As I sit writing this, my chest is hurting, and my breathing is heavy. No, I didn't just finish an exercise class, nor have I gone for a run yet. What I'm feeling is panicky that America and so the world is about to erupt in flames from the cesspool of racism it's been sitting on. You don't have to go back very far in history to know that racism is as American as apple pie. Nor do you have to travel very far in the world to know that other countries experience it too.
However, the unrest happening in 2020 seems like it might be especially intense. Why? because we are all stressed out from COVID19 and being homebound. As a result, we have more time to read and investigate the truth, to see unfairness highlighted via smartphones, to research histories and lineage. My white friends don't buy the explanation that the boogeyman doesn't look like them when they can see for themselves. They are aghast but I'm infuriated, driven to palpitations. I find myself more impatient with what I view as weak or trite Band-Aids on confronting racism.
If I feel like this, then imagine how the truly disenfranchised feel? They are enraged that we can tolerate a world where entire groups of people are marginalized. How can we expect that there won't be an immense backlash to oppression? If you are a black person reading this then, believe me, I see you. Our hearts are pounding together. Use BlackMentalHealthMatters to speak to someone and find release.
If you are a non -Black person reading this then please read a few history books and practice empathy. There is absolutely no reason to ever doubt that white supremacy is a thread that runs through America like infected bloodlines. There is no reason to ever misunderstand the lengths those with power will go to keep it. If you are comforted by the use of force against others to feel secure in the world, then you are part of the problem. That isn't a political issue. It's a humanity issue.
Because here's the thing with supremacy: it needs an inferior subject. The fixed ego that fuels racial dominance requires subjugation to feel satisfied. It is disgusted by equality and needs to remind the subjugated regularly of who is in charge. How will I know I am the best without the whip? it asks. I don't know myself without the whip.
Although I have created this space for anti-racism education, please know that I don't have an answer for why anyone would find themselves unworthy being equal with others. To have the same rights and protections as others. Why they can't allow all people life, liberty AND happiness is a question for a therapist. I just know that the emotional labor or fixing racism for a better world is required of all of us. So what are WE going to do about this?