My love,

Today, I struggled with fear– fear that there is a genocide of noticeably-black and brown people going on in America, through unfair prison sentencing, detention of “illegal” immigrants, unequal education, cop “mistakes”. I struggled with that fear until I felt afraid of getting up from my living room couch because I am honestly afraid that this thing that is killing us black and brown person is going to come get me too or it’s going to come get the rest of my family. In America, a white person can shoot an unarmed black teenager walking down the street and two million people have to petition to have that white person prosecuted. In this same America, a black man kills the people sexually abusing him for years and is sentenced to execution, to death and hundreds of thousands of people have to fight so hard to stop it. In this America, a world-famous black college professor, chair of a department in an ivy-league university goes to jail for giving a cop lip who is questioning his being in his own house. And the crazy thing is- they’re actually related, they are FAMILY. How can I stop being afraid? I am afraid that despite paying taxes, going to college, telling the truth in all things I can, valuing life of all creatures, refusing to raise a hand to protect myself even when I am assaulted, that someday, I could be found guilty of something I did not do, like so many people “exonerated” after serving many years on death row. I feel this fear because I AM BLACK, noticeably so.

To give myself some strength, to give myself some sustenance, I try to think about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglas. I remember that EVEN WHEN BLACK PEOPLE WERE SLAVES, & WERE NOT BELIEVED TO BE HUMAN, these people STOOD UP! They spoke truth to power. I think of all my Jewish brethren being killed some slowly, some quickly by the German government for years, and I know that we must tell this thing that keeps killing us noticeably-black and brown people that we are equal, that this genocide must stop, that all killing whether for retribution or so-called justice, must STOP. Capital punishment must go. NO MORE PRISONS. No more death row. No more life-in-prison because that is not life but torture. Not torture but teaching! HOPE & CHANGE. Find another way.

Love to the universe, peace unto all things,

O

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