Trigger Warning: The clue is in the title, if the word Black in association with humans and lives that matter — triggers the fuck out of you… then get ready to be triggered a lot. Newsflash — Black. Lives. Matter.
Black lives do matter
Words do matter. These three words Black Lives Matter have displayed this tenfold. The ability to catch fire, evoking such powerful energy world-wide. Such a simple statement of affirmation, both a personal revolution and a political one.
Consider these three words if you will — within the context of another infamous three words — I Love You. Can you allow yourself to hear both sets of these three words, and receive them just as they are — a celebration of life?
I’ve been accused of being ‘Pro Black’ by Black friends many times, yes I used the word accused deliberately because it has been said to me accusingly — as if it was a bad thing. For me I find it hilarious, but also a good opportunity for healthy discussion on why I am ‘Pro Black’ and perhaps why they are not *shrugs shoulders*.
Simply put, to me — being ‘Pro Black’ is not mutually exclusive to being ‘Pro Human’. I am both, there is no me without the other. I am an advocate for myself and humanity. It has nothing to do with superiority, it has everything to do with positive affirmation of being Black — particularly in the face of ongoing negative connotations and violent subjugation. The time will come, when one need only concern themselves with being ‘Pro Human’, until then — this is the world as we know it.
‘I’m Black and I’m proud’
Yes, I am — unapologetically. I, like many Black people across the world, have been on the receiving end of racist treatment that seeks to diminish and disempower me from this stance. The perpetrators use the colour of my skin, as the sole justification to do so. To that I say — nope, not today or any other day.
When I witness the visible squirming that occurs whenever I’m in conversation and mention Black or Blackness or affirm Black Lives Matter, it makes it all the more clear why it needs to be affirmed again and again and again.
If your idea of comfort and racial harmony hinges on my willingness to assimilate to whiteness and whitewash my words — so as to ignore colour and avoid the word Black like the plague, then get ready to be uncomfortable.
If your idea of democracy depends on my oppression… if your response to hearing the words Black Lives Matter is to erase them by saying ‘Blue lives/All lives matter’… if you think demanding justice and equality for Black people is divisive… then get ready to be met with resistance. Guess what? Black Lives Matter.
Those knee jerk responses are based on fear IMHO, rooted in a conscious or subconscious perceived threat to beliefs/ideas of superiority and entitlement.
“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” — n/k
My two young sons are ten and seven years old, they will continue to grow into beautiful — Black men.
As it stands, they are inheriting a world that is particularly hostile to them. Myself and their dad, are their first examples of being Black in the diaspora and against a white background. It matters to me that they know who they are, it matters to me that they know they matter despite what they may face once they step outside my door. It matters to me, that they don’t let anybody tell them who they are. It matters to me that they hear me affirm myself and them.
It matters to me that my self-esteem remains intact, despite the fluctuations of emotions both positive and negative that come with being human. I have a core belief that I am worthy of life and its living. Sure, I am not immune to feeling deeply hurt by nasty racist slurs thrown my way, or being poorly treated in any relationship. Everybody feels everything sometimes, there are no emotions that are alien to any human. I am flawed as fuck, I accept this. I extend myself compassion, not because I’m narcissistic — but because I am worth it.
So, listen closely: I’m Black and I’m proud and Black Lives Matter. #truestory
This is self love at its finest. This is both a personal and political revolution.
Thanks to Kay Bolden