Beyond tired: Part 2

Filed under: Black | life

I debated writing this or tweeting it but I’d rather it be in my online possession. I tweeted this yesterday and people have reached out since, which I’m grateful for. I’m not in a state that warrants therapy or someone professional to speak to but I know my options if necessary. My tiredness is fundamentally two-fold:

  1. Personal stuff I won’t go into because it’s… personal.
  2. Racism against Black people

Not gonna discuss #1 but I will talk about #2. It’s very difficult to be aware of the fact that your identity evokes a rage in other people to the point they want you to be dead. Or severely injured. Or to suffer a lifetime of abuse, financial difficulties, and destitution. But it’s not as explicit as that some days. Other times, it’s a socially acceptable ignorance that, if you criticise, you receive a barrage of abuse or the flicker of a gaslight that burns brighter with every response. And it takes an ounce of your strength until you have none left. I’ve been running on empty for months. Time away only lasts so long. Talking only works for so long if at all. Focussing on other things only masks it for so long. When will other people make the effort? Why do I have to listen and give resources for them to learn? Why, when they had an opportunity to really DO something, they decided a black square on Instagram was all they could muster, only to take it down a few weeks later when it fucked up their arbitrary grid system? And when you call them out?

”At least they did something."

"I need some time away to collect my thoughts and come up with the right words."

"Insert single emoji here.”

What am I meant to do with that? Buried amongst the tiredness is a burning desire to scream in the ears of the ignorant so they can feel just one ounce of my anger and frustration. If the bare minimum is too much for you, get the hell out of my space. The historical evidence is in front of your face and the work has always been there to do. But no, you need an invite or someone to check your work. I will not comfort you when you apologise when my comfort has been a second class citizen for so long. You will listen to me now. And I am tired and hurting. Every day.

I want to be left alone to live and do what I want and need to do and not find out Black people are dying or being denied basic quality of life because of White supremacy. I want White people to face up to their privilege and their place in that White supremacist system and do all they can to break it from within—that’s not for me and those Black superheroes to do by default. I want Black women and Black trans people to have a safe environment to be themselves and fuck shit up in every sense of the word. I want them to be paid double the amount a mediocre White man gets because they deserve it. Call it reparations.

But until that happens, I’ll have to find a way to deal with whatever this is. And when someone asks how I am, I’ll find a new line to give them, delete it, and settle for “tired but alive”.

Beyond tired Proust Questionnaire - 2020