I’ve been thinking about this so much since this weekend. About what it means to be at the intersection of Black and Woman:
Feeling like you can’t say anything because your assailant is held up as an outstanding pillar of the Community.
Because otherwise, besides violating a person’s being more than once, he’s still a “good” guy.
Because you can still be a “good” guy after you assault your ex-girlfriend more than once.
Because you can still be friends with all her friends on social media and in real life and laugh with them and dap them up and take smiling pictures that we all see on the Internet because still, even with her own sanity at stake, she still doesn’t want to make anyone else even slightly uncomfortable.
Because even after asking you repeatedly to leave her alone, to stop contacting her, to not interact with her, after seeing what it does to her, after seeing the breakdowns and panic attacks–you feel entitled to come over and “just” say ‘hello’ when you see her. And in a room full of people who know, no one stops you.
Because she will receive 500+ private messages of support but not one person will stand up to put their body in between you two when you bee-line for her. Because no one will re-direct you into another conversation. Because re-directing you would mean admitting that they know, and who wants to be uncomfortable like that?
Because what does it even mean to be a friend after something like this?
Because she might imply it, but she still won’t write your name in print, lest what you actually did ruin your perceived reputation.
Because even with all she’s willing to say, more than so many others, the pressure to protect “our” Black men may kill her so that you can thrive.