Social Justice

True Pain

Radical change includes radical understanding

5 min readApr 21, 2022
Photo from Joel Bissell of MLive

Last year, I had a friend of mine explain to me that I should focus more on writing about my pain instead of my anger when it comes to issues of racism and other social injustices. This was a bit of a kick in the gut, but it also made sense and I had to sit on this advice for a while. I am fully versed in how to portray my anger through my words. That is something that I feel comfortable with and feel is a strong suit for me be it a positive or negative thing regarding expression.

Once Again

I am sitting down once again amidst a case that is unfolding about 35 miles from my home here in Michigan. It is the case of Patrick Lyoya. Patrick is a 26-year-old Black man that was murdered by the Grand Rapids Police Department last week. The GRPD has released the footage; however, it is expressed by the family that it is edited and not the original video that they were shown. Attorney Ben Crump has taken over the case.

The family and Ben Crump both describe what they saw as an execution-style killing.

I watched the footage and it immediately infuriated me. Patrick was on his back with his hands behind his back and he was shot in the back of the head. The searing hot tears of anger and sadness have not stopped since I was made aware of this story. I am so fucking angry that we are here once again, but I am not surprised; because this is what America is and this is what our criminal justice system does.

Close to Home

As a white father to a Black son, I know there are a few things for certain. I will never be his savior. I can never teach him how to be a Black man in America. I cannot protect him from experiencing racism. I know that his value and his life experience aren’t solely defined by the injustices carried out against Black folks. I know that Black joy, Black history, the Black community, Black power, and so many other aspects of who he is as a young Black boy in this country hold such a deep, rich value that I will never understand.

I also understand that my head and my heart are in constant turmoil seeing how Black folks are treated in this country. It isn’t some hypothetical confusion or…




Therapist/Client | Social Justice | Activism | Mental Health | Self-Discovery | Poetry | Editor of Authentic Diamonds.