I didn’t watch the video.

I’m not going to.

I don’t know if people realize the fear and anger that I live with everyday. I think about what I’m wearing to work, to the gym, to run outside. I think about where my wallet and phone are when I get in the car. I think about how I would react if I were pulled over. I think about the “Siri, I’m being pulled over” command I’ve programmed into my phone. I think about how I interact with my colleagues and my students. I know it would only take one misstep, one wrong comment, one poor interaction for my life to become more difficult.

I don’t get many chances to escape the reality that I’m a black man in America.

So, no, I’m not gonna watch that lynching. I’m not going to spend too much time thinking about how quick white people are to share a video of a black man getting brutalized when they wouldn’t do the same thing for a dog.

I’m going to spend my day relaxing with my spouse. I’m going to eat pizza. We’re going to watch movies (currently watching a Korean film called The Gangster, The Cop, and The Devil). I’m going to lay with my cats. I’m going to ignore work. I’m going to watch Tiktoks and read comic books. I’m going to do what I can to protect my mental health. I’m going to love and appreciate the people who want to help me do that. And I’m going to pray for a world where more people try to protect the Black people in the world from everything trying to kill their peace.

Tyre Nichols deserved that. I wish he could have another day like the one I’m having. I didn’t watch the video, but I watched some videos of him skateboarding. I wish that was what I meant by the video. My man had a wonderful smile.

Rest in power Tyre Nichols. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends, the community, and everybody impacted by this murder.

There’s so much out there trying to reduce us to nothingness, file us down like teeth until everything is sensitive and the slightest touch is agony. That’s what that video would be. We deserve to live. We deserve to thrive. We deserve to be seen and treated as people.

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