Forgive the vernacular. At times like this, it just comes out.
I should be writing a speech. I could be doing my homework. I would be working on my cure for racism. But I’m not, I won’t, I can’t.
I feel like Sisyphus today. Like nothing we say or do matters. It didn’t matter that Terence Crutcher had his hands up. He’s dead. It didn’t matter that Keith Lamont Scott was carrying in an open carry state. He’s still dead.
Remember: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign; no more water, the fire next time.” Charlotte is on fire; Tulsa might soon be again. I need to be doing my homework and job work, but right now, I’m doing this.
But let me tell you what I’m NOT fiddin’ ta do:
- Waste my time arguing with racists. I should keep countering ignorance with knowledge. Refuse to let any racist say any thing that’s racist. I’ve done it for decades, and Facebook’s certainly a lot faster than writing editorials for The Davidsonian. But I’m not as young as I used to be. I don’t just have homework, I have pay-the-bills work. So, I don’t have time or energy to deal with people who, if they didn’t think racism was real before cell cams and dash cams proved otherwise, should now know it is. Ignorant is not knowing. Stupid is ignoring what you know. And I don’t play well with stupid.
- Be civil. If I happen to break what-I’m-NOT-fiddin’-ta-do rule #1 (and I shall) I won’t be nice to you. Nice and mad as hell really don’t go together. Nice gets Black people killed. If you step out there with racist bullshit, I won’t hold back. I really did before.
- Try to see your side. There’s only one side. Ours. Why? Because it’s the only true one. When Black cops, angry Black men and Black vigilantes start killing White people, White traffic victims and White children — and getting away with it — then you’ll have a story. I still won’t listen but I might at least be interested. Death trumps dialogue.
- Try to make you feel better. See what-I’m-NOT-fiddin’-ta-do rule #3.
- Bless your heart or wish you well. I did that recently. But I really didn’t mean it. In fact I never do. You have no heart. If you’re doing well, somebody Black died at some point so you could. I’m unapologetically Black.
- Teach you what you need to teach yourself. Smarter people than me have written really good books that do a really good job of explaining why we riot, why we make everything about race, why we don’t want to hear about all lives mattering. One of these days, I’ll make a list. In the meantime, Google works really well.
- Stop making everything about race. You started it. I will when you do.
- Consider you my friend. You never were. You’re not now. You’re not going to be. And I’m not just unfriending you on Facebook. I’m unfriending you for life.
- Stop answering real questions from real friends. I have Black friends who disagree. And I get it, I really do. Some days I feel the same way. On those days, you won’t get answers from me. But you won’t get what-I’m-NOT-fiddin’-ta-do rule #2, either. Because if you’re still my friend on Facebook, if you’ve been my friend since I started this fight or decided to be in medias res, you’re trying to get it, even if you sometimes don’t. I understand you can’t. But I love and respect you for trying. You can ask me. You may not like my answers, but as long as you’re willing to listen and learn, I’m willing to tell and teach.
- STFU. Nikki Giovanni wrote this about writers: I know this profession does not easily lend itself to friendships. Our friends are either deathly afraid we will write about them or terribly bored at hearing the same subject discussed from all possible points of view. It’s what writers do — talk. So, to those I’ve written about or bored with my constant discussions about race, I’m sorry. Like Nikki, …if I was looking for somebody to hang out with I’d be the last person I’d choose. Everything is about race. If you don’t want to hear it, unfriend me and enjoy your head hole in the sand.