I’ve been thinking a lot about racism.
White people – in particular – are programmed and trained to be afraid of BIPOC and Black people.
Maybe it’s our skin color, or maybe it’s more than four hundred years of oppression that taught us to be strong. That taught us to be wise. That taught us that we can survive absolutely anything, because we know what our ancestors had to to do to survive, and what we go through is not much different.
In many ways what Black and BIPOC people go through today is not all that dissimilar from our ancestors.
In 2020 four Black bodies were found hanging from trees, in California, New York and Texas. Police say that these bodies were the victims of suicide, but many Black people, including activists and family members are crying foul. Statistics tell us that most Black people who try to kill themselves and succeed, often do it somewhere private where their bodies will not be on display.
“It is very uncommon for young black men to commit suicide, let alone by hanging,” says Raymond Winbush, a psychologist since 1976 who has treated hundreds of black men and boys and is the director of Morgan State University’s Institute for Urban Research.Washington Post
Like many of my Black ancestors, and my neighbors, friends, allies, fans, and friends, I am exhausted.
There are many more things that I would like to talk about, like music, fashion, politics, life after trauma, but like many people who look like me, I am stuck talking about racism, because right now the world seems to even if in a small way, be listening.
I have been keeping track lately, and recently I’ve noticed that every day for the last two and a half years, every day that I wake up another new story of racism against, a Black person has occurred, usually a murder.
Just because every murder that happens to someone who is Black or BIPOC doesn’t hit the national or global newswire doesn’t mean that there is a decrease, it just means that some victims are ignored, on purpose.
I don’t know if I can blame journalists, if they talked about every death that happened every single day, I’d probably be sick with anxiety and never leave my house. If they talked about how many Black and BIPOC people are murdered, by cops no less, in North America, then the governments of the world would actually have to address the problem, and God forbid, they really don’t want to have to do that.
A new story came out recently about the royal family and how they got their wealth, the fact that their historical wealth is based on the genocide of many a Brown or Black culture from around the world hasn’t been mentioned, and of course won’t be mentioned, because that would be disrespectful, and we don’t respect rich white powerful people. Right Sharon Osbourne?
I talk about racism because if I didn’t talk about it, I’d be holding it in, and at thirty-seven years old I realized today I have been through enough. I don’t need to hold onto any more toxicity, I need to release it into the world so that I can stop carrying some of the load.
I am really not as strong as people think that I am, in fact I am actually very emotionally, physically, and spiritually weak. It only looks like strength because I am still here. The truth is that I need help. I need Doctors to pay attention to me when I say something hurts. I need someone to sit down with me and talk through the trauma with me. I need someone to hear me when I say “I was gang-raped for years, and no one protected me.”
If I were a white girl, the trauma that I would have gone through would have been cut exponentially, but it matters less to a whole lot of you, because the color of my skin happens to be three shades darker than yours.
I posted this today, and then I went to take a nap because I had a really annoying migraine. I came back to this response, and I was so awed. Now the person who posted this response tried to walk it back, and told me that if I face racism I should report it as a hate crime, but she clearly didn’t, doesn’t, or chooses not to, understand just how deeply the cops ignore racism as a hate crime.
Even if the average Black person reported one third of the hate crimes they face just walking down the street, eventually the cops are going to stop paying attention to us anyways, because there are simply too many instances. Not that they pay much attention to us now, unless they think they can get away with murder.
It’s exactly one year since the day that Breonna Taylor was murdered as I write this. Two minutes to midnight, which is about when I found out about her death, within minutes of the shooting, twitter was in an uproar. A Year later, cops have still not arrested her murderers.
Today I cried for hours. For hours, because my head hurt, because I felt weak, and because I am tired of there always being something in my life that makes me feel like I deserve to suffer. Whether it’s terrible mental health from years of trauma, or years of bad physical and emotional health due to years of medical ignorance.
When “I” say something is wrong with me, Doctors ignore me, when I am screaming and crying curled up next to a garbage can begging for help, they chalk it up to me wanting drugs, instead of admitting that something is seriously wrong, and yes that actually happened.
When I had a panic attack on an airplane during my very first flight as an adult, after a week of abuse, bullying, and facing racism in ways I never had before, I was arrested for having a panic attack. I have yet to receive an apology from the Winnipeg Police or WestJet.
I am exhausted. I am exhausted because I just woke up from realizing that for twenty years I did everything I could to hide my Blackness in an effort to protect myself, only to wake up to a world that has gone full blown “FUCK UP THE BLACK PERSON”.
And frankly, yes. I completely understand that for many of you white people out there, you have not had to face or experience racism first hand, but many of you have witnessed it and chosen to ignore it, because choosing to ignore it means that you don’t have to step outside of your comfort zone.
Why the fuck should you get that luxury? What makes you so special that your comfort is more important than mine? In my head I have this image of a man being hung backwards by his arms and legs, in the center of his back is a pile of bricks, and his body is making a distorted U shape.
I will never forget that image because it is the sign of what happens to enslaved Black people around the world. Slavery hasn’t ended, it’s just gone underground. There is all kinds of slavery happening in this world, and it’s happening to women, children, and Black people at a higher rate then anyone else in the world. But we won’t talk about that, because that would make people uncomfortable. White, respectable people, uncomfortable, and there’s a secret law about making white, respectable, people uncomfortable.
One of my favorite shows in the world is Dawson’s Creek, and Gilmore Girls, did you think that I didn’t notice the severe lack of Black people on those shows? As if the Eastern seaboard doesn’t have them? Unless they’re at the tail end of the series, when it’s too late to matter.
I am super tired of people acting like Black and BIPOC people are secondary to everyone else in this world, I am tired of pretending to be less of myself to make other people comfortable, but I am not doing this because I want to do this. I am talking about racism because I have to talk about racism.
Because if I stop, then other people might stop, and I am not ready for this conversation to end. Not until every single person on this earth faces the same equality as mediocre white guys.
By that I mean men like Piers Morgan, who has decided to gaslight every single Black or BIPOC person on the planet, by saying that calling for him to be accountable for the things he says, offensive as they are, is actually the same thing as racism.
Until recently Piers Morgan was getting paid quite handsomely to talk about current events on a television show in Britain, that of itself wouldn’t be a problem. Except he used his platform to tear down a famous woman of color, specifically because he resented the fact that she chose Harry over him. Specifically because she didn’t spread her legs for him the way he thought she might, because He’s Piers Morgan.
The kind of behavior that Morgan has displayed is the same kind of behavior that women have been complaining about for centuries.
But when we call him out on it, we’re the racists? Even though he continues to use his whiteness to protect himself? No Morgan, that’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.
You don’t get to tear down any woman, let alone a woman of color, because you had one drink with her and she decided she didn’t want to spend any more time with you. Clearly she saw what all of us have been saying for years. You’re an entitled prick, and you got what you deserved when they cut you from that show.
Which is precisely why I have to keep talking about mental health, racism, sexism, and abuse. It is important to me that one day my daughters and sons know that I fought for them so that they could live in a safer world then the one that I grew up in.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall