Dear black people, when Alton Sterling died and another four along with him were crucified by the public and preserved as hashtags, I was not surprised. I was angry and I was upset, but not surprised at all. Now, I am tired. I am tired of having the world look at our skin color and deem it evil. I am tired of the cops being able to walk freely while our brothers and sisters die out in the streets and the world moves on without a beat. I am tired of this becoming a constantly trivialized, becoming a sick reality for our community. I am tired of seeing videos of our people bleeding out and then being shared throughout the internet just to become another viral trend, video or hashtag. I am tired of the part of the world that looks to us, to our people who are asking for help and acknowledgment, and don’t bother to reach out I am tired of the part of the world that doesn’t see a problem with that. I am tired of our black innocents being deemed as thugs and ghetto, but white criminals being seen as mentally ill and troubled. I am tired of seeing the white beings coddled and cradled in their privilege and not giving any thought for us. I am tired of the people continually giving us their condolences and letting us know they are with us, but not doing anything to help us in our time of need. I am tired of seeing our people’s music, art, culture, fashion, hair and words appropriated and worn by people who don’t know their significance and don’t care to learn. I am tired of our fellow POCs forgetting the difference in our relationship with racism. I am tired of the #AllLivesMatter BS, of people who couldn’t care less about the black community and the terrifying reality we face every single day. Because #AllLivesMatter will never mean anything until Black Lives Matter; until people realize that that’s all that we want.
I want to wipe away your tears and tell you that the future is much brighter, but I can’t. As we’re blamed for actions we did not commit, as we are deemed as violent when peaceful, I cannot. I can only say that this will never be forgotten. Black people will continue to prosper and rise from the ashes of all those from the ground, no matter what gets in our way, we will rise. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and though it seems impossibly far now with six deaths in two days, we will reach it one day.
Dear families of the dead, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve to have your sons and your fathers and your mothers and your daughters be buried. To be dragged there at the hands of those expected to protect us. To be remembered and conserved as another hashtag - as another black body put into the ground at the hands of a system that sees no mercy for our people. I am sorry that the world has come to this, that situations like these still exist. I will never be able to feel your pain, but I, along with all who care about this tragedy grieve for you. Nothing will ever make this okay, no matter what. The black community and our allies will rally for you and will continue to dismantle the system that believes their deaths to be justice, to be justifiable. We will not avenge, but bring true justice and peace to your families without using the violence that was used against your loved ones. We care, we are there for you and we will work for you. Your loved ones will never be forgotten.
Dear allies, I am tired of hashtags, I am tired of empty words, I am tired of only solidarity — I want actions. We are not capable of doing this job alone, we need help. Acknowledge our pain and find your own way to help, no matter how small it is. We don’t need anyone to speak over us, we need people to speak with us. We need to use our tools to our advantage and make the world better for our future.
Article by: Adele