I heard them on the phone talking about you, disparaging your integrity. I would have at least told them to keep my people’s name out of their mouths, but I imagine that’s how white boys talk in private. In my head, they’re always talking about titties, yelling the n-word or concocting a nefarious plan to steal something from Black people—culture, votes, lives—It doesn’t matter. I think it’s part of the job description.
Anyway, whether or not you manage to pull off a miracle by defeating the Confederate Cersei and Jaime Lannister, I’m sure everyone will be in your face on Wednesday, waxing rhapsodic about electoral politics, Southern voters and how much the American people can accomplish when we participate in the “democratic process.” So, I decided to get this out of the way before you get busy and tell you that, whichever way things end up, I just want you to know:
I appreciate you.
Hopefully, amid the din of the applause, under the slowly dimming, ever-moving spotlight, at least one of the back-patters and smile-flashers will acknowledge the real lesson that you have taught us over the past month:
This shit is hard.
Goddamn, this thing is tough to beat. It’s like running a marathon against a person in a chauffeured limousine. It’s like trying to climb a mountain in the pouring rain but in this case, the rain is white people. And the mountain is white people. And the white people own the mountain. And the rain.
Yes, you pulled off a miracle. I’m not talking about the getting-to-the-mountaintop part. I’m not even talking about the climbing or even being on the mountain. I’m talking about just being.
That we exist is the miracle.
If I were in any way delusional or enthusiastic about this slave-eater that we refer to as “America,” right here I would add: “and that is enough.” But it ain’t enough. God knows, we have excavated our entire beings trying to give this star-spangled monster enough of our flesh to satisfy its bloodlust.
But here you are, clinching that pointy stick, still swinging at the behemoth trying to make it go away, knowing that it will not die.
And yet it chews.
We saw you out there, boarding buses and beating the bushes trying to counterbalance the disinformation, the racist dog whistles, the gobs of money and 400 years of America America-ing its ass off. They tried to stop you and they couldn’t. You worked your ass off! I love you for that.
Election? I’m not talking about no damn election! But since you asked:
Imagine having everything in the world—money, whiteness...an entire Senate seat—handed to you on a golden platter with your name etched underneath the pile of privilege and still winding up in a fight to the finish with a preacher who grew up on food stamps. Do you know how confident they must be in their perpetual whiteness machine to give an entire Senate seat to a white woman and just assume she will win? Imagine how excellent a Black man must be to wrest even a microscopic fragment of power and privilege away from a white woman.
White people don’t give things away and neither does America.
And it is hard.
And I know you didn’t do it for a reward of a pile of shiny things, which makes your sacrifice even more commendable. You really did your thing, shawty.
And you did it for us.
You knew they would try to stop us and you know they won’t stop trying. They tried everything—a purge, a threat and an unstoppable Black people-swallowing beast and all you had was a stick. And just looked at them over there scared AF, trembling in their nigger-kicking boots.
Now, look at us.
No, that’s not even what I came here to say. That’s what the white people are going to tell you tomorrow. I just wanted to give you the Blackest compliment of all:
We see you.