And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
white/lightskin/racially ambiguous girl: i had a pimple one time and i was ugly and dying and everyone spit on me and i was exiled from society but then i used clean and clear and now i am a healed and whole person with jesus in my heart
life hack: always try to eat a good breakfast, even (and maybe especially) when you’re feeling shitty and impossible. even if it’s only a glass of water and a single serving of fruit, your body will appreciate it and likely you’ll feel at least a little bit better having done something beneficial for your physical body.
life hack: remember that life can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. that’s okay i think. at these times, try to focus on the little things, like getting out of bed and feeding yourself, like cleaning your desk and writing something on the internet, like having friends and sometimes smiling at them as well. remember all of your victories but maybe especially remember the little ones. remember five years ago feeling like you weren’t moving but maybe especially remember the fact that you always are.
life hack: remember that you’re still here. remember 2 billion years of evolution. remember the trees and remember the ocean and remember the sky. remember that every time you didn’t give up you were making a conscious decision to continue winning.
but maybe especially, remember that you’ve never stopped winning.