Let’s address the elephant in the room: White bodies cannot feel racism. I as a black bodied individual have tried to explain this over and over again, but nonetheless I find myself in constant discussions with my white “friends” as they need me to go through a cerebral process of racism while silencing my bodily experience.
Racism isn’t coming for your bodies, it is coming for my black, brown or indigenous one. Racism is putting children in cages on the borders and telling the world it is because their parents are murderers. It is killing black men in plain sight and justifying it by stating it was because he was violent. It is killing pregnant black bodies during labor because her cries of pain are minimized. It is punishing black + brown children disproportionately in educational spaces. It is erasing indigenous bodies and claiming they do not exist when trying to police the world on how to be green and protect it. Again, racism isn’t coming for your body, it is coming for ours. Which is why it should be no surprise that our bodies know how it feels. That when we scream out RACISM, in order for white bodies to understand, they have to hunt and dig for clues like a man trying to conceive the pain of childbirth. However, Black, Brown and Indigenous bodies know how and who racism is—deeply. I guess the only question to ask is WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE US?
Truth is, we don’t need you to say a racial slur or even to treat us unkind for our bodies (if we are connected to them) to feel your racism, your apathy, or your silence. When we say we are surprised, our bodies are not--our minds are. Our minds cannot conceive having you tell us you love us or that you are our friends, but you sit there unbothered or unchanged as we are reeling in pain. Our minds grow sick as we feel your violence, and can remain silent while inflicting it on us. Literally, we are all stuck in a repeated cycle of gaslighting and our bodies want out. “We are tired” means we are no longer falling for white bodies' mind trap of self proclaimed ignorance.
What hurts the worst in embracing this principle is that our bodies often culturally come to you soft hearted and arms extended, but instead of your love and encouragement you exhaust us. You exhaust us with questions like … but how is this racist? How can you be so sure? What about black on black violence? So, let this account set the record straight--our bodies feel racism, not yours. While your white bodies are trying to cerebrally make sense of an experience you will never feel; please extend human-kindness for those who have no choice but to learn how to survive while living with racial trauma induced fibromyalgia.