For a few days now my eyes have filled with tears. Like a broken tap with no one around to fix it, water keeps gushing out. I can’t seem to stem the flow!
My eyes have seen too much of the bad side of humans. I weep for the loss of my naivety in thinking people can do better when faced with injustices. It is a loss because it feels as if someone stuck their hand in my chest and pulled out my heart and replaced it with one that sees the world, not as I wish it to be, but as it is.
The stark reality of hate and anger drives me to my knees. I hurt as I howl out in despair for a better, kinder place for all people, but especially for black and brown people.
Imagine having to wake up every day knowing you’re hated, not for anything you have done but merely being on the “wrong” side of privilege.
What coping mechanisms could I give to a child who will encounter racism before they are fully able to understand it? How do you teach a black and brown child to love themselves through the hate that’s inevitably thrown their way? When do you see the humanity in the person lying in squalor in the street begging for change?
The past few days have not been good, and seeing a young white man beating a black woman in a country plagued by gender-based violence has not made it any easier. It has made it more difficult having to read white people, particularly white women’s responses toward violence.
I want to shut my eyes and not see the horrors of the world around me, but it remains open. And like those black and white silent home movies of yesteryear, the images keep flashing before my eyes.
I see ravenous wolves, their teeth bared, tearing into people who asked to be treated as people. The nonchalant attitude of white people towards the racism levelled at black and brown people flay me. It drives a proverbial stake into my heart as if I am a witch about to be burned.
There is silence from those people that do not want to get involved in the skirmish and prefer shutting their doors to our reality! And as I knock and try to plead for humanity, for peace, the door is closed while my eyes remain open.
I’m advised by well-meaning people to stop watching the news. I would gladly stop watching if it meant that the hate would stop. It carries on unabated like a storm banging away at a house I can only hope will be sturdy enough to weather it.
As I shut my eyes for a moment to catch up on some sleep, I know that violence and hate will continue. The hope that I have in the goodness of people is hanging on by a thread; a tenuous thread that continues believing tomorrow will be better.
With swollen eyelids, I sit at the keyboard, filled with hope that somehow this world will be a better place for black and brown people.
I am filled by a spirit that reminds me that black and brown children need our help, and white people, (the ones who say they are good people)need to speak up more and condemn, loudly condemn this inhumanity. Not on social media, that’s easy but in joining hands with us in the street.
Racism is violent!
Racism is wrong!
I long for the day, much like in the movies, I discover that white people join us in our struggles even if there is no interest convergence but because they care.
With eyes wide shut, I wait!
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke