Note: Imma go awf. You’ve been warned. -JBHarris
Say her name: Breonna Taylor.
She could have easily been me, my mother, my sister or any other Black woman that I know. I refuse to be told by people whom have no idea what it is like to be a Black woman, to tell Black women how to react! You cannot tell me how best to react to a system that seems hellbent extermination rather than justice and care!
This year proved that to be a Black woman in this nation is to be erased in order to be mimicked; to emote is to be deemed out of order; to demand justice is to be asking too much of a system never designed to protect people that look like me.
There is a rage in me that surfaces when I think of Breonna. When I think of just why this happened, and why it happened! With a close friend of mine, in discussing this event perpetuated by Louisville Police Department, had the audacity to tell me the most incredulous thing. He tried to explain to me why Breonna brought this on herself and the police had to shoot.
Read it again: HE TRIED TO DEFEND THE MURDERS THAT BROKE INTO A WOMAN’S HOUSE AND KILLED HER–AND LIED ABOUT IT.
I told him how I didn’t trust the police, and no desire to again. I explain just how such disbelief rooted in me. And he talked over me! All I kept repeating was, “They killed her in her house. They killed her in my house.” I explained him why he was wrong, and the real fear I had as a Black mother, raising Black children, and having to admit this could have happened to me.
And he talked over me. He mansplained. He dismissed me.
The fact remains I am tired. I am tired of feeling like as a Black woman I cannot truly scream like I need to, as loud as I need to except on paper! Breonna is dead because the police killed her. They killed her in her house, when they should have never been there! So for you to tell me–as a white man that used to be corrections officer!–that you can see it from both vantage points?! Nall, son! No!
I am angry, Torches. I am angry! I want so bad to let that rage go, but I remember what Nikki Giovanni said, “Rage is to writers what water is to fish.” I have given over to it in order to see, in order to feel, in order to be reminded that there is something to be mad about! In being upset, I am granted the right to tell myself to be angry! To snap out when necessary! Everything about this case–about her dying in her house!–is infuriating! As a Black woman, I should be safe in my house! I should feel like I can protect my children! This case of what happened to Breonna, the lackadaisical attitude of law enforcement, and the skinfolk oppression of Daniel Cameron, in the grip of a global pandemic?
It’s too much. It is all just too much!
I find myself saying the soliloquy from SCANDAL that Mama Pope said while locked up. I find myself being anxious at my house, double checking locked doors and debating getting a gun–because my fear is my children finding their mother dead because the police kicked in the wrong door.
In 2020, I have been confronted with the need to have a superpower. And racism, misogyny, misogynoir, equipped and shielded by white supremacy are still a kryptonite. Pardon me while I work on not being a statistic.