Dealing With Sustained Trauma
Most African-American and other Black people across the diaspora collectively are dealing with the trauma of racism. No matter how old a Black person is, they are dealing with some sort of trauma about state-sanctioned racism and the current state of the country. With the exception of Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock, Juan Williams, David Cameron, Justice Clarence Thomas, and other notable anti-Black Blacks, we’re dealing with generations of racism and inequity and we’re in distress because there are few options to address the problem.
Both options are painful for Black people.
How we care for ourselves individually and collectively is essential right now. America is going through some changes, and we’re caught in the middle of it as always. We must work on preserving our minds, bodies, and souls safely so we can live to fight another battle with White Supremacy. I watched a wonderful video of Dr. Karen Hunter and Dr. Robin on the Karen Hunter Show about our trauma. Black people must normalize prioritizing Black people and not caring about what most White people think because we do not and cannot have the same interests. We need therapy to deal with America right now, but there is no one coming to our rescue. No one cares about our generational and collective trauma.
Many of us don’t have access to therapy or mental health resources either because of costs associated with such care or due to inaccessibility because of Covid. A lot of people are going through some things now, and there are more problems than professionals able to help us. We must use the wonderful people and resources that we have at our disposal to get through these troubling times. Black women are leading the way online in helping Black folks deal with our issues. It’s an issue White-owned media completely ignores.
They ignore it because it ain’t their problem. Black trauma means great ratings. They’ll never get tired of showing our bodies lying in the streets, white folks abusing us, or gunshots from police service revolvers. Watching racism live on television for White folks works as entertainment, fearmongering, and reinforcing White Supremacy, so Black folks must guard their hearts, minds, and spirits as White folks continue to warn us about violent content they are about to show on the news or on social media for the 900th time. White people are accustomed to this type of violence. It’s normalized.
Because they run everything, we have no say in the matter. We’re dealing with compounded trauma. Black folks must being to work through these issues and understand what is happening to us.
Watch Dr. Robin and Dr. Karen Hunter discuss Black trauma, Black self-care, and acknowledging our pain and dissatisfaction with our circumstances:
Black people need to come to terms with all the things we’re going through, and we need to make some decisions both individually and collectively. I’ll talk about those things later.
Running on Empty
Like most everyone else I know who is Black with a pulse and a mouth to speak our frustrations, we’re tired. We don’t have much to give to anyone. I’m about to be fresh out of nice and patience. It happens from time to time, but it’s a reaction to the world around me. I’m an empath so I absorb all the earth has to offer, and lately, it’s not good. We got rid of Trump, but as I noted before he left office, the Pandora’s box he opened would leave a lasting impact on this country and it has. Black people have lots to contend with, and there is no one helping us. Not only are we going to have to find ways to refill our empty souls, but we’re also going to have to decide what to do about what’s happening to us collectively.
This is extremely distressing to many Black people who are peaceful, prayers, spiritual, and peace-loving people.
Between police killings, Jim Crow voting laws, silent governments, Trump, an Insurrection, White rule, regular old everyday racism, and a President and Vice-President who ran courting Black people only to get into office and support everyone but the people who brought them to the dance, we can’t really take anymore. We’re empty. We have nothing left.
Recharging For The Marathon
I watch little news or television these days. I listen to more music (I love the 80s & 90s, R&B, and Hip Hop DJs on Twitch), I started walking again. I changed my eating habits (again), and I try when possible not to watch police killings and other toxic racist stuff with White people because it just makes my blood pressure high. The trauma of watching Black people harmed for no reason except the color of their skin has my soul vexed.
Black folks must do what we can in this pandemic to refill our tanks any healthy way we can, and if you choose an unhealthy way, I can’t even judge folks at this point. We’re all on short fuses, and everyone with half a brain should understand this.
Addressing White Fears
The one thing I’m learning about White people as time goes on is that they are perfectly content with Black folks not defending themselves against White Supremacy. They are, as long as it has nothing to do with losing anything. That’s why allyship lines are drawn. Anytime there is a discussion between White folks and us Black folks about all the things that don’t work in dismantling White Supremacy (i.e. marching, legislation, policy, voting, being nice, praying, etc.), the next question they have for us (like it’s our job to tell them how to stop harming us) is, “Well, what’s the solution?”
My answers are always the same, based on historical precedence and rational deduction. Most White folks don’t want to hear my suggestions for several reasons. We are going to have to fight America and White enemies in defense of our Blackness, withhold our votes. or collectively get together and conduct group economic sanctions, boycotts, and other things to prove we mean business. White folks demanding we be peaceful in the face of violence are reinforcing their beliefs that we are subhuman and fully capable of taking all the pain White people author.
When White people provide non-violent solutions to violent problems, they have their own agendas, goals, and concerns that have nothing to do with the well-being of Black people.
White fears stem from:
#1. White comfort. White comfort, no matter how knowledgeable the ally is, stays centered.
#2. They hate to fight. White people don’t fight, all they know is flight. They’ll march, be keyboard warriors, but when it comes to throwing elbows and physically fighting for what they believe in, well, they don’t do that.
