Frustration sets in as I navigate through my expectations of my white friends and whether those expectations are fair or not. When another race-related event turns up, I find myself waiting for them to reach out to me. I don't need a full conversation or a therapy session with them--just a text asking if I'm okay. I find myself yearning for their acknowledgement that the racism underlying both the daily realities and big, mainstream-worthy headlines affects me in a different way. Then I have to inevitably sort through those thoughts and question if I'm really asking for their recognition of my hurt or for their permission to express it.
I am agonizing over what to say. I could say I'm in mourning, but what I'm mourning has been burdening my heart for far longer than this election season. The tension knotted in my stomach, the nausea thick in my throat is not new. For years I have grieved for the divided state of my … Continue reading tears in the night
What does it mean when a black man, a black woman, a black child cannot drive home, walk from the store, go up the stairs, enjoy a playground without being framed as a threat? We may not have signs that say Whites Only or Blacks Only in our stores and bathrooms anymore, but that doesn't mean this world belongs any more to Black people than it used to. Racism has crafted insidious new ways of fortifying itself in our nation, and by convincing white people that its symptoms (urban poverty, gang warfare, substance abuse, high incarceration rates, unjust police shootings, mental illness) root itself in black culture and personal choice, white people have the freedom to avoid confronting the systemic and historical elements of the problem.
I learned in a social work course about grief, loss, and bereavement that the stages of grief do not exist. I watched my classmates' eyes widen as the professor explained with an irreverent toss of hand that there is no slow, steady progression through the realms of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Grief is … Continue reading respite
Peter Liang was convicted. Relief passed through my body like an exhalation. Then the tension crept in, like it always does, twisting and kneading in my chest, my stomach--the tension roused from the realization that the world is agonizingly far from what it should be. Tension arises from the chasm between the shalom of Eden … Continue reading the rift of names
riot: a violent public disorder, specifically a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent The Merriam-Webster definition of "riot" brings to mind familiar headlines clamoring about shards of broken store windows, flames shooting out of vandalized houses, vicious swarms of malcontents pummeling police blockades with … Continue reading grace riot