I am not a good Negro.
I am mad, and let everyone know. I am not able to sweep away madness, and laugh it away. If asked if I’m upset, I answer, “Hell yes, I’m mad.”
I am the mother of black children, the wife of a black man, and sister of a black man, and the cousin of black men. The same black men that are being hunted by law enforcement. Hell yes, I’m mad.
I have been in the city of my birth almost 40 years, and not seen policing change, interaction with police improve, and see no reason to believe Blue Lives Matter, because Blue Lives don’t exist. Hell yes, I’m mad. My skin color is a weapon to portions of law enforcement.
Just this morning, while going through my social media, I saw a post from the page titled Thin Blue Line Society. In that post, they were selling these tote bags with the scripture from the Book of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 9:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Wait a damn minute.
Now, I don’t wanna hear anything else about the ‘good police’ and ‘how hard and thankless their jobs are.’ I don’t wanna hear it! You wanna know what’s hard? Being the wife, mother, daughter, son, husband of someone whom is black. You wanna know what’s hard? Seeing someone you love reduced to blog notes and hashtags. You wanna know what’s hard? Explaining to your child that because you live where you live, you have to adjust your conduct so you don’t make police suspicious, so that they ‘fear for their lives.’ Hell yes, I’m mad.
And stop asking us to stop being mad.
Stop asking us to stop being vocal.
Stop asking us to wait. STOP ASKING US TO WAIT.
“…we’ve been floating the country on credit…”
-Jesse Williams, activist/actor
Blessed are the peacemakers, indeed.
But what peace? At what cost of peace? What peace are they protecting? I really need to know because, hell yes, I’m mad.
There can be no peace where the innocent are not safe, and those charged to ensure their peace care not for it because it is of no benefit.
What am I mad about? You really wanna know?
Aight, I’ll tell you.
I’m mad that it has taken this long for this nation to realize the cancerous nature of fugitive slave law policing. From that cancer, it has metastasized to the body that we call justice.
I’m mad that my skin tone, something I cannot control, is seen as a weapon due to this cancerous nature of current policing that has its place in Fugitive Slave Law practices.
I’m mad that my husband can’t drive his car in North STL county without being stopped because he drives a newer model car, and its nice and the County police automatically run the plates since a black man is driving it, it must be stolen.
I’m mad at 13 I saw my cousin accosted by STLMPD in my grandmother’s front door.
I’m mad at 9 my father got pulled over with my younger siblings in the car for nothing. For nothing.
I’m mad that Missouri is now on the TRAVEL ADVISORY for the NAACP because the ‘peacemakers’ don’t know that Black Lives Matter. In 2017.
I’m mad that in order for me to bring attention to something, for us all to bring attention to what is happening to us as a people, we damn near burned a city to the ground–and for that? For us demanding justice and pointing out bullsh-t and hypocrisy? They rolled Bearcats, teargas and pulled assault rifles on people of my hue not even a mile from my house, but I’m supposed to be okay with it because ‘they’re the police.’
I’m mad because my voice is damn near stolen on a day to day basis, but it comes through my hands.
I’m mad that I have to fight to be seen as human, when everything that is human about me is taken for profit.
But again, blessed are the peacemakers.
The activists–the policy changers, the steady, sentient clergy, the engaged politicians, the actual law-abiding, non-murderous police–those that really want to effect change, are peacemakers.
They work, we work, for the benefit of all those that will benefit for the better of a situation. They, us, we work to bring light and noise to things that people want to silence and muffle and stunt. Peace is what is given after struggle, the reward for such work. It is not the job of the peacemakers to ensure the ease and comfort of their oppressors.
It is not the job of peacemakers to make peace with things that prevent peace. Nothing about that is peacemaking. That is being complicit. Hell yes, I’m mad.
You want to know what peacemaking is?
Peacemaking requires bravery. You must be willing to confront the quiet, the quiet is comfortable. Peacemaking requires compassion. Your compassion must compel you to action. Peacemaking requires boldness. It requires you to be able to roar in the face of those that intend to silence you to immobilize you.
Peacemaking requires wisdom and strength–they work together as weapons to help you focus and assist and help, even if that person is yourself. And those things which I cannot do, I give to the Almighty.
So, yes…I’m mad. I have good reason to be. But I have a better reason to be a peacemaker, for anger is useless put towards a positive purpose.
Be a peacemaker.