01 May Jordan Edwards and the Privilege of Ignorance
She knows. Ze knows. She doesn’t know. They know. He doesn’t know.
That’s the thing I do on mornings like these. I look at faces. And wonder if they know. Our eyes meet and I can always tell if they’re carrying the weight too. Those soul windows are a clear indicator of whether they know her name or that once again the notion that “all lives matter” has been disproven because his didn’t. Thing is, some eyes never seem to know and others never have a chance at not knowing.
Many of those spirit doorways sit in meetings and focus on the task at hand. They aren’t distracted. Don’t have to be thankful for allergies to blame if the tears come despite best efforts to hold them back. They won’t close office doors and long for spaces where everyone knows so they understand your pain and give you space without leaving your side.
What must it be like to not live in fear of your child’s life? Every. Day.
What must it be like to be allowed a childhood?
What must it be like not be viewed as dangerous simply because your 15 year-old body is Black?
What must it be like to expect that your children will make it home each day?
Sometimes I both envy and despise those who have the luxury of walking around and not knowing that Black babies can’t go to parties- Jordan Edwards. Not even pool parties- Dajerria Becton. Not knowing that Black babies can’t play music in cars- Jordan Davis. Black babies can’t go to stores- Trayvon Martin. Black babies can’t talk to their friends in their neighborhood-Rekia Boyd. Black babies can’t even sleep in their own homes- Aiyanah Stanley-Jones.
What I know is that most of us don’t have to click any of the links above to learn the stories of Black babies killed at the hands of the state or murderers of Black babies who are pardoned by the state.
What I know is that we carry them with us and our hearts and minds are heavy.
What I know is that our attempts at finding Black joy today will be interspersed between moments of remembering that Jordan Edwards won’t go home again. That Jordan Edwards was a baby. A child.
What I know is that a Texas police officer fired into a car full of Black children.
What I know is that the officer wouldn’t have fired into a car full of white children.
What I know if that a good number of people I encounter today will not have to think about/feel any of this.
What I know, what I’ve always known, is that ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is privilege.