Do you even care?
This morning I ran 2.23 miles in support of Ahmaud Arbery. Today would’ve been his birthday.
I came home from my run, showered, sat at my desk, and prepared to work. Then this wave of grief hit me. Someone was murdered while out running. I just finished running, and I live to write about it.
Whenever something like this happens, it feels like someone has poked my soul with a hot knife. I’m hurt and incensed.
I don’t watch the videos anymore. The last video I watched was of some cops beating a black kid. I cried, I moaned, my body tightened. I realized that I can’t watch the videos anymore. I’m mad that to get justice, the world has to be subjected to the video’s existence.
There was a lot of testosterone around me as kid. My cousins were like little brothers. Now that they’re grown men raising little men, I worry about them. I fear that they’ll be in public living their lives, and someone will not like what they’re doing because they’re in the wrong color skin doing it.
I go on social media, and I see my black friends struggling. I see them giving voice and words to our feelings in big and small ways. There’s a sense of comfort in mutual trauma.
My non-black friends, where are you? I don’t hear you. I don’t see you. Why haven’t you acknowledged what’s happened? Do you care that I’m struggling? Do you care that we’re struggling? Do you care if we live?
The world still turns. Life isn’t paused when we’re traumatized. I get it.
Social media makes it so easy to show concern. Maybe you don’t know what to say or do. Simple gestures can save you from awkwardness. An absence of acknowledgment earns you a severe side-eye.