Aside from Rachel Dolezal’s hair deserving a BET award for being so on point, I am still disturbed by this bizarre story. I’m not particularly disturbed at her high levels of delusion (though, it would be valid), but moreso of how delicate our definition of race is in 2015.
There was something extremely visceral about the video of Walter Scott being gunned down with 8 bullets. A video, with the same visceral quality that one had witnessing Michael Brown lay on the ground for 4.5 hours or watching Eric Garner gasp for air. Visceral. Visceral. Visceral.
However, for many African Americans, this incident was too visceral. Viscerally triggering something devastatingly instinctive. An instinct, I sense, so situated in survival, that it's only credit to fame is a acute awareness of systemic endangerment. Presentiment, almost.
African American men (women and children) - whether acknowledged or not - are in jeopardy inside of this society; from infancy to eldership. Their deaths: expected; Their success: mitigated - without contrition or legitimacy. Constantly being forced - even beyond the grave - to explain their existence; almost always searing the conscience. And everyone aware of the Black condition in America is cognizant of it.
There's an implicit fatigue. An unexpressed exhaustion. An unutterable desire for absolution. A desire for miraculous exoneration. An exoneration from a menacing white gaze that constantly threatens black lives - especially when it relates to power and authority.
Power, in relation to the uncompromising expectation that Blacks must submit. Authority, when it comes to carrying out unlawful punishments on those who decide to leave that gaze - without remorse. It's this white gaze - and any deviation from it - is where we find Walter Scott's body lying: lifeless and handcuffed. That's the kind of exoneration Black people are seeking reprieve from. Reprieve from a state sanctioned gaze that seemingly is snuffing out Black men, women, and children routinely.
When will that occur? I'm unsure. I just know that the Earth (and its hearts) are groaning for change- at least, I know I am.