It's too much.
This has been an emotional, painful, heavy week.
We are grieving. We are grieving the losses of Daunte, Adam, Dominique, and James, whose lives were wrongly taken by the police in the past few weeks. We are grieving for the trauma that the Black community is confronted with over and over again. Trauma from systemic police brutality and killings, trauma from being told "it was an accident."
To our brothers and sisters in the Black community,
I'm holding you in my heart. Your pain, your trauma, your grief, rage, anger, despair, exhaustion, sorrow, are valid. I know I can never fully feel or understand what you are feeling. I am here to listen and share in the pain of these brutal injustices.
I want to say that you have every right to your feelings and needs. To take mental health days from work. To take time for yourself to move through your feelings. To take time with your community. There's no set timeline for the grieving process. Your trauma matters. Your calls for accountability matter. Your safety and healing matter. We stand with you.
Some mental health resources are:
To aspiring allies,
I ask you, us, to slow down and make time for you and those around you to process the events and the pain of these times. Police killings of Black lives is an issue that matters for all of us.
Advocating for wellness must include advocating for a world absent of police brutality.
I invite you to reflect on why the calls to defund and abolish the police - and to build new systems for public safety - are valid, and what you can do to advocate for these calls.
The current institution of the police was built on slave patrols designed to target Black people. This podcast provides a history on the police system in the U.S.: American Police by NPR's Throughline. The Movement for Black Lives articulates their vision and policy platform here: M4BL Vision for Black Lives.
If you feel resistance to this idea, acknowledge it, but don't let that resistance be the end. Dig deeper. Drawing from our Journals for Racial Healing, write out what beliefs and biases are at the root of your resistance. How do those beliefs work against justice for, and the well-being of, Black people? How can you get to a deeper understanding of what drives this demand, and what new beliefs can you adopt?
Showing up in solidarity means letting go of the belief that you know best. It's listening. It's acknowledging and feeling the pain of Black people, even if you can't ever fully understand it. It's doing the work to get to understanding, to adopt new perspectives, and to honor the demands that move us to justice.
Here are the fundraising campaigns for the families of Daunte Wright, James Johnson, and Dominique Williams (the GoFundMe for Adam Toledo has ended).
Sending love and care,
Alina Liao, founder of Zenit
Art by Nikkolas Smith, https://www.nikkolas.art/