Last week, a black man I follow on Twitter posted a poll. He asked his followers how he will die: Will he be Ahmaud Aberery’d, Breonna Taylor’d, or George Floyded. I picked Ahmaud Arbery’d.
I didn’t want to.
I really didn’t want to.
But my discomfort was the point. As a white woman, I will never experience what DKnight experiences. He wakes up every day wondering if he will die. And how that might happen. Will it be a racist father and son who think every black man is a criminal, deserving to be gunned down in the street? Will it be a horde of cops, bursting into his bedroom in the middle of the night? Or will it be four monsters disguised as police officers, one with his knee on DKnight’s neck, one standing and watching, and two holding his body down on the street?
There were many responses to DKnight’s poll. One person asked “Can I stand in front of you?” and DKnight simply typed “No.” Dozens of his followers refused to participate in the poll, while others asked why he was doing this. The rest of us picked a name. Because we needed to be uncomfortable, we needed to feel the sorrow and the rage and the anguish, even if just a little, that every black person feels every single day.
A black man asked people to choose his death.
We didn’t want to.
We did it anyway.
I left the poll with tears rolling down my cheeks and sick feeling in my stomach. But I told DKnight to keep making me uncomfortable, to keep forcing my eyes wide open. Keep making white people see the world through the lens of black skin. Keep making my cry because my tears are nothing compared to tears of black mothers who visit their sons in cemeteries.
I highly encourage you to follow DKnight on Twitter. His words are profound, often funny, always thought provoking, and sometimes, his words pierce your heart like an arrow. As they should.