A Letter to my Silent Loved Ones

I look at my husband – I see his ambition, his drive, his warmth, his humor, his love. I see his Blackness. I see his humanity.

Why don’t you?

Why is it when a Black or Brown life like his is taken, there is no mourning, but rather deafening silence on your end? Are they not deserving of your compassion? Of justice for themselves and their families?

What’s worse is during this heavy and tiresome week, your silence has only been broken by your proclamations that “blue lives matter”. Now, I won’t debate this. We know cops’ lives matter. We grieve for them when they are killed. We are deeply disheartened for their families. We are able to see their humanity. There isn’t a need for a hashtag to reiterate a fact that isn’t being disputed.

However, what I need you to understand is my husband can’t take off his Blackness like officers can take off their blue uniforms. I fear for his safety every time he leaves our home because unarmed men, women, and children that look like him are killed for simply being. And in contrast to when a “blue” life is taken, there is generally no benevolence when a Black or Brown life like his is lost.

“Well, I don’t see color.”

Please miss me with this problematic bullshit. You and I see color. We see differences, which I celebrate, unlike you that tries to be dismissive of our variance in melanin in an attempt to avoid important conversations and discourse about our nation’s issues. My husband is a proud Black man and rightfully so. Rather than adapt to your “colorblindness”, I embrace his Blackness and everything it has molded him to be: determined, resilient, powerful.

I write this, not to embarrass or chastise you, but in hopes that you, too, will see that your continued silence supports a racist system seeped in anti-Blackness – a system that wasn’t built for us either. Hopefully my words push you to recognize that his life matters. The lives of our future Black children matter. Black lives, as a whole, matter and asserting this isn’t saying yours matters any less.