I am not interested in changing who I am to fit inside of a system that was not designed for me. I am not interested in altering my personality, my style, my clothes in order to be afforded the right to anxiously work and achieve…what? I am exactly not sure. Some measure of success and notoriety for navigating the cruelty of a dehumanizing space without being swallowed alive even though my soul whittles away daily. 

I am not interested in contorting my body, my mind, or my spirit in this way. I am not interested in submitting my will and passion for an institution that does not wish good things for me, but that despises me and actively seeks to destroy me.

It is a waste of time. A waste of all my best energy, all of my best thoughts, all of my best years to go on this way pretending that if just perform the right way, things will change. I am not deceived, I am absolutely clear – no matter how hard I rise to the occasion, this evil will continuously crush my heart and steal my breath until it subdues me.

Or makes me numb. Numb to its whims and caprices. Numb to the suffering it causes me and my people. What makes me think that just because I’m on the inside, I’m somehow exempt from its wrath. You see, this is how we get tripped up – we think because we’ve arrived, we’re somehow absolved from the might of its terror. Meanwhile the war keeps waging and rather than liberating those we said we’d help, we’ll become a mouthpiece for the evil, thinking that whatever good we are able to somehow do justifies our participation.

No, I’m not interested in growing numb. I’d rather be destroyed. And since destruction is not an option – I have far too much breath left in me to go out that way – I must leave. I must get out. I must liberate myself from these chains that won’t ever willingly let go. And that time is now. Freedom now. Liberation now. Salvation now. Dancing and jubilation right now. Tomorrow will be too late.

One thought on “Numb

  1. It saddens me to read what you wrote today. When I read your writings, I am confronted with the reality of the situation still for Black Americans. I am a white woman, and I don’t want to take anything away from your experience, but I think that many of us on the other side of the divide see this culture as one that grinds you up and spits you out in a very conformist way. All that we learn growing up in this culture does not in any way point us towards our deeper, truer selves, our souls, towards God, towards gratitude for who we are and all that we have been given. It does not ask of us to use our natural gifts to express who we are; it only wants us to buy more and make a small group of people even richer. If I can learn from you and maybe you from me, and all of us from each other about who we were created to be and how we are to achieve that, well, then, maybe we have a chance at living a real life to the fullest as Jesus promised us. Pat Adams

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