“The situations that cause outrage never go away for us.”
June 20, 2017 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Smaller, and Smaller, and Smaller. by Marlon James [Facebook Post] A Brief History of Seven Killings author Marlon James writes an essay on Facebook about being big, close, and black in the United States of America.
posted by Fizz (5 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I was unable to find a non-Facebook posting of this essay in full. If someone does, please share that here for those such as myself who would rather minimize our interactions with Facebook.
posted by Fizz at 11:43 AM on June 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have a rule of leaving the party, or social space as soon as I see five white people drunk, because the only person who will remember that moment when everybody got hella racist will be me.
posted by Etrigan at 1:10 PM on June 20, 2017 [8 favorites]

Big block quote from the Facebook post in this WaPo article about it - may be paywalled for some, so here it is:

I have a big global voice, but a small local one, because I don’t want to be a target, and resent that in 2017, that’s still the only choice I get to have. … I go out of my way to avoid police, because I don’t know how to physically act around them. Do I hold my hands in the air and get shot, Do I kneel and get shot? Do I reach for my ID and get shot?

Do I say I’m an English teacher and get shot? Do I tell them everything I am about to do, and get shot? Do I assume than seven of them will still feel threatened by one of me, and get shot? Do I simply stand and be big black guy and get shot? Do I fold my arms and squeeze myself into smaller and get shot? Do I be a smartass and get shot? Do I leave my iPhone on a clip of me on Seth Meyers, so I can play it and say, see, that’s me. I’m one of the approved black guys. And still get shot?

… You will never know how it feels to realize that it doesn’t matter how many magazines articles I get, or which state names a day after me. Tomorrow when I get on my bike, I am big black guy, who might be shot before the day ends, because my very size will make a cop feel threatened. Or if I’m a woman, my very mouth. And a jury of white people, and people of colour sold on white supremacy will acquit him. And even me hoping for hipster points on my fixed wheel bike, is countered by them thinking I probably stole the bike.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:10 PM on June 20, 2017 [12 favorites]

He expressed that so well.

I would bike to work in full academic regalia if not for police assuming that I probably stole it anyway, and of course, shooting me. I don’t trust law enforcement, even when I need to call on law enforcement

I have nothing else to say. This is so painful to read.
posted by honey badger at 4:45 PM on June 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thanks for posting this.
posted by salvia at 9:16 PM on June 20, 2017

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