There are hundreds of black boys and men dying as I type this, at the hands of another. Maybe the killing person is white, maybe not.
Do I have the right to hug my son tighter? There are so many families who can’t do that tonight. It feels wrong to purposely seek out and do what they no longer can.
I think of the mothers and fathers and families and friends who cannot hug their loved ones tonight because they’re gone. Maybe they defied police. Maybe they did something wrong. Maybe they were in the wrong place at the all too wrong time. Maybe.
It’s fun to give benefit of the doubt, isn’t it?
What right do I have to look at my boy as he sleeps, to hope that I, we, teach him well enough to keep him alive? Do you know how frightening that is? Do you know how all consuming it is, how the very thought gets inside your head and winds its way around your brain and seeps into your shoulders, pulls down your neck, hunches your back, affects every muscle inside you until you are on your knees begging, praying, please. With your head on the floor because it’s too heavy to lift. The very thought of lifting your head, opening your eyes, seeing someone who looks like your child dead, again. And you try. You try to shake those images out of your head. You try to stand up, fight, refuse to be bowed, refuse to succumb to the senselessness plaguing us, surrounding us. But all you can do is whisper, please. Please don’t let him die. Please don’t kill him. Please.
My boy. He likes to run and jump. He plays by himself, saving us from bad guys we can’t see. Ironic, huh? What about the ones we can see?
I am already consumed with worry about MY killing him. Will I give him too much medicine? Will I trust he’s able to bathe alone before he is? Will I forget to buckle him in? Will he get sick? Will I listen to him when he says he’s sick?
And then I remember. It’s not me I have to worry about.