My mirror called me a Nig**r.
Like most racism, it was unexpected and unwarranted.
On social media, I scrolled past an angry post about the Breonna Taylor case. I successfully isolated myself from race relations and social media all week. I’m far too sensitive to embrace the stages of mourning, time, and time again.
The constant emotional upheaval drained me. That week, my writing distracted me.
By Saturday, my writing practice brought the endorphins of an intense workout. I felt free as my internal power grew.
Out of bed, I rolled. In the dim light of dawn, I threw on a hooded sweatshirt on my way to the bathroom. The house, too cold for air conditioning, was too warm for heating.
In the bathroom, I checked my blogging apps, Facebook, etc. My network appreciated my writing, and the love was palpable. As I reviewed my week, I felt proud. I exhibited traits of a good doctor, loving husband, caring son, and fun-loving doggy dad.
Article ideas started flowing naturally. I thought it would be a good day to write.
I walked to the sink to wash my hands and glanced up toward the mirror. My appearance shook me. Instantly, it dropped me into the black reality of undue blame, false criminalization, perpetually threatened, and assumed to be a threat.
I saw a black man, rough and intimidating. The hood encompassing my face draped down over my eyes. My skin glowed, rich with deep dark undertones of red and hints of yellow. My beard with a jet-black sheen was bushy and unkempt after my week’s work. Damn. Still black.
I had forgotten my blackness. At home, I’m not black at all. I merely exist until a mirror sees me and calls me nig**r. “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. /Oh, lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. — Nina Simone in “Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood” Breonna Taylor wasn’t black that night when she tucked herself in. She merely was a woman at home in bed. She was loved as a girlfriend, daughter, friend, and sister. She became black once the police arrived and blacker still in the media and protests. Do no erase her humanity through amplifying her blackness.
When the ugly thoughts of racism pierce through your consciousness, remember our humanness. Remember that the beauties of blackness enrich the human experience. The ugliness of racism teaches people of all races about the evils of social struggle.
Black life is beautiful. Blackness is rich in experience. Black is human. Black Lives Matter.
Breonna Taylor, Remember her name.