Now, Legalize Black.
"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own," – Audre Lorde
On the morning of June 26, 2015, the U.S Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is now the law of the land, lifting the ban on gay marriage in 14 states. This is without a doubt a historical ruling, but as I try to celebrate and cheer for my fellow LGBTQ community there is a paradox of emotions sitting in my chest. I am genuinely happy for all of the gay WHITE men and women who will be able to make it to the Alter in all 50 states, really I am. But when being Black in America means that one of my black brothers or sisters will be killed every 28 hours by a cop or a vigilante in the United States, I am left with very little energy to celebrate. There are 8,760 hrs. in a year; that is about 313 Black lives that will not make it to an Alter, gay or not. As we all should know by now, a percentage of those Black lives barely make it out of adolescence and another percentage of those Black lives is killed solely on the fact that their political identities intersect with blackness and queerness. How do we make Blackness the law of the land? How do we ensure that one can be Black in all 50 states without condemnation? How can we praise SCOTUS for their ruling on same- sex marriage, when the same court turns a blind eye to the restrictions on Black people’s right to vote in over 4 states in 2014? How can we celebrate a country that will not condemn the confederate flag, as it is an overt symbol of racism and anti-blackness? For as much as the Black community extends their ally-ship to communities like the LGBTQ community, there is a lack of reciprocity and I am tired.
I have been protesting and demonstrating for the right to breathe the same oxygen as any other American and quite frankly I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. How can I celebrate gay pride, while black pride is under attack? Black lives matter NOW. Racism is an issue that needs to be dealt with NOW and not “next on the agenda”. While racism plagues the lives of black and brown people on a daily basis, my capacity to celebrate this American victory is dormant.