It's all too much

"Every week is the worst week yet."
Gordon Parks. 1952.

Gordon Parks. 1952.

I'm not a huge fan of airing my thoughts on social media; I've fallen victim to some hurt feelings in the past and posted about it, only to realise within hours that it was a mistake, because we all interpret words as we see fit, to suit our own story. Recently I uploaded a post that I believed was 'heartfelt' and 'honest', about a lost friendship, but when some of my Facebook friends started to criticise the person I was talking about on my feed, I had to delete it. Because her being bashed wasn't the point. I scolded myself for being so 'weak'.

That was a couple of months ago, but today I literally am weak. I've got some work to do so I'm up early, but really, I'd rather cry and go back to bed. Maybe it's because I work in social media, which means from 6am-ish I am reading tweet after tweet after tweet.

This week has been tangibly painful. I don't live in the US. I didn't know Alton Sterling, yet I feel pain in my heart for his family, and also for him - he wasn't doing anything, yet now he is in the ground. A day later, we hear about Philando Castile. I didn't know him; instead I read tweets and articles about how kind he was, about how he served as a role model to hundreds of children. Because I am human, this hurts my heart. Because my father is black and my partner is black -  I feel fear. This news comes after the post-Brexit weeks. Weeks where I had felt disowned by those surrounding me. I, like many others, wondered if we needed to 'watch our backs' more. Do we need to be even more, quiet/well-behaved/invisible? And when I say 'we' I mean black people of every damn shade because my skin is brown, it is not white.

Today there is a new horror to attend to; as a #BlackLivesMatter event goes on in Dallas - initially very peacefully - snipers shoot and kill several police officers. Within minutes, former congressmen are tweeting that they have had enough and that this is war. People are saying that BLM is a terrorist organisation.

I have no resolution. I am just sitting here wondering if I should even post this. I go to my Facebook homepage. A friend has posted a status about how black people with white partners should be sure that those white partners know what they are dealing with, and what their children will inevitably face in the world due to their brown faces. Someone comments that these white women just 'want a penis', and it pisses me off. I comment swiftly - maybe I shouldn't have? I tell the person who made the comment that my mother was spat at while I sat in my pram, and that almost 40 years later she is still with the man who gave her some penis. But what does she know - how would she know? She has her own story. I have mine. She will forge her arguments, and I will forge mine. She will see pain, and so will I.

While these constant social media updates annoy, insult and unnerve me, this morning I am glad they exist. Twitter is putting CNN to shame when it comes to live reporting, and as someone said yesterday; it's not that there is more violence - we just have phones and cameras now. 

I've often thought about moving to the US, but for now I have to watch from a distance. All I know is, we are in this shit together; no-one gets to take a vacation from living their life - except for the poor souls who cannot cope with the experience. We have to live, we have to rise with hands outstretched. We have to see each other. 

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