theft, self-aggrandizement, cruelty, and violence be dismissed as no big deal while its victims are blamed for being abused. It’s exhausting to have people try to convince me to put myself in danger because the danger isn’t the same for them.
“You can’t change people if you wont even be in the same room with them.”
“How can you make a difference if you won’t even talk to them?”
Fuck your change that relies on my tolerance of abuse and my willingness to risk my life. I’m fucking tired of the responsibility to fix/end oppression being laid at my doorstep when I’m not the motherfucker doing it. You want me to work on ableism? Ok. Heteronormativity? Yup, I’m there. Cisgender trash? I got you. We are trash. But this shit where I keep putting my body and mind and well-being directly in the line of fire of patriarchal white supremacy? Fuck that and fuck you for requiring I do that shit to survive. The harming of Black women and Black LGBTQIA+ is so normalized, so fucking run of the mill that we’re punished for saying anything about it. In the meantime, people like Kanye and Kim and stay pandering and being forgiven time and again for the dangerous stunts they pull when they cosign on white supremacy. But let us talk about a woman being murdered in her home by her Black male spouse or the police or how some “nice white lady” touched her hair or her body without consent and suddenly we’re angry and problematic.
The double standard is bullshit and enforced globally. Fuck y’all for that, too.
I am fucking exhausted of how my existence is simultaneously ignored, chastised, and ridiculed. At how I am wrong regardless of what I do and how no one manages to have compassion or empathy for Black women. And how nobody believes us when we tell you what’s happening and what’s going to happen next.
And still people tell me that despite all the sanctioned murder, abuse, psychological warfare, and victim blaming, that despite knowing all this and watching it continue to play out again and again, I’m still too cynical and the “real” problem in this scenario. And that I’m not doing enough to fight it.
Y’all…I’m tired. I’m tired of being punched down on and being chastised for defending myself. I’m tired of taking hits while being punished for hitting back. I’m so tired that fun no longer looks fun and I’m constantly questioning what the fucking point of all this is. My S.O. keeps trying to give me hope but his version of hope is dismissive of real-world struggles. He tells me I’m doing a lot and I am enough, but the shit keeps happening, keeps getting worse and while I do not carry the world on my shoulders, it’s hard to want to smile when shit is fucking horrible.
So, I bury myself in the minute and make it to the next minute and the next minute, doing the best I can with every minute, in hopes something I do will ease the burden of someone else. I write to release some of the pressure and give myself space to breathe. I speak, and dance, and sing, and find joy is as many things I can. And I work on not allowing joy = guilt, because that’s some fuckshit, too.
This is no life to live, but it is the life I live and borrowed time or not, I’m going to keep living it as best I can: exhausted and trying…