One of the scariest things for me to do during this time of pandemics and racial unrest is to check the news. As if a virus killing hundreds of thousands of people wasn’t horrific enough, there remains an underlying system of violent racism in the U.S. that is taking center stage. Its impact is enough to make me wanna throw my mask and social distancing aside and say F*CK THIS.
I’m not Black but my family is, so this senseless violence hits close enough to home. We’ve created this concept of a safe bubble in which we feel safe and protected from the invisible enemy known as COVID. In the movies, invisible monsters are always the worst. We can’t see them, can’t plan to catch them, can’t thwart them. In this true life horror flick we’re all starring in, the most frightening entity is the same one we call on for help. This entity has historically been portrayed as the good guy. As one of us but with an oath to serve and protect our communities.
As kids, we’re conditioned to trust this entity above all others. At some point, the blinders are removed and the violent truth swoops in and murders our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. I wanna feel safe in the suburb I dwell in. It’s a small city in relation to the big cities nearby and not much happens here. Nothing newsworthy anyway. And while I don’t think anyone will be storming our house, there is always that looming threat when one of my Black family members leaves the house. The “what ifs” carry enough weight to boil my blood and have me subconsciously planning revenge but I know that’s not the route to take.
Although I feel like I’m such a minuscule part of this equation, my best course of action is to be the change I wish to see. Not that I’m a bad person (I’m really not, I promise) but there is always room for improvement so I choose to take control over that which I have control over.
I’ve been practicing self discipline when I’m out on the road because people driving out there are rude and dangerous and just annoying as hell. Instead of not saying anything to essential workers, I now go out of my way to thank them for their service and bravery and let them know they’re appreciated. I’ve been searching for ways to volunteer my services online and am now part of an organization that helps the blind and visually impaired community.
In each of our small bubbles, we still hold the power to change the world and make it a better place. I’m not prepared to go out and protest and put my life in danger and that’s just real talk. I wholeheartedly commend those who do. Now more than ever is the time to go out of our way to spread love because the world needs it. Even if it’s one small gesture at a time in our small communities.
To quote the great Michelle Obama…
When they go low, we go high.