Written by: Khadijah Thomas
Can we just talk plainly? I have so many wonderings.
Like, how do I explain to my non-black friends that I don’t want their pity?
That I could use their comfort!
How do I stay engaged with current events and not feel insane?
How do my husband and I not trigger each other, during a pandemic on a lock down; with our worries and life experiences; needs and traumas…etc.?
How do I not worry about him when I’m not there next to him acting as a cooling agent for someone who sees his black skin as a threat?
How do I show up to work every morning and serve families who are black and brown and act like nothing is happening because it’s not ‘professional’?
How do I learn how to show up for myself everyday first, when I’ve only known how to prioritize everyone else’s needs; because we are constantly trying to survive?
How do I have time to read and then process all the specifics on race, equity, ethnicity, and how these constructs apply to my life everyday?
How do I deal with family and extended family challenges in the mist of this all?
How do I leave my job during a pandemic because I’m exhausted?
How do I tell people stop going to my granny’s house because she is 93 years old and I want her to meet my babies one day but with the way that rona is lurking, I’m worried about her?
How do I choose a new doctor to see because the white lady I just saw made me cry when I asked her about fertility options?
Oh Chereen, how?
Although this is all rhetorical, I hope that non-black people read this letter and understand this is exactly why it’s wrong for you to ask or expect black people to also be your teacher, especially during a crisis.
If someone shares educational tools, it’s a blessing for you, but understand this is your journey to take.
You must start it.
This is only some of what my mind has to process daily.
I don’t expect anything from anyone, I only ask that you stop using your privilege to place more expectations on me and my people.
We are wailing right now in the streets of America.
We humans are the most resourceful creation, but it’s only when we don’t care enough, that we don’t do enough to figure things out.
Focused on my focus,