It is cold.
It has been for days, weeks, even.
Up here in New England, the cold can be bone chilling and not even a weighted blanket is enough.
The same is true for the upper midwest. I spent part of my time growing up in Michigan and went to grad school in Michigan, lived in Illinois, Chicagoland, specifically. The Hawk is brutal in February.
So, on the first full week of Black History Month 2022, in the midst of all the other antiBlack vitriol happening from book banning to hand wringing about a Black woman on the Supreme Court, Minnesota decides to show it's racist self once again.
A young Black man, in his own home, trying to stay warm, chilling, watching TV, is slaughtered. He was probably doing like my kids when it is their chill time, half awake, half asleep. Two of my sons are licensed gun owners. So was this young man. He probably had it nearby for protection, he did not live in the area where one can just leave their doors unlocked.
Like Breona Taylor in Kentucky, Minnesota decides that a night raid is in order, in full tactical gear, busting down someone's door with a battering ram and expecting them to not react.
He had no chance to comply.
He was in his home.
He was half asleep.
He was under a blanket.
He was a licensed gun owner.
He was not the target of the raid.
He was not a criminal.
He was a kid.
And they executed him.
Then the PR campaign filled up my Instagram.
They were trying to justify it, give a reason for it.
History repeating itself over and over and over.
And we are not supposed to react.
But they did.
And spent a cold day and evening taking to the streets, closing down bridges, demanding justice and not another press conference with Becky and Bob giving their scripted replies.
We are tired.
Since Tamir, we are tired.
Why are white people so scared of their own shadows? After 400 years, they know we are not descending on Greenwich to murder them in their sleep. We just want to live and have our children able to wake up the next day and go about their lives.
My children are all adults now, 18 to 35. And I still worry. Because white people will see their Black skin and feign some fright that could cost them their lives. Even being half white won't protect my grandsons, it is their big Black father that causes the fright that will course through their veins.
We are tired.
Tired of talking about it, honestly, because they know what they are doing.
They created this boogeyman and then funded it, like the inflated military budget with all that excess equipment that will trickle down to JimmyBobJoe who wants to flex his local muscle to keep the Black folks in line.
It is tiring.
We are not criminals, not any more than white or Latinx or Asian.
Yet, from teachers calling the police on five year olds to stop-and-frisk to no knock raids, Black lives are surveilled and slaughtered more often than a hashtag.
Amir deserved to live, to chill at night in his own place with all the expectations of his coming day.