Adam Smyer

Day After a Lynching Acquittal Protocol (2014)

September 24, 2020

Written in 2014.

Get out of bed only when ready; move slowly; do not rush. Get to work late if necessary.

Monitor and restrict exposure to social media.

Pet cats.

Kiss wife; let wife kiss you.

Put one vegan birthday cupcake baked by mother in briefcase. Carry around and have with you as long as possible before ingesting.

Try not to look at headlines.

On train, deploy special playlist made for the day after a lynching acquittal. Do not share seat except with another black or possibly Latino person.

Keep office door closed. Focus on abstract legal problems and mundane administrative tasks to the full extent possible.

Limit social contact to those who understand what happened yesterday.

Stay in Oakland. Avoid San Francisco.

Be painstakingly polite to everyone. Do not smite anyone.

Do not force a smile, not even to return periodic apologetic smiles from well-intentioned white strangers.

Call mother.

Be extra gentle with every other black person. Loving, if possible.

Redeploy playlist for commute home; tune out as much as possible without missing stop.

Change into PJs immediately. Snuggle with wife and cats. Be prepared to go to bed any time between 8 pm and 2 am.

Avoid television. Immerse self in escapist movies with either all black characters or no black characters.



© 2021 Adam Smyer