To the one who cried “it’s N***** day,” you got what you wanted. I heard you. We heard you. I hope the words you chose to spit from your noxious mouth made you feel some kind of pleasure. I hope they brought to you a feeling of elation, in some way.
I hope they allowed you to look at your reflection and scrape within yourself some kind of pride.
I also hope you lay awake. Listening.
Listening to the screams of horror that mimics the same screams we hear within ourselves when hearing N*****. I hope those screams ran through you, pounding your insides to be heard.
I hope you got to feel the heart-squeezing pain of hearing a white-bodied individual recite the one word you dare not utter yourself.
I want you to know how I felt.
I felt scared.
I felt the comfort that I worked so hard to construct within myself collapse and be spat on by your hands.
I felt alone. Alone with my own mind, which became polluted with fear.
Imagine arising to a word charged with the moans of your people.
Imagine navigating a foreign land and being forced to interact with the coward who despises you.
Imagine having your mind be submerged in an ocean of true and raw fright. Fright unknown to you before today because all your life, your being was encased inside a bubble of color, attacking any white that entered.
Imagine having your body stunned from disgust. But not from the word. No. Not the word, but rather from the mere fact that this coward saw it ok to have that word, out of all days, crawl from their belly, scrape their tongue and expel from their mouth like arrows.
That’s the most chilling. I can handle the word. I must.
What I can’t handle, but I must learn to swallow, is your entitlement.
To the ones who cry “it’s N***** day”, I’m disappointed, but shocked I am not.
I will take this word, N*****, and allow it to course through my veins and rebirth my pride in my blackness.
To the ones who cry “it’s N***** day”, I refuse to give you the power of control over my worth and most importantly, my body.
I won’t give a white-bodied individual that.
Not this time.