#DearBlackMan Two weeks ago my brothers visited me where I was house-sitting.
I asked my little brother to open the gate for our older brother. It was at night. My little brother said, well, I don’t want to get shot at by some white dude who thinks I am an intruder. I laughed and said he watches too many American things. Well, there is also Oscar. But the reality is that I have felt sad for the black man for as long as I can remember.
There is probably one or two people’s cars of the fairer skin whose cars I have sat in when the driver did not suddenly decide to dramatically double lock the doors of their car at the traffic lights as a black/coloured man is about to cross the road. It happens everyday. It says because you are a black man, you are possibly a robber.
The good black man then has to constantly prove that they are not to be feared. They have to work extra-hard against the forces that have already judged them. I have watched my black male friends over time who are saints who would barely hurt a bee and watch people lock their cars as they cross the traffic lights. My heart sinks. I never ask how they feel. It’s part of the drill of being a black man in #SouthAfrica. It has been possibly ever since they were named black.
Fear is possibly the greatest hurdle in our society. Fear is not black or white. My brother’s comment showed me that even the black man is afraid for his life, it’s not just the person who is locking themselves inside who is afraid. Fear dictates your state of freedom, it sets your limits. It is in fact your god. It makes you its prisoner not necessarily the people you lock out but the person that is locked in. It is a reality that people get killed over something as silly as a cellphone in our country. That is unjust. It should not be happening. It is unjustifiable.
I am not downplaying the levels of danger we are constantly facing.
It is unjust for any of us to face death of different kinds. We can however choose to be free from fear so that we do not remain prisoners of fear. If we become free from fear, then who knows, we may overcome our greatest threats. We will not only free the innocent black man who is constantly accused just by his existence in the planet but we may free even the black man who is a threat. We may free him because we no longer fear him. When we no longer fear him, we are free and he may have his humanity back. We too will have our humanity.
(This image was taken from Facebook. It is obviously American. I have no idea who the original photographer was but please let me use it is yours.).