Joy Is Protest
This article speaks to black people. Anyone can read it, but this is a missive for us. Here I go:
What you are about to read might seem different from everything you’ve read, heard, and seen in the media. I want to tell you that you don’t have to fight.
Yes, you heard me, you don’t have to put your body in front of cops in order to protest for our lives, you don’t have to lecture every white person who comes into your messages asking for guidance. You do not have to engage that racist co-worker who makes you prove your humanity.
You do not have to do it.
There is space and necessity for all the things I listed above, and I know all of us have done 1 out of 3 those things. But, black people are being killed on all sides. From police brutality, from a pandemic that kills us at 3 times the rate of white people, from medical, institutional, and systemic racism. I could go on, but I won’t, because we all know.
For that sole reason of us being killed on all sides, I want you to take care of yourself. To be alive and black is a protest. To be healthy and black is a protest. To be happy and black is a protest.
A lot of us are riddled with guilt because we haven’t gone to a protest, or we haven’t been posting every five minutes about this particular round of police brutality, or we just feel like we aren’t doing enough. I’m guilty of feeling this guilt. This guilt eats at us, even though we’ve been through this our entire lives. Even though our exhaustion is evidence of our continual fight.
So, I would argue that this fight is as much about the struggle, as it is about being in love, laughing with friends, and enjoying our lives.
We say black lives matter because besides wanting to be alive, we want the freedom to create, love, and be complex humans.
That means we need to rest when needed, that we can promote our business, or post pics of the pretty flower we saw today. That is protest as well. Taking care of ourselves and experiencing joy is so important. Because if we make our whole being about struggle, when we reach the peace we want, we’ll have no idea how to receive it.
I want to be ready to accept joy and peace when it comes to us. And I want y’all with me when it comes.
Join me, we deserve it. Take care of yourself.