An open letter to my white coworkers on days like today
July 07, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Dear white people, I just have one thing to say today. It's not for everybody. I'm tired. My sisters are tired. My brothers are tired. More importantly, all of us are scared. We're afraid because not even complying is good enough anymore.
"They'd be alive if they didn't act so...free."Why? Why is my brother so intimidating to you? If you're so scared, why are you the authority? I'm not a hateful person, so anyone who is not a person of color is not a target for my anger, nor will I place innocent people in the boxes reserved for those who seem hell-bent on genocide. My father is a white man and I’m a mixed woman, but he gets it because he gets me. You might not have that 30-year context, so please, keep reading. I just need y'all to know something. Black people have to face trauma like this (not even 24 hours apart, mind you) then, go and be around like nothing happened. When do we get to mourn? Why can't we be hurt? We live this recycled grief and then have to be in spaces next to people who have NO CLUE. Privilege works that way. Today, I'm in an all-white work space. Everyone is cheerful and I am wearing a mask because all I want to do is scream. They don't get it and they never will, and living that truth EVERY SINGLE DAY is exhausting. Please understand and show compassion. We don’t have to talk about it, and it would probably be better if you didn’t even mention it. But be aware that today, I’m sad, I’m frustrated and, as hard as it is for you to understand, I don’t feel safe and I don’t feel free.