image by @erikafletcher
Racial and social injustices sadly don’t stop even in the face of a pandemic. While the number of those we have lost to COVID-19 has tragically eclipsed 100,000 in the United States, there is always a sense of danger for those with Black bodies and concern if we will be murdered while sleeping, jogging, walking home, sitting in a car reading, asking for help after an auto accident, holding a cell phone, taking out a wallet, playing with a toy gun, shopping, breathing…. These are quite simply heartbreaking times.
For those who brutally kill Black people due to the internalization of white supremacy and the associated fear and loathing of Blackness, there isn’t even a modest amount of accountability unless countless people view traumatizing videos of those murders and then demand action. So much emotional distress and vicarious trauma is associated with the viewing of these videos and the way Black bodies are depicted and dehumanized both off and on camera.
How can we be with these injustices? How do we take care of our trauma and heartbreak and how do we seek justice and peace? Can care be a form of loving rebellion against racial injustices?
I have offered a few resources below as potential areas to start to explore this inquiry around care as an agent of healing, resilience, and transformation.
For some care is in the form of resting and tending to trauma and grief while for others, particularly for those not in Black bodies who are less vulnerable to the harm and violence associated with racism, the heart of healing is in the form of seeing more clearly all the nuanced aspects of white supremacy that are socially acceptable presently and utilizing your privilege to engage in anti-racism work.
Please honor the forms of healing needed for your body and heart right now. Please take care and let all of your offerings and actions come from that place of care.
A call to resourcing again and again:
First, it’s really important that all of us resource ourselves daily, offering ourselves whatever care is needed in each moment. Many of my previous blog posts offer examples of resourcing. Here is a guided meditation practice I’ve made to be a source of support in receiving and offering yourself and others care:
A call to rest and care for Black people from Octavia Raheem:
A beautiful song “I Just Wanna Live” by Keedron Bryant, a call for protection:
Recognize the many layers of harm and trauma associated with racism (image by RYSE):
& the link between mental health healing and anti-racism (image by @minaab):
How to learn more about anti-racism and why considering yourself to not be racist isn’t enough from Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Anti-Racist:
*Kendi’s book and this list of Anti-racism resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein are great places to start your anti-racism journey.
*A free course by Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmothers’ Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (a highly recommended book), offers somatic body focused study and exploration to help people recognize body trauma born out of racism and white body supremacy in their own body, their community and to start to heal.
*Understand concrete examples of White Supremacy with this visual aid from @theconsciouskid
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please know that both offering yourself rest and resourcing and/or engaging in anti-racism work are forms of care for all of us.
Please remember that systems built on capitalism and supremacy do not support care and that the act of care alone has ample loving rebellion for those systems of harm. Not only is it okay for you to center care, but we actually need you to center care for our collective liberation and healing.
This post is offered in loving memory of all the beautiful Blacks beings we have lost too soon due to white supremacy including those in the pictures below (named in order of appearance): Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Keith Scott, Atatiana Jefferson, Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Edwards, Stephon Clark, Amadou Diallo, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, Sean Bell, Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Aiyana Jones, Terrence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Oscar Grant, Corey Jones, and Ahmaud Arbery.
May they rest in love.
May we see them as they are depicted here and see their value, their loveliness, their humanity.
May we remember that our care is also for them and their loved ones, for their heartbreak and healing.