Sick & Tired: A Generational Curse
“All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” — Fannie Lou Hamer
And…another name to say. While we continue to name Breonna Taylor we must also juggle the name of Jacob Blake. Scrolling past video after video, loops of Black death, with commentaries of grief, anger, pain, hurt, sadness, and hopelessness — it’s just another day in the neighborhood. Another Black person shot in the back, in eyesight of his 3 children, for fear that there was a possibility that he could possibly be reaching for what could possibly be a firearm in his car. I often wonder, how many times has this exact series of events unfolded and the police actually assumed correctly? I have not seen one. Maybe I have, but the number of instances in which an unarmed person is shot (on video) creates evidence that suggests we can not trust police officers or their judgement on the use of deadly force. To continue to believe there is any reforming to be done, is exhausting.
I won’t hold you for too long — there is an insidious spirit of evil, hate, and war at work in our world. While this is happening, Black people are living through a global pandemic, an above average hurricane season, political, economic, and food oppression that is disrupting our lives at a much higher rate. To add to that, yesterday, I woke up to the collective sighs around a video of a 17-year-old white savior who decided to shoot protestors for the sake of ‘protecting property’ and establishing ‘order’. But don’t worry, the property made it out safe! The protestors did not. The young white person killed 2 protestors and wounded one, which I won’t spend much time talking about. There are plenty of articles, and it is exhausting.
I will be truthful, and honest, in what I wish to see happen in the case of Jacob Blake, Breanna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the names we will soon write over with others; I want vengeance. Old Testament vengeance. I am tired of half-assed justice that only equals an arrest of officers who the state has sworn to protect. Some receive admin leave and paychecks, severance pay, or in the worst of cases, a slap on the wrist.
This seems even more of a metaphorical slap in the face as we hear Republican chants for law and order and are also being solicited to release the power of the Black vote to Democratic champions for police reform, who plan to inject $300 Million dollars into this nation for even more officers, as we, with our voices and bodies, demand defunding as a means to abolish the police.
More officers that will do exactly what? As someone who leans on history as a guide (and as someone who has completed high school level AP Calculus with lots of calculator usage) the math that I can do tells me that more officers equal more opportunities for community surveillance and militarized violence. Let’s be very clear, we know who the bullies are within our communities and the counter protestors who align with them and actively defend Blue Lives, with their word and their guns, are all a part of a larger evil that must dissipate.
In these times, I find myself able to lean on the words and stories of those before us, who fought this fight with all of their mind, body, and soul. But, I also find myself emotionally and mentally tired of seeing people, Black people, be brought to a “justice” that repeatedly tells us that we are not fully human. I find myself tired of calling my elders and finding ourselves in the same cycle of silence and rage as we discuss the hashtags of the 30’s and the hashtags of the 50’s and the hashtags of the 60’s and the hashtags of the now. Does one ever get as tired of killing as one does of dying? Does the blood on your hands ever start to make you sick? In my Spirit, I no longer desire justice. I no longer desire any of the things of this world. Vengeance would only be appropriate. Fortunately, the time has not yet come…or maybe it has?