When it comes to Black people standing up to White people and making America respect us human beings, if you’re seeking the approval or support of White folks, you’ll never get it. They are always going to find a helpful workaround or excuse to neglect our trauma and physical threats in order to ensure they are safe or to protect the things/places they value. They even have Black folks in on the jig. Black people are now afraid to fight for their own personhood. When that happens, it’s impossible to defeat the enemy.
Black folks I know are collectively exhausted like myself. I don’t care about America as much as I care about my family and friends’ well-being. I don't care about stuff, because stuff can be replaced. I don’t care about a damned building because dammit we built this damned country and if need be, we’d do it again. What White folks are so worried about I have no clue.
In fact, at this point, I am so beyond saving America that if everything around me was on fire and it needed my piss to save it, I’d hold my piss and let it burn down to the ground.
That’s how tired I am of America, White people, and White Supremacy.
We don’t have elastic trauma belts with unlimited elastic expansion to accommodate every time we see murders replayed by White cops, each time we hear/see inequity displayed, or for each time White folks shrug their shoulders telling us they don’t know what to do about White Supremacy while advising us not to protect ourselves.
I am dog tongue tired.
I’m tired for my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents, my kids and grandkids, my friends, Black co-workers putting up with White folks’ bullshit, and Black strangers that I know go through the same stuff I do every day just to live in this country. I’m just tired. The way I feel right now, America really isn’t worth saving. It’s beyond rehab. If the people making it unbearable don’t care, then why should Black people? As someone said on social media recently, even my tired is tired.
I don’t care about White fears. All we get is limited, tokenized allyship from most Whites anyway. If you see the system is broken, what are you saving it for? If you see us hurting, why aren’t you providing healing? If you can’t do any better than this, please don’t stop those of us experiencing whitelash first hand from protecting ourselves. Move out of the way and keep your selfish fears to yourself. We know your motives and interests are different than ours. You have nothing to lose, we have everything to lose, including our lives and our rights.
So please excuse me if I’m not in the mood for 50-year, non-violent, White-centered solutions from White people. Y'all are killing me, literally.
This Type of Suffering Is Unsustainable
Sustaining this type of trauma is unsustainable. I’ve never taught my sons to cower. I’ve never allowed my children to start fights, pick on people, mistreat anyone, and I’ve never allowed them to hit someone unless they’ve been struck first.
I taught my children they have a right to defend themselves. I defend myself and I’ve shown my sons what it looks like to defend oneself.
White people have these racist perceptions about what safety looks like for them and us. Whether they realize it or not, the fears they exude about how we Black people move going forward and not protecting themselves from violence is racist. White folks apparently believe we’re supposed to continue being stalked and like it. We’re supposed to keep watching Black men be killed on a video loop and be okay with it. White people expect Black folks to keep allowing Black men who they know are being bullied by White men and treated unfairly to continue allowing it to happen.
They expect us to continue doing all the shit we’ve already done for the last few centuries (notice I said CENTURIES, not days, months, or years) that didn’t work to quell their fears.
So they won’t be afraid.
So they won’t lose their status or place.
So they don’t have to start over.
Because “they” don’t believe it will do any good.
Instead of allies saying to us “Yeah burn the whole shit down, it doesn’t work,” allies instead say to us, “Yeah, we know this nation is racist and doesn’t work. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? Keep trying to do the things that we both know don’t work just as long as you keep me comfortable and protect my property/money because I’m afraid. I’m not fighting with or for you unless I can do it in a chair or from the comfort and safety of my home. Thoughts and prayers.”
I don’t care about White comfort. In fact, I live to make White folks uncomfortable. Their comfort got us here, they’ve been comfortable and safe for far too long.
Black folks take all the risks, White folks reap all the benefits. We do all the work, White folks make all the money. We deal with all the pain and trauma because of racism caused by White people, and White people tell us they are tired of us talking about racism and they are tired of hearing about it.
We live among the insane. We’re living with monsters. We’re living with barbarians, domestic abusers, narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. If we lived in a sane society, we would be treated for our trauma and moved from our domestic violence situations. But we live in America, so we’re forced to deal with compounded trauma, trauma no one seems to notice or care about.
Trauma no one seems to have time to address. If White folks don’t want us to fight against our oppression, then it means they want us to stay oppressed, at least that’s what I’m getting from allies these days.
We are not going live with another 150-years of trauma. If you’re afraid, go where all the bunker bitches, draft dodgers, and privileged Ivy Leaguer go or suit up and fight the good fight with us. We can’t keep allowing folks to kick our asses, smile in our faces, then vote for them every 2, 4, for six years.
We all need to face our fears. Others need to come to terms with their racism which is not our problem to solve. Racists with unresolved racism need to be called out and kicked out of our ranks. This is no time for anyone to be cowering. Either you’re for us or against us. The enemies have already drawn their lines on the right. It’s time for Black folks to draw their own lines with the enemies on the left. We are not going to be able to get out of this the usual ways. Racists are ready to physically fight, to the death. They are practicing their craft and the government is protecting them every step of the way.
We are living in domestic violence and Black folks need relief from their collective trauma. Anyone telling you not to defend yourself, especially White people are not friends, they are enablers of White Supremacy. It’s time to stop wasting time with folks not serious about changing America. We can’t worry about White fears and White comfort.
We have our own unaddressed trauma and that should take precedence.
Marley K., 2021. All rights are reserved.
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