Write about coming out of the dark and seeing the light.
Have you ever just been going through your day as per usual and get hit with a sudden understanding, an epiphany? That moment where you wake up and finally realize that something you believed in or at least thought you knew to be true or even just accepted as the status quo, all of a sudden becomes a lie?
Or maybe it happened to you gradually. Certain thoughts, opinions, articles, comments, concerns started to chip away at a long-held belief until you fully wake up to realize that what you believed before wasn't right or wasn't good.
For me, it was the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Trayvon's death started to thaw something in me and Michael's death completely shattered it.
I have spent my entire life trying to lean in or get along with white people. I have spent my entire life trying to be "one of the good ones." I used terms like "the race card" and belittled black concerns as just excuses for not succeeding in life. I was young, I was dumb, I was a kid. It took being surrounded by these stories on a daily basis and immersing myself with online discourse to realize something that I already knew:
America hates black people.
We are consistently at a disadvantage. We have targets on our backs. Everything we do and say is scrutinized and criminalized because we are seen as "others." We are seen as animals. We are seen as 75% of a real person.
How utterly cruel is that?
No wonder people go through life with their heads buried in the sand. The reality is sometimes too much to bear.
I've encountered other black people who still think the way I used to. They believe their proximity to whiteness and their tacit support of white supremacy will somehow keep them safe.
But it won't.
Because in the end, it doesn't matter if you believe the preservation and protection of black lives or not, a white dude with a gun can snuff you out and never be punished for it.