Why I’m a Paranoid Black Man | J Prophet

If it’s not someone who looks like me, who has bought into the lie that we are all threats even to each other, who emulates white supremacist violence against black bodies; it’s a white civilian who finds me to be “suspicious.” If it’s not a white civilian who may very well get away with taking my life through a plea for self-defense, it’s a police officer who, for whatever reason, cannot seem to find a non-volatile way to engage with me. Or rather, we can’t seem to find a non-volatile way to engage with each other. So, yes, I’m paranoid. But I’m not the only one. We all are. Our paranoia is perpetuated by the lies that exist about me – the lies that find roots in the soil where I was bred to be a brute or buck, thought to be unfazed by a tazer to the back or a single shot to the chest or 4 to the body or 10 or 19 or 41.Every day that I muster strength to step out of my humble abode is another day I could get shot. Snuffed out. Regardless of my dreams or my plans or my pedigree. I could get shot because of the signals my skin sends.What makes me more paranoid is that I see a system so clearly that other people tell me is just a figment of my imagination. Am I, indeed, making all this up? Am I somehow identifying with a pathological narrative in order to reap those privileged benefits of struggle? I guess I should forget about what my dark skin says to people because, after all, we live in a post-racial society that readily associates black men with a President before it associates black men with danger.Or maybe I should just rely on my faith here. As if I’m not already doing so. Or maybe because Jesus never talked about westernized concepts of race, I should find the spiritual fortitude to disregard this black stuff altogether. Mine and my ancestors’ faith journeys have nothing to do with our experience as black folks. And black folks certainly haven’t had any unique perspective on the story of Jesus because there’s no connection between the black experience of being outcast and lynched and Jesus’ experience being persecuted and crucified. Those silly Womanists.I mean, come on.

via Why I’m a Paranoid Black Man | J Prophet.


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