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The Silent Suffocation of Black Skin

So many of us can't put into words what we're feeling. The trauma of seeing a man killed in front of us is hard enough. But when you couple that pain with the callous disregard the officer showed Mr. Floyd your heart breaks and your soul weeps. Your soul is not weeping solely because of the act itself, but your soul weeps at the palpable moment his life seemingly equates to no value. The carelessness of that officer's actions brought to bare black bodies packed on ships, auctioned off in southern states, swinging from trees, taken down by hoses, blood soaked traffic stops and now this. In that moment the audible cries of a people went silent as parts of us slipped away the moment Mr. Floyd took his last breath. We stood still, our hearts beating in our chest as we ceased to be visible as the moment, and so many more like it placed the price tag of our existence at zero. The pain of the constant messaging that we are less than, that the richness of our hues cause great distress and hostility simply because we showed up. Daily an entire race of people are relentlessly penalized by the actions of this one or that one in the dangerous game of sweeping generalizations. Teaching our children to strive for an education falsely believing that will make the difference, and yes it will. That difference comes in the form of having your race firmly attached to your accomplishments: the black doctor, the black nurse, the black anchor, the black attorney, the black judge....the black woman, the black man. Sullen eyes go through our mental rolodex searching for answers we don't have because we never asked the question. We know we're black, born with two eyes, two legs, two arms and one mouth just like you, we are not curious about that, but you are. The casing that we come in was selected for us by our Creator and within the walls of that containment we carry a strength and tolerance that helps us navigate through your discontent. You must stop making us your target while at the same time making us responsible for decades of systemic racism and implicit bias. We can't resolve this for you, we can only explain how it feels to receive it. The thief knows why he is stealing, the victim is left with the theft. - Lisa Walker Thomas

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