I recommended Son of Baldwin’s essay without comment. Maybe I should say as a white person I get it that you cannot experience abuse and traumas of the mind with callous responses from white people as a group. I don’t need him to say “except you” to me. I am certain I have caused my share of micro aggressions no matter how unintentionally.
The truth is I was far more devastated emotionally for Philando Castile, giving myself a migraine crying for loved ones who lived through it in the car. I can’t stop thinking about that poor traumatized four-year girl. She got no justice either. A bullet nearly hit her in the backseat and the police officer even got off on the lesser included reckless endangerment charge. What?
When the blonde lady was killed, my first concern was not her, it was the Somali police officer. I have a man here I tutored through college who is a Somali immigrant. He is Muslim, an orphan. He came to America as a teen. He is also named Mohamed. He has been through extensive trauma in war, including watching both of his parents killed. What if they made a mistake in signing up the officer who killed Justine Dimond? What if he had PTSD from war traumas of his own like my Mohamed? I wasn’t mourning her either. I was worried about him.
I was also conscious of how his immigrant, Black, Muslim identity was going to make him the candidate for “the cop” they find guilty. After all of these other guys keep getting off in “Are your eyes seriously not processing reality?” video cases!!
He ended his essay saying he hoped white people would be mad at him for how he felt. I just can’t give him that. I get it. I think it is tragic how he feels. I think it is inevitable how he feels. I think when you hammer a person so hard they finally tell you, “I can no longer show you empathy, because you show me none, and the abusive pattern is harming our mutual humanity” — well, you’ve reached the breaking point.