if violence is never the answer, then why was it the question?

burn it down. what is not for us is against us. what does not want us cannot defend us. what does not see us cannot protect us. what does not believe us cannot free us. burn it down.

what does not kill us makes us stronger angry. sad. scared. frustrated. demoralized. what does not kill us makes us stronger kills our brothers. our sisters. our mothers. our fathers. our children. our people. what does not kill us was intended to. burn it down.

they threw tea into the harbor and screamed revolution. brought a stolen country to its knees for the right to own my ancestors. picnicked under strange fruit as if the burned, lynched bodies of black people made for a cool breeze and nice ambiance.

slavery. peonage. jim crow. mass incarceration. state sanctioned murders. we’ve been fighting for freedom so long it’s a wonder we know how to do anything else. burn it down.

Peace has a place. but if you only scream peace to placate us into submission then the only purpose for your peace is protecting the status quo. burn it down.

we keep a list of things we can’t do, places we can’t go. we teach each other how to behave so cops don’t kill us. we die anyway. to be black and proud is a lesson. that our hair is beautiful. that our skin has value. to be black is to wear a bullseye on your back.

the system was designed to oppress us, not include us. so burn it down.

we can try again when the smoke clears.

Yours in Activism,

Karli Janay

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