“In your hearts and minds never forget Yusef Hawkins.
And when you’re walkin’ you know what you’re sportin’?
Black on black. Remember that. It’s important.”Chubb Rock
I won’t be writing about Trayvon, or Sean, or Yusef, or any of the millions of others who have been denigrated and hunted by those who were taught via centuries of virulent propaganda that blackness is a symbol of criminality, inferiority, and inhumanity. Frankly, I’ll be damned if I let my pain serve as someone else’s entertainment.
For that is all it is to those for whom this marked status isn’t a way of life. We are stress balls for racist trolls to abuse, cathartic proxies for allies seemingly afflicted by a bizarre societal form of Münchausen syndrome (in which our pain and oppression is used to shift attention to their discomfort with it), and story fodder for those who would take our cries of suffering and battered bodies to fill a niche market that does not even allow for us to be heard without a comforting filter of whiteness to serve as a buffer or financial beneficiary.
Why would I write to those who have no interest in changing the status quo—no interest in combating or questioning the anti-black sentiment within American culture that has resulted in the mistreatment and murder of black people? Why share my words if they have no impact?