on philando castile

June 22, 2017

as a queer person in this world,
there are so many
times
and places
where i don’t feel
safe.

still,
in those times and
in those places, i know that,
if i keep my mouth closed
if pay attention to my walk
if don’t hold my boyfriend’s hand
then
i’ll likely get from a to b
unharmed.

most of the time.

when i walk police, i’m terrified.

i’m terrified.

because i know the history of the police and queer people.
i know what they do to us if given the chance.
rape.
beatings.
humiliation.

apathy.

i legitimately wonder with disturbing regularity:
if i need help
can i call them?
should i call them?
will they help me?
or will they be worse than the men chasing me?

flip a coin.

but,
the reality is
when i walk past police (terrified, always)
my experience is

they look right through me; i’m not even there.

because they don’t see me as a threat, they don’t even see me.
because a big white dude
walking down the street
is almost never a problem in their eyes,
though we know the reality of that
is quite different.

with rare exceptions,
an african american can’t hide their blackness.
and all evidence seems to suggest that
all police can see when they see a black person
is a potential threat.

and, apparently, we keep telling them
that fear is justified.
fire away.
you’re right to be afraid.
you’re allowed to defend yourself against fear
using your gun
on anyone
with impunity.

if they’re black.

i don’t know what we can do
as a nation
(as a world, really) to
fight end racism
fight end white supremacy
to stop seeing danger in black and brown skin.
i have no solutions and
imagine
if change it possible
(if! such hopelessness that proposition creates in me)
it will take many many more generations.

which breaks my heart.

because what that means is, now,
black people won’t know safety in america.
black bodies
will continue
to pile up
while my white neighbors see nothing
wrong
do nothing
nothing.
nothing.
nothing.
nothing.

over and over
as my heart is destroyed
surrounded by the injustice
of being more
safe
than you.