Don’t ask me how I am if you don’t want to know. If you can’t handle it. If you will need me to help you understand. Just don’t ask. You know how I am. How we are.
I am not ok. We are not ok. I am not safe. We are not safe.
I am not safe as a woman. I am not safe in America. I am not safe because I am black. I am not safe because I have a Ph.D. because I am black. I am not safe because I am middle class or even upper middle class because I am a black woman. I am not safe because I am an American because I am black and a woman.
My Episcopal priest’s collar will not keep me safe. I am not safe in this liberal Christian institution. I have been called nigger in the chapel of one of these seminaries. And I have had white faculty and administration colleagues white-splain to me that just because the student used the word nigger in a sentence while talking to me didn’t mean that she was calling me a nigger. I didn’t understand. I remember being forced to apologize for calling that place a plantation because I hurt the feelings of a white lady. And I did. I didn’t have tenure. I have tenure now. And I am not safe because I have tenure because I am black and a woman in America.
Don’t ask me what you already know.
Just keep playing Strange Fruit and Mississippi Goddamn until you get it.
And then let’s make the world safe for our children.