you had a name

dark pathway lit with small light fixture

“I can’t breathe.”

the house is quaking with thunder, and i feel numb inside.

“I was just going home.”

you could’ve gone so many places. you could’ve been going for a walk, or to a party, or to your friend’s house, or on a mini adventure, or travelling across the world, and now… well. you’ve gone.

and you just wanted to go home.

“I’m an introvert.”

hey, me too man. you know what, sometimes i sneak out of the house just to wander down the street and watch the waves for an hour. or on top of the roof to stare at the stars. because then there’s no people, and people are scary, and sometimes people pass dangerous things, like sickness and disease and hate. you get that. you got that.

“I’m just different. That’s all.”

you were a musician. you played violin for the cats at the pet shop. you worked as a massage therapist. you liked music and people and cats and you had a story, you were different and you were beautiful.

and you were black.

that’s the only different thing anyone saw.

“I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me?

why did you apologize? you didn’t do anything wrong. and even if you did have a gun, why would that brand you as someone deserving of the treatment you received, when the very country you were living in has made such a big deal of its rights to tote around weapons? that shouldn’t have convicted you, none of this should’ve happened. they weren’t supposed to attack.

they. weren’t. supposed. to. attack.

Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. 

i don’t understand. i don’t understand why you said that, i don’t understand why anyone has to say that, and why nobody listens to them. i don’t know why this hurts so much, and the not knowing hurts even more.

i’ve said the same words and suffered for years for it. i’ve tried to suppress and hide so many messy, dangerous, human aspects of myself to be accepted, but to beg for my life? nobody should have to do that. nobody.

You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you.

they forced you on the ground.
they were choking you to death.
they let their cameras slip.
they were not listening.
somehow, you gave grace that they would never have even considered for yourself.
that’s astounding, in every way that hurts.

“”Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt.

what was done to be forgiven or punished for? walking? wearing a mask? being black? what was right in this situation that let it go unnoticed for months, that it only got brought back up after yet another person’s death? i mean, what happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? what happened to kindness? why did you say such soft words?

You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work.

teamwork is for goals and dreams and futures, and collectively driving toward good. for sports and games and restaurants and the small gentle things of life. for nerf wars and water balloon fights, for games of tag and hide and seek and going places. teamwork shouldn’t be to attack a defenseless person for simply existing differently from you.

because what kind of twisted dream is it to hurt other people?

“Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly.”

every person that has ever existed was born crying for air. to apologize for that… to apologize for one of the first things that… that make us human?

i am so sorry.

i’m so sorry that it took ten months. ten. months. let your name be heard, for justice to be demanded. the world is a horrible place to exist sometimes, even when it knows.

they snuffed out a light, and now they’re mad because everyone’s trying to strike matches for a fire.

your name was elijah mcclain. i’m sorry we forgot.

and… and may the light you left with be picked up. soon.

because it feels so horribly dark.

~the dark comes crashing through, jo~

UPDATE: i forgot to leave sources so you can find out for yourself, and i think that’s especially important right now, so here you go:

petition

sources

6 thoughts on “you had a name

  1. I hadn’t heard this story. It’s horrible. I guess I should say thank you for sharing? I’m not happy that it needs to be shared, but I’m glad that you saw the need. So yeah. Thank you. For sharing and being who you are.

    Liked by 2 people

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