I know it’s mental health awareness month, but white supremacy doesn’t give a fuck about black folks’ mental health so I hope to edumacate you a bit and bring more awareness to what goes on in a black person’s mind/life in a time like this. Nonetheless, take care of yourself. And don’t forget to take a step back so a black person can take a step forward.
I wonder if Elijah McClain had a future Perhaps he’d grow out of his shell From behind the mask, invite others into his own world
Or maybe not. Because I think he was perfect. The way he was. And the world thought so, too.
I wonder if Elijah McClain had a future At 23, very much like me, I wonder if he was formulating his big bad plan to take over the world In the future. As we all do, as we’re all doing, at that age.
I wonder if Elijah McClain was ever afraid That maybe all his plans would come to nothing All his deeds would go to waste Because he wouldn’t finally arrive at his future; his 30s. And perhaps his 40s I wonder if Elijah McClain was ever afraid That he’d be killed on his path to his future And that the world would bring no justice to that.
I wonder if Elijah McClain had a future I wonder if he’d initiate a Massage Therapy non-profit Open its doors to the local communities of the hard working people of Colorado Who, perhaps, couldn’t afford a massage But were in great need of one. Free of charge. Freeing them from their charge.
I wonder if he’d amount to being a world class guitar player Maybe a highly sought-after violinist
I wonder if Elijah McClain would, one day, finally be offered the opportunity to perform on a world tour But he’d kindly reject the offer Because there are too many people in the audience He’d rather stay behind his mask Where he’s safe Where it’s okay.
Or maybe he’d reject such prestigious offer for other reasons Maybe Elijah McClain felt more comfortable performing in an animal shelter, where Anxious cats and dogs who knew how to value him Were his only audience. Or maybe, perhaps, he’d reject this paramount offer because He wanted to focus on one day starting a homeless shelter Maybe a full-service therapy home Because Lord knows Elijah McClain was put on Earth for the good deed of soothing our anxiety Until he was taken away.
Black kids have the right to dream. They have the right to achieve these dreams And live a full life. Feeling accomplished.
I wonder if Elijah McClain had a future I wonder if he foresaw himself growing up—like we all do. Imagine himself becoming successful With a stable job. Perhaps, a happy family, living in a nice neighborhood With trees, gardens, clear skies Because as a child in America, although Black, he has the right to that.
I wonder if he thought what happened to Emmett Till was not right And that it didn’t matter that, years later, the lady apologized Just like his.
You know, every little Young Black Child Young Adult We’re all Elijah McClain.
Elijah Jovan McClain (February 25, 1996 – August 30, 2019) was a 23-year-old black massage therapist from Aurora, Colorado, who died after being placed in a chokehold by police and being sedated by paramedics.On August 24, 2019, an Aurora citizen reported to police that McClain was wearing a ski mask and looked “sketchy”, although the caller also indicated that he did not believe anyone was in danger, and that he believed McClain was unarmed. The three police officers who were involved in the incident, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, said that their body cameras were knocked off during a struggle with McClain. McClain was forcibly held to the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, after which an officer applied a chokehold and paramedics administered ketamine to McClain to sedate him. While being transported to the hospital McClain went into cardiac arrest. Three days after arriving at the hospital, he was declared brain dead, and was removed from life support on August 30. McClain’s autopsy was inconclusive.
I hate wasting time AND I want to have more time, so I make slight changes to fulfill this desire.
One being: waking up very early to get a head start on my day. It’s necessary for my ambition. I have to give my mind time to buffer, feel free. Time to think.
But when I wake up so early in the morning, Like around 6am I do think, but damn I can’t say I’m happy with what I unnoticeably think about
These scenes start playing in my head: Potential encounters with the police, that a… Black person is subjected to. All the time that I meant to give myself; That I work so hard to earn Tic away as these thoughts flood my brain
How will I come to my end? What will be the black man’s crime, this time?
Will I be guilty—you know, punishable by death— Because I felt more comfortable with a mask on? Will my execution happen after I’ve been woken up from my restful night? But then to find out it was actually the wrong address But it’s always the wrong address It’s always the wrong weapon It’s always the wrong decision But a life is taken, and in life there is no takebacks. Maybe carrying snacks home is punishable by death. I don’t know But, in reality, I know my only crime is being black, Something to warrant a false accusation that’ll get my neck kneed on
By now over 30 minutes have passed of me just standing in my bathroom Lost in pensiveness Toothpaste sagging off the toothbrush numbly held in my left hand
I really hope it does not end this way. So I practice Rerun the possible encounters in my head; prepare for all the scenarios Because, well, this is not a drill—Niggas really dying out here. So I look in the mirror, and I imagine: I could comply if I am told to stay calm as there are guns and yells aimed at me; I would obey if 3, or even 6, police officers were stomping on me—pressing me down While ordering me to stop moving
I could do it. I’m sure. But I’m also sure they each thought the same thing, and yet…
By now, maybe an hour has already passed I’m tired of seeing images in the mirror. I wonder what my white friends do with all their time? Especially the miscellaneous time spent not involuntarily imagining themselves in deadly situations warranted by the color of their skin
What do you do with all your extra time?
The time I spend looking at my black body in the mirror Imagining the unending innovative possibilities of how I may die, legally murdered; lynched
What do white people do with all their extra time?
Do you leverage that time to, perhaps, take control over a society? Maybe rule a world? Create schemes to push those that are not you further below And then have them point fingers at each other?
Every morning, I wake up like 2 hours earlier than I really need to. I want to fuel my ambition Give myself time to chase those big dreams You know, do the impossible. But, instead, I just walk around–air in my head My body stuck. Mind in imagination. And I think, I think; I imagine, I imagine; I wonder, I wonder Without noticing that 3 hours has already passed Plus I still have to write this poem… Maybe that is why we’re always behind.