Since I became “woke”, I try not to use the term to describe myself, but here goes…
Since I became woke, I have been doing anything I can to emancipate my people.
Even before, I could never abide injustice, could never stand by and watch somebody be bullied; I’ve put livelihoods and my life on the line for people I love and care for, even if it means that they get the justice that they deserve while I suffer. I’m suffering for it now – I’m a shell of the person that I used to be, just for opening my mouth to speak up against racism and discrimination, not only for myself, but for others too.
But this suffering doesn’t deter me; I have my down days, but being more woke has made me more determined to fight for Black rights: dignity, equal opportunities in employment, disability rights, women’s rights, rights to mental health. The latter especially – oh my god – needs to be taken seriously, this country (U.K.) does not take on board the mental and physical impacts of racism. I’m still having nightmares about the racially stimulated psychological torture I went through during my Teacher Training year; I still also struggle with suicide ideation because of these experiences, yet last week after an assessment, I was rejected from Community Mental Health for although being severely mentally unstable, I was simultaneously too high functioning, and therefore unsuitable for their services.
Thankfully, as a Black community we’re finally beginning to talk about Black Mental Health, however this is after years of struggle. Some of us grew up with parents who struggled daily with undiagnosed psychiatric conditions, who were either too afraid to ask for help, for fear that their child(ren) would be taken away from them by the state, or like my mother, just prayed and left it to God instead. Which brings be to my next point.
We, as a community are infamous for covering up abuse; we “leave it to God”, when what we’re really saying is that we do not value our women and children. I read countless headlines about Black celebrities who are going to “pray for R Kelly”. Why? Why aren’t you going to publicly boycott his music and support his victims instead? Radio stations continue to play a known sex offender’s music and venues are continuing to stage his concerts. It’s disgusting. It makes me sick. This predator is making millions and his fans are also showing no signs to disappearing.
What you are really saying is that you value rapists over our women.
Turning your back on a Black man who is a rapist or abuser or predator, is not saying that you have chosen to side with the White man (enemy).
What you are doing, is showing solidarity to a victim who needs it, while the abuser is finally getting the justice they deserve. Open your fucking eyes.
Terry Crews (Image source)
Terry Crews receives hate from his own kin. Now Terry Crews is a legend:
While an NFL Player, he also spoke out about the mistreatment players by some of the doctors and received an incredible backlash because just like Colin Kaepernick, many people in the Black community felt that Crews should kept his mouth shut, taken his cheque and played the game. Now Crews is suffering the same backlash again: Some Black people say that he should’ve kept his mouth closed about his assault. Why? Why are White people allowed to speak up and get so much support from their own, yet we throw our own under the bus? Some Black men are calling him a faggot for allowing the attack to even happen, while some Black women are telling him to keep quiet. Thankfully, there are some kin, like me, who see sense! Who see a man speaking up because he suffered an injustice, but unfortunately even as a man, his voice is incredibly small, very much like Lupita Nyong’o, who was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, but not only was her story vehemently denied, it was also ignored… and I don’t need to spell out why.
And it is not only celebrities that this is happening to; this happened to me and it’s happening to normal Black men and women every single day.
And I’ve had friends say to me, “well why didn’t you keep quiet?” instead of “don’t worry, I’ve got your back”, or even better: “let me take that baton from you” or EVEN BETTER: “where that bitch at? Ima smash her/him up for you.”.
As Black people, we’re always looking around for somebody to save us, but I’m not entirely sure who you’re looking for, because as much as I love being an advocate, I’m pretty tired of fucking saving other people’s arses.
I’m tired and I have my own arse to save.
This is a fight that requires EVERYBODY in the Black community.