Mourning Silently

Things have been quiet. On FaceBook, even my most “Change the World, We Shall Overcome, revolutionary-type” friends have been posting pictures of their kid’s accomplishments, nights’ out with friends, and even a little food porn; instead of posting about the beating of a Black UVA student by ABC agents, the killing of the unarmed bi-polar Black man, Anthony Hill, in the Atlanta area, or the racist chant the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. I’ve enjoyed the twaddle; but, it’s abnormal. It’s quiet.


My phone isn’t ringing either—not with the same types of calls. Typically, one of the regulars will call nightly. Separated by many miles, we will cook dinner, drink a glass of wine and share. I know what they would say:


  • I’ve been busting my ass to send Jr. to all the best schools, hired tutors for him to get good grades, so he could get into a good college because those are the things that would keep my son safe, successful, and respected. Right? If a Black, honor student at a prestigious college isn’t safe, who is? If that isn’t notice that it is indeed open season on Black males, then what is?



  • Damn, I read homeboy had to be on 7 medications after serving our country in the Air Force in Afghanistan. He comes home, acts erratically — not violently, just erratically — and we thank him for his service by killing him. Welcome to America! Problem is, what people won’t admit is that that cop didn’t see a war veteran. He didn’t see a brother. He didn’t see a son. He saw a Black man. And if White people are honest, most of them are scared of Black men.



  • Girl, the most shocking thing about the Sigma Alpha Epsilon story was that it made news. The only Black person who didn’t think that there are some fraternities that are blatantly racist are the misguided dumbasses who join them. They literally brag in their marketing materials that SAE is the only existing national social fraternity that was founded in the antebellum South. Child, and no one has mentioned that they have had tons of problems before. At the University of Cincinnati those fools held a Martin Luther King “trash party” on MLKs birthday! Can you believe this crap! The invitation told folks to wear KKK white hoods, dress in black face and to bring fried chicken. Girl, but you know we used to see a lot of this craziness when we would go down to Auburn University to use the library. People wanna act shocked? This is old news. Now, I’m just dying to ask the Black members of SAE the question that all of us want to know, “What in the fuck went wrong in your life that these are the folks that you want to most call your brothers?”


The only other thing that shocked me was when that fool Joe Scarborough and one of his cronies tried to blame rap music for the frat boys’ behavior. Really? Please, please, please tell me the song where they talk about hanging Niggers?  Is there a remix? 


Seriously, I’m beginning to wonder if it is possible for a White person to be held accountable for any wrongdoings against a Black person? If we bring up slavery, we are living in the past? If we bring up an issue of discrimination in the work place, we are too sensitive or conveniently using the race card; if there is an issue with a police officer there is never enough evidence to prove a wrong doing.


I have a roadmap for how these calls would have gone because there have been countless of them. With Verizon, dirty martinis and various bottles of red wine my friends and me have navigated the nuances going to school, having a career and raising children as Black women. We usually talk about these things to provide each other with tips on how to best handle situations. We also are there to catch each other’s tears when things, usually when it’s involving one of our kids, hurt a bit too much.


But, lately it’s been quiet. I think it’s been quiet because after you have talked and talked, cried, protested, posted, and marched; but still the stories come, and come and come, you are shocked into a silent mourning.


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About Randi B.

Randi is a diversity and inclusion strategist, speaker, trainer and writer, focusing on making connections and cultivating empathy in this diverse world one trip, speech, article, book and conversation at a time.

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