I still remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened. I was still in high school, in my Geometry class. I don’t remember the name of my teacher now, but he was a white, heavy set, awkward man. He often made jokes that only he found funny. On that particular day, he was doing the same thing when suddenly, another teacher came to the door. He went to meet her at the door and she whispered something to him and left. He turned around with a worried face and went straight for the TV, which he turned on. There was chaos.
The next few minutes were a blur. Next thing I knew, I and other students were rushing outside and my mommy was there to pick me up. There were other parents there to pick their children up to, and the buses were lining up to take students home. I don’t know if the school contacted my mom, or if she heard and just ran to come pick her baby up.
Then I was home, my eyes glued to the television. It was the first time I had ever heard about a terrorist attack. Sure, the word terrorist was self-explanatory, but I was a child – especially a new child in America – and this was the first time I had ever witnessed something like this.
I don’t have much experience in America before 9/11, but the America I have become familiar with is the one of random mass shootings, police brutality, lone wolf attacks, and citizen “retaliation.” The powers that be say we should not be afraid, that we should live life as normal. But how can we live life as normal when nothing is normal? Or is this the new normal?
Every week, there are new hash tags trending that lead us to the new face and location of assasination. Pray for San Bernadino. Pray for Paris. Pray for Belgium. Pray for Nigeria. Pray for Kenya. Pray for Baghdad. Pray for Turkey. Pray for Egypt. Philando Castille. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Alton Sterling. Michael Brown. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. And these are just a drop in the bucket of how many people and places we have had to pray for.
I. Am Exhausted.
It’s easy for me to come on here and write passionately about feminism and gender [in]equality, but words fail me when people die needlessly. Over and over and over. I don’t want to follow hash tags about death and agony. I don’t want to watch videos of innocent Black men taking their last breaths after being shot for nothing. I don’t want to see the men who risk their lives protecting us get slaughtered on the battle line. I don’t want to watch people fleeing for their lives at airports and concerts.
I’d like for the biggest news to be that Dino threatened to get someone pregnant. And that Taylor Swift lied about Kanye.