And reader, they’re also in you.
If you gave me a pencil and a paper, I could very likely draw out how I remember the faces of the 9/11 attackers. Their mugs splattered on every. single. news. channel. I was 12 when news stations said to me, “This is what terrorists look like.” “Be afraid of people who look like them.” Again and again. I realize as a kid, I was.
A few years later, when my older brother went through the emergency exit of a train station because his Metro Card wouldn’t work after swiping me, a police officer reminded me of who I should be afraid of. Nothing serious happened. But his attitude and aggression for a minor offense was enough. There was an incident on my bike, an argument on a corner, July 4th, many friends who denied how I felt and stories from Black friends and family that are too long and disruptive to articulate. These events taught me a lot about the micro terrorism that happens on a daily basis to people. One that wishes to break the spirit of Black and brown people everywhere. The events have been willfully accepted. White supremacy is willfully accepted and upheld by many.
Months ago, I listened to The Daily, where white people in Portland and in the south alike, spoke about their need to “protect themselves” after the election. Somehow they were afraid of us. The us, that don’t drive pickup trucks circling polling stations in NYC with a Trump flag hanging out, in an attempt to intimidate. The us, that watch countless of innocent Black men, women, and children, get hurt and killed at the hands of not only police, but people who look like seemingly “normal” white people, with little to no government retribution.
Reverend Warnock and Jon Osoff won two Georgia Senate seats held by racist white people yesterday. That afternoon when trying to shift away from the discomfort caused by terrorists, I kept coming back to Reverend Warnock’s instagram post, “Joy Comes In The Morning.” It is something my grandmother and mother used to say when I was a child. Something that is sewn into the pews and souls of Black people. Joy comes in the morning, is a resounding call to resist. To protect. And to stay willing and open to receive joy, despite the attempts of destablizing hurt and pain.
There are no photos to show on this space of yesterday. For some of us, Joy comes in the morning.