Suffocating Anxiety

Because I am a black son of a strong black woman, who is deceased
Because I have preexisting conditions, my murder becomes my fault
Because I am the uncle whether by blood or by love to black sons
Because I am the brother by love to a black son
Because I am the nephew by blood to a black son
Because I am a black father
Because I am a black father to a black daughter
Because I have to protect her at all costs
Because I have to educate her, teach her, be there for her
Because I have to persevere no matter what comes my way
Because I would love to be a black father to a black son
Because I live in a country that fears me more than it humanizes me
Because in all ways, I am a black son, black man, a black human being

Focus should be on the final part, my heart pumps the same blood
the same blood of my ancestors that were oppressed for years
the same blood of those that came before me to pave the way
the same blood of my friends that I respect on the front line
the same blood of my family whose safety I pray for all the time
the same blood that exists in our species worldwide
the same blood being spilled by prejudice, fear, and racism.  

What is there that I can do? Stand with my hands raised to be abused?
Show compliance and stop resisting so my murder gets more views?
Have my daughter grow up without her parent due to climate?
The climate of this society that thinks about a crime and the first thought is that of course, the black man did it.
Where no matter what the description, I will always match.
Where no matter my actions, some will always feel attacked
Where reaching for an inhaler is a weapon
Where a man's physical ailment is now an alibi

There is anger, there is disgust, but even more than that
there is disappointment, the acknowledgement of ignorance
I do not owe you an explanation, I do not owe you teachings
I cannot walk you through the moral guide of racism
I cannot hold your hand while you try to figure yourself out
I will respect those who understand and support the fight
I will honor those who understand and join the fight
for the rest of you who see this and think the negative
for your sake, hold your tongue
this is the tamest my words will be, do not test my calm.



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