Today I’m sharing part of a post I wrote in the fall of 2019 after an officer in Ft. Worth, TX shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in her own home. I wrote this, but didn’t share it at the time. The scary thing is that I actually thought, “if I don’t share it now, I will probably have another opportunity later.”
That thought sickens me, but unfortunately it’s true. Just yesterday, I watched two videos of black men being murdered. Two in one day.
Sadly, the words I wrote in the early morning hours of that October day are still true, but really only scratch the surface. I still find it hard to put into words all the thoughts I’m thinking and emotions I’m feeling a result of what I continue to see.
I had a dream a few weeks ago. It scared me. It shook me. It made me realize that I’m more affected by what’s going on in our country than I thought.
I was one of two black people at a gathering of friends. Something happened, I don’t recall what, but a police officer shows up and singles me out. He accused me of something I didn’t do and tries to get me to confess. I politely tell him I didn’t do it. He continues to pressure me. I get upset because I know am innocent. I maintain my composure, but continue trying to convince the officer he has the wrong person. The officer pulls his gun out and points it at me. My hands go up. I’m defenseless.
During this entire ordeal, others gathered at this place look on without any action. Finally, the only other black person in the room comes to my rescue. He steps between me and the gun. The officer doesn’t shoot. Somehow the situation is diffused. I wake up.
A mix of emotions rushed over me.
Fear. Anger. Anxiety. Frustration. Confusion.
What triggered a dream like that?
I can’t help but think it’s a response to the violence against black people we continue to see in this country. The images I have seen and the stories I have heard remind me that as a black person in America I’m not immune to the impact of the systemic racism that pervades this country. The stories we hear and see everyday remind me that black and brown people are not safe, even in our own homes [or while jogging]. The weight of having brown skin in America is heavy. It’s heavy.