I feel… numb? Though numbness is supposed to be the deprivation of physical sensation, it still feels uncomfortable. Numbness may prevent the feeling of pain, but you can still be aware that injury has occurred.
That’s just one way to describe how I feel. It’s like I’ve been slapped across the pain and yet I am unable to respond. I know the slap happened, I feel a range of emotions and thoughts because of it, yet I am unable to speak, act or move in response. Everything is internal. The struggle and feedback isn’t making it’s way to the outside.
I also just feel tired. Tired of being angry and disappointed in this society, in *the* system, in human kind. I’m tired of having to feel helpless and ignored. I’m tired of convincing White America they should care about my people. I’m tired of being tired. When will the relief come?
For the first time today, I made a somewhat coherent statement about the George Zimmerman verdict on Facebook. So many people have said so many articulate and heart felt comments about it, and I just listen/read and nod in agreement. Sometimes I feel sad and cry, sometimes I feel rage and shake my head with disgust. I haven’t had a conversation with anyone about how I feel or what I think because I don’t know how to process it. It’s like I feel so much without feeling much at all – almost as if it were a dream or an outer body experience. But for all the reactions that I completely understand and agree with, there are many others I don’t understand and don’t agree with. From the people in the media space to people I know in real life, I have seen so many comments that say “I feel bad for Zimmerman” or “race aside…” or “Zimmerman had the right to defend himself” – not once acknowledging that an unarmed teenager, walking in a neighborhood he did belong in, was killed because of how he looked or acknowledging that this unarmed teenager also had the right to defend himself when being stalked by a man unfamiliar and unidentified. And I felt compelled to speak out against it.
its been almost a week since the verdict was announced and i am still unable to process my feelings. im still angry, sad, disappointed, and tired simultaneously. i have so many thoughts and opinions that i dont know how to articulate. im at a loss. not over the verdict itself – the law failed Trayvon Martin and other Black boys like him long before George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his “peers” – but over the response by many people in this country, many of whom i know. it truly offends and frightens me that people are so dismissive of many people’s reactions and feelings surrounding this case. Black people cant be outraged and disappointed that once again the justice system has worked to protect those who are not people of color. Black people cant be outraged because “this wasnt about race”. Black people cant be outraged because others are afraid the outraged will riot. this whole post racial/color blind/we-are-all-one-race-the-human-race kumbaya attitude is not IMPROVING our society or erasing the systematic and institutionalized racism (or sexism, heterosexism, and other isms for that matter) in this country. ignoring racism and racial injustice isnt going to make race/racism go away. telling Black people to relax and “stop playing the race card” because they are constantly being unacknowledged isnt going to make race/racism go away.
I’m tired of people saying “well are you surprised?” or “I can’t believe you’re surprised” – as if it’s unreasonable of me to have hope that justice just might prevail, and a Black person won’t go unacknowledged. No, I’m not surprised, but that doesn’t make the disappointment and hurt any less real and present. Again, the verdict is just one small sting in a long line of injustice and inequality against Trayvon and others like him. But the weight that this message holds is so great, it’s devastating that this goes on record to say “it’s OK to shoot Black teens because by nature they are suspicious, up to no good by default. They are animals to be hunted and stopped.” And for anyone who thinks that sentiment is a too strong and unfair – EAT ME.
I could go on and on, but I’m tired. I don’t want to. I can’t focus on work, I am not motivated to be “busy”. All I want to do is ponder, read about and listen to discussions about this case and try to make sense of the situation. I want to go to rallies, protests, and be part of something. Because I’m tired of living in a world that shows time and time again, that unless you are a straight White land-owning male, you don’t matter because this country wasn’t built for you. You can raise this country, build this country, make money for this country, fight for this country, but this country is not for you. And there is little going on today that would have me believe otherwise.
Wishing you the peace of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin,
~The Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired