the idea of writing this post made for uneasy sleep, but it’s something i feel like i have to do.
i returned to our table at the pizza place and kevin said, “so zimmerman was found innocent.”
"really?" i asked with a grimace. then i drank some soda.
a few minutes later, kevin expressed his disgust with the verdict. then he looked at me and said, “but you’re not even surprised, are you?”
i shook my head. “no.”
that exchange stuck with me for the rest of the night. when i got home i social media’d, “what i hate the most is how unsurprised i am.”
an internet friend commented, “Not surprised, but not accepting it.”
for some reason that bugged me. not accepting it? but it’s what happened. it truly stinks and no good person should be rejoicing that verdict, but it’s what happened. so i replied, “i accepted it long ago. had no choice.”
she said, “This is an attack on all of us.”
this internet friend then went on a rant about wanting to burn it down (i don’t know what “it” is - the courtroom? the town? florida? society?) and start over. this world is fucked up and she wanted to riot.
the whole thing was a tone deaf response to what i was saying. maybe she read my status and thought she needed to give me a pep talk. so as nicely as i could at four in the morning on a facebook status that many could see, i said, “not trying to argue and i certainly appreciate your fervor. but also acknowledge the weariness that comes with living in this skin, day in and day out.”
i thought this was a decent stopping point. i was respectful of her opinion & i succinctly restated mine. i was even willing to ignore the “all of us” comment (because that’s complete and utter bullshit: “all of us” can’t walk down the street and automatically be considered a criminal. that honor is for a select few). good game, everyone. to the showers.
nope. she continued on, about how even though she’s white, she’s from poor lineage and this really upsets her as someone who teaches at a public school and loves inner-city kids and that this is hard on white “liberal” types (quotes are hers) because it’s attacking all of us and that it sucks that socio-racial constructs keep us from discussing this.
there they are. her credits. she’s cool, everybody - she loves inner-city kids.
this isn’t an inner-city kid problem, internet friend (and it’s telling that you went that way, but hey - you work around that so i’m gonna be a chump and give you the benefit of the doubt). this is A WAY OF LIFE for many people. i’m not from the inner-city at all, but i picked up early on to have my hands where you can see them anytime i walk into a convenience store. hands at ten and two, wallet in my lap whenever i’m pulled over. i laughed loudly when a salesperson swiveled on his heel and followed me around pottery barn. i wanted to tell him that i was raised right and wouldn’t be stealing, but unfortunately lineage isn’t visible when you’re shopping or driving.
i’m not trying to have a sadness-off. and it would be nice to have the conversations. but it’s tough to talk when my simple sentiment of, “this shit is tiring and it weighs on my soul” is shot down with a laundry list of how you’re not one of the bad ones. you’re also not listening. you can’t blame racial barriers on you not hearing what i’m saying. i’m being clear as glass.
i’m sorry that this verdict has upset you so much, internet friend. i wish i was more upset. i wish i lived in a world where i could think, “well, maaaaaybe…” but that’s not the case.
i’m still stressed about writing this, even though it has turned out tamer than the original drafts. I DON’T LIKE GETTING DEEP. CAN WE GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT PIZZA OR SOMETHING?