8 Things Black Folk Don’t Have to Do in Light of the AME Massacre
By Arielle Newton
1. Justify or police our rage.
We have the right to feel and express our rage in a manner we deem appropriate. My only ask is that Black folk aren’t harmed by other Black folk.
2. Apologize for our trauma or anger.
We do not need to further relinquish what little power we have. To anyone.
3. Stay informed of every update or development.
The triggers are real. If constantly being plugged in to this tragedy is causing mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual angst, it’s okay to power down and step back. Personally, I have not hate-watched any news coverage because I do not feel compelled to pad the pockets of white supremacist propaganda.
4. Explain ourselves to anyone — especially white folk.
Explanations given to those who don’t agree or understand your analysis takes up entirely too much emotional space. Especially when these explanations are given to white people who are comfortable benefiting from a system that literally hates us.
5. Include or involve the feelings of white folk in our responses.
The last thing on our minds should be how white people will respond to our expressions. If anything, they need to be concerned about how their expressions are received by us. We aren’t obligated to hold white hate, denialism, and guilt.
6. Give up space.
Space is yours to take. Especially if you’re from the most marginalized corners of Blackness.
7. Be peaceful.
Peace is a subjective, shallow term that upholds the status quo. Being “peaceful” — especially when mandated by the agents of white supremacy — is coded language which tells us to stay quiet, assimilate, and internalize our oppression. We are not obligated to be or remain peaceful when “peace” only exists to solidify racism.
Forgiveness does not make us more profound or conscious than our oppressors. This beast that was invited into Black space and murdered these gracious host does not deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness is not justice. Forgiveness — especially since we have not yet had room to decompress or process — is at best, an impediment and at worst, a distraction.
Photo: Black Millennials/Screenshot