My consciousness is driving me crazy/ In memory of Laquan

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What does mental illness mean when you are a black person living in America? Everyday is more distressing than most people will admit and it seems as though the days are getting longer. I was searching for escapism on social media. I found myself on Instagram looking at goofy vines. It worked for a while, until I stumbled across a video of a man being shot to death as he walked down the street. I watched this 15 second video about three times before I read the caption which revealed that the person murdered was not a man, on the contrary he was 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the person who murdered him was a police officer.

 

I do not think that an American born person who is not of African descent can understand the mental unease associated with having to fear the same people who are paid to protect you. Furthermore, if you are a black man living in America then what is known as paranoid schizophrenia is not a disorder as much as it is a strict interpretation of the world that you were born into because everyone actually is trying to kill you. There was a cover up in the Laquan McDonald murder that implicates members from every level of law enforcement in the city of Chicago. From other officers on the scene, to internal investigations, on up to the chief of police. Even mayor Rahm Emmanuel has blood on his hands. But only one officer is charged with murder and it took over a year for that to happen. So what about all of the other accessories to the killing? Why are they not being held accountable? How can members of the black community sleep at night knowing that there are officers of the law patrolling their communities who do not care if they live or die?

 

Do you know what it feels like for a global movement to be necessary to inform the world that your life matters? That when we get hit it hurts? That when we get cut we bleed? That when we die our loved ones mourn? That we have loved ones? That we know how to love? That we are actual human beings with three dimensions and souls?

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Sometimes I don’t get out of bed. Often times I don’t want to be around people. It isn’t uncommon for me to miss a meal because I just don’t feel like eating and I suppose if I hired some white man with a PhD in Psychiatry to tell me what’s wrong with me he would come up with a whole host of things that I suffer from and prescribe a whole dresser drawer full of pills—but I refuse to give him the satisfaction. I don’t know everything but I know that what the white man calls crazy is very subjective. What is not subjective is the fact that he created all the conditions that have led to this black man’s depression.

 

So how do we process the fact that if you are black in America the term mentally ill is completely synonymous with your consciousness? And the more aware you are that this country does not care about your existence then the more likely you are to implode. I struggle with how to deal with the melancholy truth that mental illness is our normalcy and to be sane is to be oblivious to one of the oldest American conspiracies. And that is that the masses of black people in this country must remain in a state of fear and unctuous servitude in order to preserve this nation.

 

-YB

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7 thoughts on “My consciousness is driving me crazy/ In memory of Laquan

  1. I am with you on a few things and I agree that life isn’t fair for minorities in this country. It may be easier for some than others (light skinned Blacks and Latinos vs. darker individuals) but overall it’s definitely a harder road.

    However, when do we stop being victims? When do we become responsible for not attempting to cast off our chains? The 60’s showed us that change was inevitable if we banded together to make it happen.

    -Pierre M.

    • How do you suggest we stop being victims Pierre? And what from post suggests a victim mentality?

      • “What is not subjective is the fact that he created all the conditions that have led to this black man’s depression.”
        ^ That part mainly. I suppose you weren’t talking for all black men when you typed that but the point is the same. Did “he” create all the conditions?

        We need to rise up, become educated, and make our mark on society. Too many people believe that hustling is a way of life. It doesn’t have to be that way.
        -Pierre M.

      • That quote speaks to my individual experience as a black american male. Just because I am aware of my oppression does not make me a victim. As far as the writer that you are interacting with right now I am all of those things that you say that blacks as a whole need to be. As for the masses of black people I tend to agree with you. Hustling should not be a way of life. We should stop accepting a life entrenched in drugs and crime as our natural outcome. The only thing that puzzles me is I said nothing about hustling in this blog post. This post is about a 17-year-old young man being murdered by those that are sworn to serve and protect society. This blog is about the mental toll that his murder, and many others, is taking on me. Furthermore, I am no victim. I am a human-being who is tired of watching those that look like me killed on video tape while the murderers remain on paid administrative leave. That is the focus of this blog post.

      • The hustling comment is in reference to the many alternative venues minorities take in life.

        Believe me I’m tired of seeing it too, for many of the same reasons.

  2. I just made a post about this on my blog called “The Revolution Will be Televised” please check it out if you the chance.

    One thing that really stood out to be is how you explained that often when it appears like justice has been served, in actuality it hasn’t. I have been following the McDonald case quite closely and it genuinely hurts my soul to watch only one officer be held accountable.

    It truly is scary to be a black man in America and its going to take a revolution to truly eliminate that fear.

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