Social Self-Care and Cleaning our e-Spaces from Those that Refuse to be in our Corners during times of Racial Duress
The other day I wrote on what was the latest hashtag, #TerenceCrutcher. I wrote that post a bit late because I had not been feeling well throughout the day. Not an hour after I published the post, though, another senseless black death at the hands of our Boys in Blue occurred in Charlotte, NC.
At this point, I am not sure if posting about what happened to #KeithLemontScott helps to spread awareness or perpetuates self-harm on my psyche. With each new post where we devote to one slaying, there seems to be another in close proximity and the need to keep up and write on each one becomes a mentally and spiritually exhausting chore.
What do we do with these things? Where do we go from here? How do we cope? What is the mess that has been created around us and how do we rectify it? Is it the responsibility of the black community? How do we fix this obvious problem that is going on? These are real questions and we deserve answers.
This is where we are. In order for self-care to work effectively, filtering our social media spaces has become one of the most vital parts of the process. Even if you are on social media for fun and to pass the time during work hours, keeping people on your timelines and in your e-Spaces that a.) do not care about the current issues that are affecting the black community b.) choose to ignore the issues and never talk about them or show any sort of empathy at all c.) shout #AllLivesMatter but see the things that are happening and have a problem with #BlackLivesMatter and time and time again regal to #BackTheBlue is problematic at best and extremely harmful (racist) at worst.
Cleaning our e-spaces of those that do not hold our views on these issues is a form of self-care. In this present time, many black people feel as though our lives are at stake. With each new hashtag, we take it personally and the reality of it all is……at any given moment it could be us. Knowing that we could be next whilst still befriending those that are in our social spaces with starkly different views is, in my opinion, a show of abuse of self.
Why hold onto the friendship of a college buddy that has had such negative views on Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem and then when he learns of Terence Crutcher or Keith Lemont Scott, he is suddenly silent? On what level of importance does that friend regard your friendship if they can look at you in the midst of obvious oppression, racism, and inequality, and argue with you on the importance of saying “black lives matter”, but can specify on their own accord and say “blue lives matter”? Where do you rank for them on the friendship plane if their method of contribution to the discussion is to try to divert your focus from police brutality that is troubling your family and your spirit….and they consistently say, “well what about black on black crime???”
It’s honestly this type of ignorance that needs to be ignored and removed. While it is not the only method of self-care, it is a method that keeps you at bay from people that hold these views and thoughts. Because after all, negativity begets negativity and in these trying times in our community, like-mindedness is essential in order to get ourselves in a space of being consistent in our efforts of change, whatever those efforts may be.
I have to admit-I am past the point of exhaustion with our black bodies consistently being used for target practice. I have never liked police officers but there is an indescribable element of fear that I have had whenever I am in close proximity of law enforcement that has been ever-present for the past two years. I do not know where to go from here but self-care seems to be the only answer that sticks. Just caring for self and making sure my mind and spirit stays intact during these times. And hope that I, or any of my immediate loved ones, don’t become a hashtag in the process.