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Black Voices

“A Letter, A Plea, A Place to Breathe”

By Isaac

Hey you,

Remember last year when you were going hard for Black Lives Matter?

Remember when we marched in the streets or posted black squares or dedicated our
Instagram stories and Twitter threads to the movement together?
At the very least, do you remember the feeling of shock and disgust you had watching
the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd?
Because I do.

And I also remember your promise that this wouldn’t happen again.
The promise that you would do something this time.
You told me that “you were going to learn this time” or “this time you wouldn’t be silent”
You ended your Amazon Prime, and supported Black-owned businesses, and put BLM
in your bio, and corrected your one racist uncle, and unfollowed those racist friends, and
told all of us that you were a committed ally.
And then you stopped.

You see, you may not remember this
Hell, you may not remember me.
I’m simply your conscience
AKA your humanity
AKA a Black student on this campus who watched you do all this.
Like everyone else, I watched you perform this past year
and I must say, you gave an admirable performance
truly an Oscar-worthy presentation
and for a second you almost had me convinced
but I’ve seen this act before.

Because it’s a year later
almost 500 days since they murdered George Floyd
almost 600 days since they murdered Breonna Taylor
nearly the same for Ahmaud Arbery
but even worse
Its been over 2,000 days since they murdered Sandra Bland
Over 2,600 days since they murdered Eric Garner
Over 3,400 days since they murdered Trayvon Martin
Over 24,000 days since they murdered Emmet Till
Almost 56,000 days since we became citizens
Over 146,000 days since we were first dragged here, enslaved.

All those days, and you gave up.
You realized it wasn’t easy, so you gave up
It wasn’t really convenient, so you gave up
There was no anti-racist ballot box, so you gave up
It required you got creative, so you gave up
It meant you surrendered your privilege, so you gave up
No candidate, booklist, or Twitter thread to spread, so you gave up
You gave up on us

So the next time we come back around to this,
The next time you post BLM or ACAB
or want to defund or abolish,
the next time you say All Black Lives Matter
or show off the Black-owned business you “love”,
the next time a Black kid is shot
or a Black parent is murdered
or a Black elder is beaten
the next time they try to lynch us again
Just remember we’ve already been down this road
And this time, your acting better come with an encore.

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