There Is No Coincidence to This
I am having a hard time organizing my thoughts for this one ya’ll and unfortunately, that is a sign of what I am concerned about.
The truth is, I’ve never been torn on the fourth of July. It has always been my sister’s birthday and my sole reason for celebrating. My family never put stock in our celebrating Independence Day, because Black people have never been free in this country. We have never celebrated liberty and justice for all because Indigenous people have never experienced that justice for themselves or their land. The yankee doodle dandy songs have never been seen in my household as songs to be sung by Hispanics/Latinos/Latinas/Latinx or Asians because of their treatment in this country.
In the first four days of July: Jayland Walker was shot 60 times by police, an accused mass shooter was taken into custody alive in Highland Park, Illinois. The Supreme Court weakened tribal sovereignty in Oklahoma. The United States celebrated Independence day and on and on and on…
With all of this happening in just the first four days, there is no coincidence here that this is Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Mental Health Awareness Month. We have been taking some serious mental health hits and it has gotten scary. I’m not sure where we as BIPOC are supposed to put the daily onslaught. At a time when we should all, every one of us, be concerned about the collective mental health of this country, I am most concerned about those of us who identify as BIPOC.
It is hard to continue to watch racism play out over and over and over again in videos, headlines, social media posts and in our own day to day experiences. It is too difficult to chew on the fact that folks justify shooting a Black man during a traffic stop sixty times, but time after time the white suspect, suspected of a mass shooting is taken into custody alive. It is mind-numbing to watch Indigenous communities being treated like people void of culture and incapable of owning and governing their land and communities. It is painful to observe that the conversations on immigration and anti-Asian violence have all but disappeared from the main topics outside of the communities most affected. Infuriating to predict that conversations about Roe v Wade will go on much longer than any of the above mentioned and not because it affects all women, but because white women will center it as a crisis of major proportions and the system will bow to that spotlight.
Not everybody feels like this, that’s where the Torn On the 4th of July comes in. But I’m going to say that more and more people are waking up to the idea that on Independence day more than lofty aspirations are being spoken here, but in fact straight-up lies are being told. As a country, we are not who we profess to be, and never have been, and many are feeling torn between a love and an allegiance for this country and an absolute need for it to get real and end this s**t!!!
We are playing Russian roulette with the mental health of BIPOC. Everything that we are hearing, seeing, experiencing and feeling has to be put somewhere and my fear is that at this point it is either breaking us down or we are taking the hit and then blocking it out. At some point, unless we deal with it, this game that is being played is going to put us in critical condition.
This month is meant to bring awareness to our mental health. If you are white and you don’t understand what I am talking about or feel excluded from my alarm, then please know that I am concerned about you most of all. This is not a time for ignorance to prevail. It is a time to find the resources to educate yourself so that you don’t continue to cause unintended pain by not being able to engage in empathy or conversations around this.
For BIPOC, be aware and get help! Decide what is necessary to take in and what you just can no longer bear. Cry, Scream, Talk, Be Silent, Act, Relax, Love, Fight, Stay With Us, Please Stay With Us! Choose to see tomorrow.
I don’t know what more to say. It’s painful… I ache… But I Am Not Torn!
I am Choosing to be Aware and Take Care.
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