Nia Wilson should be alive. In all the muck that happens in the aftermath of a Black girl dying at the hand of a white supremacist, that raging truth can get lost. Nia just graduated Oakland High school. She wanted to be “a lawyer or do something in criminal justice” recalls her sister, Letifah Wilson, the surviving victim. I’ve become more inclined to respond violently and even encouraging violence over the years when it comes to attacks motivated by white supremacy. This comes especially after seeing the lackadaisical response to the violence inflicted on Black women and femmes, domestically, by the state, racists, ETC. Pretending like I don’t know why I’m increasingly becoming more militant is a problem. This is hard to admit to others. Knowing what I know about the cycle of violence, abuse, and trauma, it’s frustrating that my answer to violence is violence. I’m scared to admit my potential in creating some real damage, or making a life altering decision.
I don’t want to center whiteness, but I do want to call attention to the barbarity defined by whiteness. When we say, whiteness is violence, this is what it has to mean. Whiteness is so fucked up. It forces us to risk what little we have to still salvage nothing in return. Black women and femmes are struggling to protect themselves and risk even more in doing so if they are able. When safety is preserved for the privileged, even protecting yourself is absurd. But we must try.
There is nothing else I can think of other than the importance in spreading awareness for Black women and femmes to seriously consider taking up arms. I’ve spoken about this before in regards to cat-calling. Being an outcast in an anti-Black world that systematically oppresses, will breed a specific response.
I can’t say that Nia would be alive if she were armed. It’s not a guarantee but I’ve built up this anxiety around Black girls and traveling. I assume my safety is in peril every moment I walk outside. I have to know for myself that in any event in which I’m targeted, whether I live or die, that I had the power to do something. Even grabbing my pepper spray before I leave the house is an act of resistance and empowers me.
I don’t feel safe. I can’t wrestle with that truth any longer. I’m not certain I know what safety feels like outside of my apartment. I just want to urge my sisters to be more than safe, to prioritize your feelings of comfortability and protection above all else.
You can help Nia Wilson's family by donating to her official gofundme account.
suggested reading: We will shoot back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement By Akinyele Omowale Umoja