Historically, I’ve been one not to speak when I don’t know what to say. Sometimes it’s because I don’t feel adequately informed and have too often seen what happens when folks speak without having their facts straight. Other times I’ve stayed silent because I felt my white cismale voice wasn’t one that needed to be heard and might read as bandwagony or saviorist. Often, I just wanted to get by without adding to the noise.
Well, I think the facts are pretty clear at this point. Whichever videos we share, statistics we cite, murderers we condemn, and victims we mourn, it’s starkly evident that this country is not safe for everyone.
I don’t and will never know what it means to be a person of color in this world. My ears have been open for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I can begin to fathom the fear and exhaustion of life as a non-white citizen. My eyes are catching up, but my voice is lagging far behind. I can speak to the facts that I see and hear on TV and social media, but I know that even then, there’s so much missing from my understanding.
I’m an inquisitive person, but I also get hung up on making sure I’m asking the right questions—that the implications of my inquiries don’t paint me as ignorant or patronizing or passively cruel. Well, I think it’s time to start asking imperfect questions. Namely, WHAT can I do to help? HOW can I support the mission of justice and honor the lives lost to a broken system?
To be 100% honest, all my old instincts are still strong and are trying to keep my disillusionment and fury internal, nonverbal—frankly, almost hypothetical and downright impotent. But I hate the notion of coasting. Black music, black action, and black voices have directly and indirectly shaped the course of my life, and to stay silent is to ignore that infinite debt.
The reparation I want to engage in has no end, but it needs to have a beginning. I’m starting with what I know—a song. It’s had a hold of my heart since the first listen and like all songs, its impact has grown as my perspective has evolved. As it suggests, life is fragile. So let’s say what needs to be said NOW, before it’s too late. “For All We Know,” with @tomermusic