Thoughts on Charleston

I am really tired of writing about the challenges of feeling unsafe walking around in Black skin, raising a Black child.

I am tired of feeling like it is open season on Black lives.

I am tired of being fearful of watching the news, choosing to binge watch Hulu or Netflix because the reality of living in this skin means that it is more likely than not the news will relay a story of the death of a brother or sister…at the hands of someone White…because that’s what makes national news these days.

Oh sure, yeah, I hear the rumbling excuses used to distract us from living under the threat of social terrorism—“What about Black on Black crime?”

What about it?

I am tired of hearing about why we can’t get serious gun control in the US.

I am tired of seeing, reading, hearing about how White mass killers are “loners with emotional problems” who write racist manifestos, tell friends and family that they want to start a racial war, and are gifted a gun by parents.

I am shocked that this young killer was taken alive, given a bullet-proof vest and humanely taken into custody. That alone seems to be a privilege not afforded to Black folk who are walking down the street.

I fear that a time will come when my economic and educational privilege will be shown, in dramatic and terrifying fashion, not to trump the disadvantage of my skin color.

I am angered by the unmitigated gall of South Carolina to fly what I believe to be the treasonous flag of the Confederacy;  the Confederacy lost. We’re supposed to be a union.

I grieve for the dead:

Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Rev. Sharonda Singleton
Myra Thompson
Tywanza Sanders
Ethel Lee Lance
Cynthia Hurd
Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr.
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Susie Jackson

I am so weary of this general subject matter. I feel compelled to write about it too often.

I am scared for Hope. I don’t want to keep explaining this ish to her. There is no explanation. None. I feel a sense of anguish after this massacre in Mother Emanuel. It is shameful. It is horrendous. I don’t know how the families can offer forgiveness. I am clearly not as far in my faith as they are, because I can’t offer that at all.

I am not even sure I can write anything else…the grief, sorrow and anger are just too much. I’ll just end with what my dear friend Mimi said on one of our early Add Water and Stir podcasts: “We’re trying to raise kids here!”


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

15 responses to “Thoughts on Charleston

  • Caitlin

    I’m tired of all of the same things, for you and with you. I’m also tired of feeling helpless to change it, and tired of feeling like things are getting WORSE instead of BETTER.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      It does feel like things are getting worse. The rhetoric is worse, the incidents feel worse (even if they are just now getting broader coverage), the fatigue is certainly getting worse. I’m just tired. 😦

  • Belladonna Took

    Sending a hug.

    Also, I’m glad it’s making national news. Not saying it’s okay that it’s happening, obviously, but at last people are paying attention.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I’m glad that it is also getting national coverage, even if some of that coverage is frustratingly oblivious and counterproductive. At least it *is* visible. Thank God for cell phone cameras…

  • My Perfect Breakdown

    First, thank you for sharing your thoughts on yet another tragedy (tragedy doesn’t feel like the right word, but I’m not sure one single word captures the significance of these all too common killings).
    While I could comment on many things you shared, the forgiveness element of the Charleston killings has been fascinating to me. Bear with me while I use a completely unrelated example – when my mom and sister died when I was 14 years old, within days I forgave the man who ran the stop sign. I did it for one simple reason, I could not hold that anger in my heart for the rest of my life – that would not have honoured their memories and would not have lead me down a healthy path in life. I have no idea how I came to this realization, particularly at such a young age and incredibly vulnerable point in my life. But honestly, I can almost guarantee I would not be the person I am today if I did not find it within myself to forgive.
    I don’t know, but I wonder if the decision of the families to forgive is something similar? A desire to honour the memories of their lost family members with positivity. A desire to lead their lives in a way that will turn an absolute tragedy into positive change in the community? Whatever their reason, I honestly admire them for turning away from the hate that could so easily consume them right now.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I absolutely agree that forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the individual being forgiven. Still, I’m not there yet. I suppose I’m less angry at the individual perp than at the systems and society that created him. That deeply frustrates me.

      Still it’s exhausting being both sad and outraged on what feels like a weekly basis. But I don’t want to become desensitized to the plight of my peeps or humanity. It’s crappy.

  • Meredith at My Pink Champagne Life

    When you choose to talk about this despite your anger, exhaustion, and frustration, you are making a difference. You are giving power to your words by holding this up to peoples’ faces and saying, “Look at this-it’s not ok!” I’ve been mulling and worrying over these awful, soul crushing situations. As the mama of a child of color, I haven’t walked a mile in your shoes and I don’t pretend to know what you’ve faced but I will still stand beside you as another mama who just wants the world to be a less scary place for her babies. Bless you!

  • Valarie Johnson

    In defense of the agents who brought that guy in, giving a high-profile suspect a bulletproof vest and taking him into custody humanely is what they are SUPPOSED to do. Police brutality is what should NOT be happening and I’d wager the big difference is because, when black people are killed for minor or suspected crimes, the killers are usually rookie police officers with an itchy trigger finger and a lifetime of racist undertones that make them more likely to assume a black person is a threat. The highly trained federal agents hunting down terrorists may have the same racial biases, but they have more experience and their own bulletproof vests that make them less likely to feel threatened, so they don’t need to shoot anyone unnecessarily.

    I do wonder if the reaction to recent police killings encouraged that young man to feel justified in shooting up an African-American church. The reactionary hashtags of “#AllLivesMatter” and responses of “more white people are killed by police y’know” and “black people kill each other way more often” could have fed into his racist beliefs. I know he he had a history of mental health issues, but only a racist society could have driven him to that type of action.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Yes, I know that’s what they are supposed to do, but the ironic juxtaposition of what is supposed to happen vs. what happens with the suspect is Black or Brown points out the privilege.

      And this dude does not a get a “crazy/mental health” pass from me. He entered a church, asked for the pastor, sat with him and his parishioners for an hour and then murdered 9 people, leaving a witness to tell the world why. He ain’t crazy, he’s a sane murderer. Don’t even get me started on how White men throw down the crazy card like they are at a spades table making a book when they’ve shot up the scene. #nope

  • TheChroniclesofaNonBellyMama

    The icing on the cake?!?! They took his ass to get Burger King because he was hungry! FOH!!! He shamelessly, ruthlessly, unforgivingly killed 9 innocent people! 9!! Eff you and your Burger King! I’m wondering if the officers that took him in had their own racial agenda. I’m just so tired of all the killings and all the hate and all the racial stuff. It’s starting to make me really sick! Really really ill! I hear your frustrations Fb your anger , friend. It’s one we share!

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