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Today was a good day.

My appetite is starting to return. I touched base with some of my creative soulmates and we’re still on good terms.  I had lunch with my Office mates and got the necessary teasing.  I answered some questions about Islam and Ramadan and what the past month has been like for me and my ilk.  My iPod gave me three different versions of one of my favorite love songs.  I want to spend the weekend with the windows open and the jazz turned up, and drink iced tea and watch UFC 200 and enjoy (even by our standards) some perfect L.A. weather.

But, I don’t live in a vacuum. Or a bubble.

Today, and the day before, have been depressingly bad.

For the infinite time, I’ve had to convince the people who love me that I make smart decisions with the skin I’m in and the community that I represent and anything that happens to me beyond that is in God’s hands.  I’ve listened to the cockiest brothers I know express extreme fear and lack of self worth.  I’ve listened to sisters express terror and fear and hopelessness for the brothers (and themselves).  And of course, I think about the nieces and nephews and the kids under me, many of them still too young to understand.

And as much as anything, that is what makes me furious: we have to teach them to be afraid, of people who by definition, are supposed to protect them if we’re not around to do it.

I do believe, in the long run, things will improve.  But today is not the day I’m going to drop some mystical platitude on you.  I’m not here to ignore the rage and deflect the anger in another direction.  Not today.

I decided, long ago: you don’t have to like me, I have enough people who do.  You don’t have to be about what I’m about.  I have enough people who are.  You can talk your shit, you can hurt me temporarily, but you’ll never break me or bully me into living my life in fear.  I don’t fear Man, I just don’t. I’m not the one.

So all I’ve got to pass on to my people working through it is to say,

Be Strong.

You’re Not Alone.

We’ll Figure This Out.

And above all else, Take Care of Yourselves.

Enjoy the weekend as much as you can.

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