I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom how great is that? – Soledad O'Brien
Up at 3:30am because someone is knocking on my door. Now I would like to continue writing and the story go something like “and I was expecting my boo, who woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to lay next to me and share freely who we are to each other”.
But unfortunately the story continues with me rushing out of bed, grabbing my phone and looking for a house hold object that could be a weapon. I use to have an Ikea kitchen knife in my room but took this back to the kitchen cleaning one day. So I grab the only other thing I could think of in that moment the spray bleach from my bathroom.
Let’s be logical there are lots of reasons someone could be knocking. What if it’s my roommate? I started calling her thinking maybe shes back in town. She “lives life” much more than most of my other doctoral friends “live life”, so she could have just gotten back in town after a great night out on the town. But at this time of night and unexpected it can’t be her. Plus her knocks are different. Maybe I should call 911 this is an emergency right?
I stood there in my locked room with my spray bottle of bleach afraid most the white person outside of my door would try to break in, steal things, rape, assault, or even kill me. And if I fought back, me a preacher’s daughter, doctoral student and all the other roles that comprise my identity wouldn’t protect my humanity. I would be vilified, my Facebook, Instagram, Okcupid profile even this blog, all things that had nothing to do with this situation would be aired to the world. My mother, family and friends would devastated and even more devastated when the world stop caring about my case, my life, the very essence of my being. Then the quiet caused by my absence would only matter to those who still had a glimpse of who I use to be.
So at 3:48am in my mind it is probable that this white person could break in attack me and yet become the victim in the eyes of many. I feel scared to call 911 because what if this really wasn’t an “emergency”? What is my fear was an figment of my imagination? The underlying question is will they understand my fear as a black female in this situation? What has happened in society that in fear of my life I questioned my given rights to self defense.
Let’s call the courtesy office for apartments. He is here, so even if I end up needing to call 911, he could be here faster than the other local police would. I call he says he will check out what is going on. At 3:53am he calls back and ask “do you have a roommate named Bree”. I say no that’s not my roommates name….. Calls back 3:56am minutes later says that the person knocking was at the wrong apartment complex and sent he sent that individual on their way.
The question I keep asking myself is was I overreacting? And part of me wishes the answer was yes but living in the south, within the shady politics, in a town housing one of the most conservative universities in the nation, my answer is sadly no. My fear was justified, and what saddens me most is the injustice in the world that has allowed persons in power to strip away not just rights, but the humanity of others. I am a Black woman and my life matters too…………
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