Over the past few days I’ve heard of at least two people stabbed to death. One of them by a man of unsound mind who was known to be a problem to the community (another post to be made about this) and one by a passenger who refused to pay bus fare.
In both instances the comfort to the grieving has been the same:
“nuh worry dem bwoy deh soon dead”.
There is a kind of power in the idea that we can return the world to order by killing the person who killed the person we love. But it is a lie.
The killing does not reinstate our loved one and only supports an exploitative system that encourages and rewards neo-colonial Black and Caribbean subjects for killing each other. Our children will also have to die and kill each other to survive. We are well on the way as murder of children has increased significantly. We have no safe harbour in this storm
So today I am thinking about the preservation of black life.
I am thinking about the preservation of black life and I am thinking about large and small scale necropolitics and how our engagements with each other as neo-colonial Black and Caribbean subjects is underwritten by the power to take life rather than to make lives.
I know we didn’t get here overnight.
I know some of us/most of us cannot imagine another way to be.
But still I wonder.
Why we are so comfortable with the idea of black death?
These stories are not new, and retribution is a matter of fact in our spaces.
We fear telling the police what we know because we might be killed. We fear defending ourselves against our attackers because if we harm them then their people will come back for us and we will be killed. We fear most things because we may be killed.
Those among us who appear most fearless have either security companies (legitimate gunmen) who are willing to kill on their behalf, or bad man fren’ (semi legitimate gunmen) who are willing to kill on their behalf.
All I see are black and Caribbean people dying.
I wonder if we will ever come back to a place of self love where we think of our lives and lives like ours as things worthy of preservation? Will we ever understand ourselves as deserving of peace? Will we ever notice the system and become so enraged by it that we turn our anger in the correct direction and fix it? Or will we continue to kill ourselves because of years of social engineering that teaches us we are killable?
I don’t know. I know that I am tired.
I know that I am tired of grieving and loss and children without parents, lovers without loves , parents without children, communities emptying out of working age men because of gang wars, music that details the many ways to kill a black man and the delight we take in musically murdering them night after night in the session, and all the pain and resilience that has become Black and Caribbean culture writ large.
Today I am thinking about the preservation of black and Caribbean life and turning my energies towards a world where poor black men and women live long and prosper and where the ability to murder is not the only status we achieve.
Our lives are worth preserving, not just avenging.