I Took My Time Writing About George Floyd
I took my time writing about George. Not because I didn’t have thoughts worth sharing, but because George was different. George was family to a very good friend of mine and I didn’t want my profile adding to the stream of images and hashtags already flooding his timeline. Against my better judgment, I watched the video. I watched a Black Man die in broad day light… on camera… at the hands of police… again.
There was nothing I could offer at the time except my anger. I sat with it until it grew into rage and until that rage grew into vengeance. A life for a life seemed fair. Chavin’s head planted on the precinct steps aligned with the heads of his goons who took part in George’s murder seemed fitting. But you know, that’s not the type of thing people want to see on my Instagram. The truth, my truth, is complex and isn’t always pretty. Online, I’ll delete a nasty comment to avoid any of my followers becoming offended by something said by a troll. Online, I cut back on cuss words because even at 27, most of my family isn’t privy to the fact that sailor is actually my second language. Online, I do my best to create a peaceful escape for my readers that need a break from their own realities and could use a little love and laughter.
I knew that posting what I felt about the murder I watched would add fuel to an already blazing fire. People were just as pissed as I was. Just as hurt and just as broken. George’s murder was different. Sure I was saddened that yet another innocent man was murdered, but I was more enraged that it happened in front of a sidewalk with at least three or four onlookers. I couldn’t understand how in the entire f*ck anyone, scared or not, could stand front row and not intervene.
I logged off. Days passed, tears fell and a throbbing headache remained. As the worlds guilt, sadness and worry increased, so did the phone calls, text messages and private messages. For the first time, a few non-black friends and acquaintances reached out to ask the same question, “How are you holding up?” This isn’t new for me or for Black people in general. This is everyday. This is non-stop. This is reality. “I’m good,” I’d say. Suppose instead I said I’m angry and the only thing that would bring me comfort was blood? Was a knee on the neck of each officer involved. What if I said my peace wouldn’t come from protesting but from playing man hunt with a revolver with the men who hunted Ahmaud Aubrey, the officers who sprayed bullets into the apartment of Breonna Taylor, and every other murderer who has taken the life of an unarmed Black Man or Woman who’s stories we hear and those who’s stories go unspoken.
I wrote instead. I shared those writings with trusted friends and maybe one day, I’ll share them with you. But I’m still angry. And after the outrage and the shock and the noise quiets down, my fire will still be burning. What I can say is that I have been taking time to refocus my energy into more productive outlets. My emotions are valid. Your emotions, equally as valid. But we’ve got to stay focused on the game being played. Organize outside of social media. Take actions steps after your protest ends. Use your voice, your art, your sound however the f*ck you see fit to resist and dismantle this racist institution that has had its foot on our necks for over 400 years.
Organize in all the ways you’ve been taught you should. Revisit the blueprints — you know what they are. Educate yourselves and support (physically and financially) the many reputable organizations doing the work. Most importantly, take time to rest and recover, but never stop fighting.
– Yolanda Danae’