Our Own Suffocation
Let's be clear. Infuriation over the abuse and murder of Black people at the hands of law enforcement should not be construed as a neglect of everyday violence that occurs way too often in local communities. In fact, there is a direct connection between the internalized anger illustrated by shootings on street corners and the oppressive atmosphere that police have embedded into those same communities. People...ALL PEOPLE, want safety and love, and the legacy of policing in places where Black people live have been the antithesis of safety and love. The optics of these moments, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, have contributed to the sense of hopelessness and suffocation of spirit that many of us have internalized and sadly perform and replicate on each other. We know pain and hurt way too well.
Rage against this very consistent machine should be understood as necessary. In fact, if we were not enraged, I would question how much we cared about ourselves. People chanting #BLACKLIVESMATTER should be critically understood as folks gasping for recognition...recognition that they want to live beyond state oppression and their own replication of oppression. They want to breathe, and every time one of us says that they should be infuriated over the internecine violence in their neighborhoods INSTEAD of state violence we become complicit in their suffocation--in our own suffocation.
Breathing and living beyond any violence is a noble cause to yell and shout for. How would you describe yelling and screaming AT folks who want to live, instead of aligning yourself with them in their fight for air?