Dear Black College Students —

Y'all are powerfully brilliant.

On the tops of your shoulders and within the depths of your souls, you carry boundless potential. You have both the grace and gutter to navigate the collegiate landscape.

But your brilliance isn't bulletproof.

Which is why you need to be aware of the unnerving trend of more and more states adopting laws that permit concealed weapons on college campuses. Guns can now populate previously restricted spaces: In libraries, parking lots, and dining halls. To prepare for tailgates, students can pack their liquor, body paint, and holsters; Seminars will have book bags that secure graphing calculators, smartphones, and handguns.

Guns on college campuses will influence the dynamics of your academic environment. It will stifle the exchange of competing ideas. It will make you hesitate to defend your ideology and identity.

Black college students — this law isn't for y'all.

It won't empower you to protect yourselves or the ones around you; It won't protect you from those that abuse it and use a distorted interpretation to rationalize violence. Holding that constitutional power — the ability to decide life our death, or between protection or submission — doesn't belong to you.

No one gives a damn about you going through all the appropriate and legal steps to purchase your firearm.

You could do all the right things: Get a background test and then purchase your handgun from a gun store or a pawn shop or a gun show or a friend or a neighbor.

It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter whether or not you obtained it legally or illegally (that's a question asked postmortem). It doesn't matter whether your skill set is novice or professional.

Philando's murder taught us this: Second Amendment rights is a Whites only freedom.

It doesn't even matter whether or not you even possess a gun.

Imaginary guns tucked in hoodies and belt loops or disguised as cell phones and wallets are enough to justify your death.

Implicit bias has already declared you a threat.

It makes people think that you're just goons that read books. That your genetics associate you more with savagery than with scholarship. That you are inherently violent.

Microaggressions that were once mosquito stings are now bullet wounds; They are a slippery slope to fatalities. Especially as we live in a state of Trump-backed bigotry, "shoot first ask questions later" police, and a legal system that reaffirms all of the bullshit.

Your brilliance will not protect you.

I don't know what will.