I am sitting here. I’m at my desk. It’s nearly midnight and I’m keenly aware that I should be asleep. I have a big interview with Paul Feig tomorrow and I really don’t want to make an ass of myself. I’ve just started a new job and there’s a lot of work I could be getting done, interviews that need transcribing and 600 words left on a review.
But… I’ve just watched the toll of the dead go from four to five in Dallas. I keep hearing that little girl tell her mother everything was going to be ok. I know an officer had to hold their partner’s spouse tonight as they learned the love of their life has died. I hear a boy cry for his father. I see outrage and shock and fear.
But I’m thinking about you.
I think about all of the Black Girl Nerds I’ve met this past year. Some of you through Twitter, but so many of you in real life at conventions, comic book stores, and midnight premiers.
I know today is a little harder on us. We’re hesitant to admit it because we’re not accustomed to looking away from someone else’s pain. We always put other people first. Our entire country is grieving. We are a nation of stark dichotomy’s and both factions have been hit hard. As black women, we stand squarely in the center.
We watch Diamond Reynolds and pray that if we are ever tested in the same way that we can rise with the same grace and intelligence as she did. We hope to show the same fearlessness and strength Quinyetta McMillan expressed in front of police and lawmakers as her son broke down. I know just seeing these mothers have to be so strong is triggering for many of us.
I know your workday, whatever it entailed, was significantly weighed down by the tragedies around you. I know you were asked difficult questions. Maybe worst, you were presented with nothing but the mundane. Everyone walks around as if the world hadn’t just been shaken; as if the frequency with which it is rocked has anything thing to do with the power of witnessing another black death.
Already people question McMillan and Reynolds as mothers. Asking why they didn’t comfort their children. People have suggested the victims were alcoholics and held criminal records and thus the police were justified. I know you’re thinking about your family. If someone decides to shoot you, whom will the media drag from your inner circle?
You think about all these things. You have a plan in case you get pulled over. You know where your wallet, hands, and insurance should be. You know that’s no guarantee of a positive outcome.
I know you think about your loved one in public service positions. You think about how every day they put their lives on the line. At any moment some lunatic could snatch your happiness.
All these thoughts culminate to panic, fear, resolve for change, helplessness, and a desire to strengthen your community. I see all of you reaching out to emotionally support one another. I’m proud to say that the Black Girl Nerds community is beautifully diverse.
We remind one another when to stay silent and when to listen, where to speak out and how. We give each other things to do when we’re overloaded. We try to discuss all possible futures and find solutions.
Women in uniform, mothers, students, activists, men and women from every corner of the globe, you nerds have become like family. I want to let you know that I see you. I’m so grateful to you. I’m hurting. But I am one of many and we are legion. As we navigate, what is sure to be a crazy couple of days I just ask you to keep holding one another up. I thank you for being a part of this community. I thank you for having me. I see you. I love you.