High blood pressure. Diabetes. Fat. Pregnancy. Childbirth. Medical racism and negligence. Domestic violence. Neighborhood violence. Police. Covid-19. Imprisonment. Racial violence. Gender violence. Environmental violence. Hair relaxers. Fried chicken. Poverty.
Every day I’m confronted with the various ways I am told I will die younger than almost every other race or identity because whiteness has successfully pathologized Blackness and Black womxnhood into diseases of birth. I regularly receive messages of how my existence makes me more likely to die young — not because of the impacts of white supremacist patriarchal capitalism on my life but for being born Black and presenting as female.
Seeing story after story of Black womxn like me being murdered at the hands of their partners, co-workers, police, medical staff, and then being told that somehow, it’s our fault. If only we’d picked better partners; better jobs; complied; avoided getting sick, been more insistent. If only we’d magically avoided living among predators who seek to take full advantage of our expendability. If only our seeking help wasn’t interpreted as laziness, drug-seeking, or belligerence. If only we knew our place. If only we were polite. If only. If only. If only. If only we remember that our place is subservient and grateful to white people for all the harm they cause because trickle-down benevolence nourished in our blood is the white supremacist patriarchal capitalist way and the less we fight it, the better amerikkka could be. Everything other than our complete subservience and sacrifice is a problem and everything that happens regardless of what we do is always our fault. And if we can’t understand that, then we shouldn’t exist at all. At least, that’s the choice we’re presented whenever we resist. Consent and suffer. Endure and suffer. Resist and suffer. And always remember that we brought that suffering on ourselves for daring to exist in the first place…because somehow, that’s our fault, too.
I don’t know how to combat this messaging that I’m not supposed to exist. Other than sheer spite, I don’t know how I’m supposed to want to keep being a part of this shitty ass world that openly tells me I ain’t shit. Repeatedly. Loudly. Aggressively. My every decision scrutinized and condemned. My worth tied to my usefulness and my usefulness never being enough. Why would I want to be part of a society that mocks and ridicules me and people like me at every turn? A society that then tries to convince me that my dislike of this is me creating problems where there are none? How is this supposed to be okay?
I’m currently living through a pandemic where I’m being told on all sides that I should expect to die because I’m unambiguously Black and fat and a womxn with pre-existing conditions almost ensuring that medical staff won’t give a shit about my health because my death can be easily masked. I am shown time and time again that there is a lack of empathy simply because of my appearance and when I die of whatever neglect I experience, it will not be documented and justice will not be served. I am told that my potential death an acceptable loss that I need to come to terms with because this society is doing everything they can to ensure it. Every government in this country is working to fast-track the expiration dates on Black people like me and, frankly, I’m getting tired of resisting the message. It’s a lot of work to want to stay alive and I do not have the will to fight for it anymore. I’m starting to see my imminent demise as a blessing. I guess that means the psychological conditioning works.
Yesterday, I told my mom that my one comfort is that melanin is a dominant trait and that no matter how hard whiteness tries to stamp us out, they will fail. That unless they destroy the entire planet, their genocide will always fail. That’s it. That’s the only hope I have because I’ve finally accepted that whiteness will do everything in its power — from open warfare to obvious neglect — to kill us. Whiteness has too many ruthless sycophants peppered throughout the world willing to do its bidding. I’m scared and tired and tired of being scared. I’m tired of being gaslit for being scared. I’m tired of would-be do-gooders trying to convince me that I should be living in denial like them because then I will manifest the life I want instead of enduring the life I have. I reject that shit. If I need lies to want to exist in this world then the world is broken.
Something is seriously wrong with a world that has more than halfway convinced me that my death is a necessary sacrifice for the greater good. A world that tells its members to die a noble death to maintain the oppressive status quo that only allows a few to thrive. A world that tells me it’s a privilege that I was able to live this long. This is the work of white supremacist patriarchal capitalism. This is the cruel will of whiteness.
When I look at white people, I see a collective that has maintained a chokehold on their idea of society through pure terror and violence. A collective who lives to perpetuate that violence across the globe and then pretend they are noble, kind, and just. I see a collective that recreates that violence in every system, institution, and relationship they build. I see a collective that lies and lies and lies, pretending that their violence is an aberration instead of the core of their identity; a collective that revels as we sink in the quicksand of its rules and policies, laughing as we choke to death trying to survive. I see white people capitalizing on and justifying their violence. I see them spreading their bullshit rhetoric; swinging their will like baseball bats in hopes of beating down progress until it is no more. I see a people who have decided that if they can’t shape the world in the image they prefer, they are willing to burn it down and take everyone else with them.
We’re still using playground language to talk about willful extinction. We’re using empathetic language to coddle people who would rather die than change. The refusal of white people to adapt to the now, and their willingness to suffocate any attempts at liberation in its cradle has caused a global stagnation as colonizers continue to rape, pillage, and burn all others to feed their illusions of greatness. White people are willing to kill and die for their lies and if they have to die they plan to gleefully take us with them.
We keep trying to rationalize what we’re seeing. We keep trying to tell ourselves that they can’t mean this mass level of destruction. They angrily demand the right to die on their own terms, to have no regard for the lives they put at risk using all the weapons they’ve stockpiled to terrorize us into submission. We watch the white people who disagree save space for them, coddle them, and treat them like less intelligent, wayward children instead of the white pride suicide bombers they choose to be.
We keep ignoring that this is a “civilization” that has been rewarded for its violence, as well as for ignoring their violence for hundreds of years. We turn away from the evidence that the only change they allow is the change that lets them keep their false perception of their civility and humanity while wreaking havoc across the globe. All they know is destruction, subjugation, and pain and that is all they promise to deliver. Their idea of compromise is to threaten to bomb you into oblivion…a promise they’ve kept more than once.
And here we are, held hostage to their inhumane ideologies, forced into sacrificial roles that bring nothing but more pain, more destruction, more harm into the world. We sit in our allotted spaces and silently rage as we are picked off one by one, then hundred by hundred, then thousand by thousand. Constantly reminded that we are not here to live, but to serve and to die for their gain.
This is not the life I want for myself. This is not the life I want for anyone. Yet, here we are, and I don’t know how to change any of it. I just know I don’t want to wish to die anymore and I’m struggling to find something, anything that helps me stay off that path.
Shit is rough. It’s gonna be rough for a long time. Stay as safe as you can even though I’m not sure how much it matters anymore.
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