When They See Us? My Thoughts
I spent the weekend getting educated on being black in America. I watched the riveting movie ‘When They See Us’. Then I watched ‘Reconstruction’, the Henry Louis Gates PBS special, about the period just after slavery.
This is America History that everyone should watch. Watching Reconstruction, I was able to see exactly how When They See Us happened. How a lie was cultivated and crafted into a truth shamelessly.
Intellectually I see the patterns clearly but emotionally I just don’t understand why? As I am sitting here typing this and words are escaping me. It’s really hard for me to comprehend the level of hatred and righteousness that it takes to destroy the lives of people just for the sake of self-preservation.
I can’t comprehend that level of evil justified through laws and actions plotted out to terrorize a group of people one can no longer own. They say we were not human but these inhuman acts beg the question, How do you define human?
Sometimes I think black folks are aliens who landed on the wrong planet. The level of pain and terror we have and continue to endure is unfathomable. Yet we still continue to express joy, love, forgiveness, empathy, and compassion. How?
Does melanin protect out spirits like an electronic shield? Are we superhuman or super something else? How? How do we continue to push for our humanity peacefully? How do we continue to thrive despite the pain, the lies, and the terror?
Even though I don’t get the folks who perpetrate these atrocities, I get less is us. How do we continue growing, loving and expressing joy? Where did we get this strength and resilience from? How are we so traumatized and continue to move forward?
Linda Fairstein is no different than bbq Becky. Elements of the Central Park 5 case is no different than the Emmit Till. Kalief Browder’s case directly connects to the horrors of the middle passage. It is a haunting continuation of the past.
Everyone should see When They See Us. Hopefully one day they will.