race + gender + politics

Le. F&ck!ng. Sigh.

July 19, 2013

simply tired

I feel… numb?  Though numbness is supposed to be the deprivation of physical sensation, it still feels uncomfortable. Numbness may prevent the feeling of pain, but you can still be aware that injury has occurred.

That’s just one way to describe how I feel. It’s like I’ve been slapped across the pain and yet I am unable to respond. I know the slap happened, I feel a range of emotions and thoughts because of it, yet I am unable to speak, act or move in response. Everything is internal. The struggle and feedback isn’t making it’s way to the outside.

I also just feel tired. Tired of being angry and disappointed in this society, in *the* system, in human kind. I’m tired of having to feel helpless and ignored. I’m tired of convincing White America they should care about my people. I’m tired of being tired. When will the relief come?

For the first time today, I made a somewhat coherent statement about the George Zimmerman verdict on Facebook. So many people have said so many articulate and heart felt comments about it, and I just listen/read and nod in agreement. Sometimes I feel sad and cry, sometimes I feel rage and shake my head with disgust. I haven’t had a conversation with anyone about how I feel or what I think because I don’t know how to process it. It’s like I feel so much without feeling much at all – almost as if it were a dream or an outer body experience. But for all the reactions that I completely understand and agree with, there are many others I don’t understand and don’t agree with. From the people in the media space to people I know in real life, I have seen so many comments that say “I feel bad for Zimmerman” or “race aside…” or “Zimmerman had the right to defend himself” – not once acknowledging that an unarmed teenager, walking in a neighborhood he did belong in, was killed because of how he looked or acknowledging that this unarmed teenager also had the right to defend himself when being stalked by a man unfamiliar and unidentified. And I felt compelled to speak out against it.

its been almost a week since the verdict was announced and i am still unable to process my feelings. im still angry, sad, disappointed, and tired simultaneously. i have so many thoughts and opinions that i dont know how to articulate. im at a loss. not over the verdict itself – the law failed Trayvon Martin and other Black boys like him long before George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his “peers” – but over the response by many people in this country, many of whom i know. it truly offends and frightens me that people are so dismissive of many people’s reactions and feelings surrounding this case. Black people cant be outraged and disappointed that once again the justice system has worked to protect those who are not people of color. Black people cant be outraged because “this wasnt about race”. Black people cant be outraged because others are afraid the outraged will riot. this whole post racial/color blind/we-are-all-one-race-the-human-race kumbaya attitude is not IMPROVING our society or erasing the systematic and institutionalized racism (or sexism, heterosexism, and other isms for that matter) in this country. ignoring racism and racial injustice isnt going to make race/racism go away. telling Black people to relax and “stop playing the race card” because they are constantly being unacknowledged isnt going to make race/racism go away.

I’m tired of people saying “well are you surprised?” or “I can’t believe you’re surprised” – as if it’s unreasonable of me to have hope that justice just might prevail, and a Black person won’t go unacknowledged. No, I’m not surprised, but that doesn’t make the disappointment and hurt any less real and present. Again, the verdict is just one small sting in a long line of injustice and inequality against Trayvon and others like him. But the weight that this message holds is so great, it’s devastating that this goes on record to say “it’s OK to shoot Black teens because by nature they are suspicious, up to no good by default. They are animals to be hunted and stopped.” And for anyone who thinks that sentiment is a too strong and unfair – EAT ME.

I could go on and on, but I’m tired. I don’t want to. I can’t focus on work, I am not motivated to be “busy”. All I want to do is ponder, read about and listen to discussions about this case and try to make sense of the situation. I want to go to rallies, protests, and be part of something. Because I’m tired of living in a world that shows time and time again, that unless you are a straight White land-owning male, you don’t matter because this country wasn’t built for you. You can raise this country, build this country, make money for this country, fight for this country, but this country is not for you. And there is little going on today that would have me believe otherwise.

Wishing you the peace of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin,
~The Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired

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  • Reply madscientist7 July 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    “unless you are a straight White land-owing male”

    you forgot to add Protestant to that. i feel just like you feel. thankfully right now i don’t have a job to worry about. my tv has stayed on msnbc or hln (sometimes fox just to see what conservatives have to say) for the past month.

    even today after Obama’s press conference i twitter searched “Obama and nigger” (at the suggestion of one of my followers) and i was disgusted even more. it seems like the far right and far left just have no hope in this country.

    honestly it makes me want to leave. i know that no country is perfect but when i feel like i can’t even have to right to walk the streets without fear of being gunned down AND there are people who are gloating about this being a victory; i clearly need to go where i’m considered a full human being.

    between this zimmerman case, what’s going on in texas and virginia, troy davis, etc i’m losing hope in humanity.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      i think atheist white males (and Mormons apparently) are doing pretty well… they may not be running for office, but they are doing fine.

      let the rest of the world tell it – those people who call Obama nigger and other racial slurs are a very small fraction of the population. and that if you DONT use such language, you arent racist.

      im telling you Amsterdam might be the move. pretty diverse. dont know if theres issues of race/color there, but it seemed cool to me. i got my passport…

  • Reply Wu Young, Agent of M.E. July 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Dope post!

    This is the first time since 9/11 that I’ve been this bent out of shape about a national event. Coincidentally both events reminded me that some outside force can choose to reign hell upon me me and either way the obscene randomness of it may be my undoing.

    I hate the fact that so white folks are minimizing this shit and what it’s really about because there is no possible way for them to relate. Everyone was walking around Monday like shit was good. They have no way of relating to the fear of having a mental check list to run through when they leave home. They don’t know the hesitancy caused by driving a quarter of a mile to Wal-Mart for Zyrtec and spending 20 minutes on the roadside while a rookie in a Crown Vic calls his Sgt in an unmarked to ask you “Have you been to the mall tonight, Mr. Young?”

    I’m just fucking tired.

    As for leaving, nah. My family has picked too much cotton and plowed too many soybeans near the SC coast for that. THIS IS MY SHIT! I’m married to you, America! You can turn your back to me in bed all you want…I’m staying.

  • Reply Wu Young, Agent of M.E. July 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    And to the following mouth-breathers

    Fox News- Y’all make Joseph Goebbels proud.
    Cornell West- I used to like you but you managed to turn Trayvon’ s death in to a rant against Obama and somehow linked drone strikes. Really!?!?
    Travis Smiley and Lupe Fiasco- I done know if they’ve opened their traps yet but eff ’em just because .

    I’m done. I promise.

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