How Are You Doing?
It is Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020. The voices are rising and the feet are moving. I am at home for many reasons. However, I am aware of what is going on in my neighborhood, city, and country. I have engaged in my forms of activism specifically as a comedian and a citizen writing letters, and so on. To be honest as a Black person any activism aside from living is above and beyond. My life is activism. My life is a political statement. To be here is to defy many odds from generation to generation.
My traceable family trees on both sides of my genealogy trace back to slavery in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama as far I know. To be here a descendent of slaves is an active political statement. We're still here.
So here I am in the early parts of June with activism being mobilized because of another Black man being murdered by police. That is only because it was caught on tape from multiple angles and it is clear this is murder. The world is mobilizing in peaceful protests. Not unlike history, there are people who are not a part of the peaceful protests who are agitating and igniting violence and destruction. These instigators are often white people who have forgotten that we have videos and are watching.
I find myself receiving many messages from my white "friends" reaching out asking how I'm doing? This time it is different. We went through this a couple of years ago with Philando Castile also in Minnesota. Michael Brown in Missouri. Trayvon Martin in Florida. Countless others that naming names right now feels unbearable. We just went through this. This is not new.
I'm getting apologies and a lot of not knowing and even some forms of searching to make sure I know you are a good white. The resources are out there and available. You can just do the work.
Yes, I've set myself up as a resource activist. I've read a lot of books. I've written some pieces on race and injustice. I've shown myself to be a good kindhearted Black. However, this time feels different. I am tired of being the post for my friends to lean on. I'm tired of having emotional labor placed on me to reassure you, you're one of the good ones.
Yes, it is important to look out for us. Yes, I see that you are trying. Yes, I see your texts and DMs. No, I don't have it in me to say thank you for doing the job you've been procrastinating your entire life.
How am I doing? How do you think? I am no different than those images of Black people with a range of emotions. I am crying, I am angry, I am laughing, I am frustrated, I am without hope, I am concerned, I am figuring it out. I am not answering your messages.