As an UVa Alum and racial justice advocate, the events that unfolded in Charlottesville and exposed the state of our union have pierced a nerve. It has unearthed trauma that I encountered at an institution whose racist legacy is as alive and vibrant as its legacy of scholarship and noble democratic ideals that it falls agonizingly short of reaching. I have pride in being a part of this legacy that creates a conflict within my proud Black self as does my pride in being American which leaves me with the following questions:
Is this the opportunity to push our country into a true democracy?
Who stands to profit the most if there’s a race war? Who makes money under martial law? How are they connected to DT? Is it me or was he pouring gasoline on the fire with his statement and press conference? Y’all don’t smell that? What is he distracting us from? We gonna impeach him or what? Oh, Pence would be worst? Can’t we impeach him too? Throw ‘em all out? Any constitutional loopholes for that?
Why did those white supremacists choose Charlottesville in the first place? Why weren’t they met with police in riot gear? You ever stare down riot gear? I have. It’s terrifying.
Why wasn’t the number two public college in the country better prepared? Oh you think they just suddenly went dumb? Like President Sullivan had a spasm of stupid or something? The Charlottesville chief of police too? Black students and Black alum gonna squad up or what? Where’s the list of demands to the University’s administration and board of trustees?
Oh y’all doing vigils and stuff? That’s cool. What if they drive a car through those too? Oh y’all ready to die for this? That’s what’s up. How many gotta die? A nice white woman died. Say her name. Heather Heyer. Two cops too. Say their names. Jay Cullen. Berke Bates. Will their spilled white and blue blood be the tipping point?
Y’all know that civil rights workers in Mississippi, including our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were protected by armed Black folks right? Non-violence does not mean not taking the means to defend yourself.
Y’all trying to get these guns or what? The second amendment doesn’t apply to us? Phillando Castille taught us that.
You’re a Christian? So that means you won’t defend yourself? How come my Jesus doesn’t work like that?
Y’all know this is an opportunity to get folks off of the sidelines, right? But what do we tell ‘em to do?
Don’t you wish somebody would tell you what to do? I want to hear from my president. Y’all know I mean Barack Hussein Obama, right?
Can we ever erase this racist conditioning? Are we on our way with removing Confederate tributes? Is that why they’re losing their minds? Why half the country voted in an incompetent fool? Or was it really half? Will the investigation into Russian election hacking get him out?
Do you know that Lee never wanted monuments in his or the Confederacy’s honor?
Y’all know what race riots really are? It’s when white folks in Northern and Western cities get mad and start killing all the Black folks. East St., Louis 1917. D.C. and Chicago, 1919. Tulsa, 1921. Oh, it’s not that serious yet? You think the Jews in Europe thought it wasn’t that serious when the Anti-Jewish propaganda and laws first hit? You think they regret that now?
Oh, history doesn’t repeat itself anymore because it’s 2017? Oh ok.
You think neo-Nazis and Klan members don’t live near you? I like in western New York and one of those dudes lives here. You know they don’t always walk around with swastikas and sheets, right? Some of them wear uniforms. The Fruitland Park Police Department had two in 2009 and 2014. You ever wonder how many don’t come up on FBI wire taps?
Do you know what lynchings are? That happened back in the day you say? Yeah like 2014. Lennon Lacy in North Carolina. Oh that was a suicide? And Malcolm X’s father bashed the back of his skull before lying down on railroad tracks too?
You ever wonder if Sandra Bland was pulled over randomly?
Should I be asking these questions? Do I need protection? Is this gonna mess up my money? Who’s praying for me? Positive terms only please. Guidance, wisdom, protection, blessings. And please pray for the people who pray for me too.
Y’all gonna buy my book, right?