Murdered for their Melanin: Black Lives Gone too Soon

Last updated on April 13th, 2021 at 10:21 am


George Floyd’s murder—in the midst of a global pandemic, no less—was a stark reminder that Black lives don’t matter in 2020.

At least not as much as they should.

While a good chunk of the world was shocked by the number of Blacks killed by police, for far too much of the Black community it was an all-too-familiar story with the number of Black lives taken too soon, and we were frankly shocked by the overwhelming reaction the world had to the news.

And the world got vocal about it all, explaining why Black lives do matter in a world convinced otherwise. But as well-intentioned as everyone’s efforts were, they didn’t always tell the entire story, and after a while, it all started to make me think.

Let’s take a look at a meme that was meant to explain white privilege to others and why it was so important to understand the Black Lives Matter movement:

A Meme on Examples of White Privilege

“I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…

I can go birding (#ChristianCooper).

I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).

I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).

I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).

I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).

I can sleep (#AiyanaJones).

I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

I can go to church (#Charleston9).

I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

I can hold a hairbrush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford).

I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).

I can be a 10-year-old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

I can run (#WalterScott). I can breathe (#EricGarner).

I can live (#FreddieGray).

I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd).

White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND USE YOUR PRIVILEGE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ALLY.

#BlackLivesMatter”

*I copied and pasted this… please do the same.

It’s About More than Black Deaths, Though: There’s FAR More to the Story.

Now—I’m not fully hating on memes like this. Yes, it gets Botham Jean’s name wrong, and yes, it confuses parts of Sean Bell’s story with Khiel Coppin’s, but it at least raises awareness of so many of the Black people whose lives have been taken by injustices over time. But what are we accomplishing if all we mention of these names are the ways that they died instead of placing importance on the ways that they lived as well?

In Murdered for their Melanin, I wanted to humanize these names, giving more context to the lives that were stolen from African Americans entirely too soon.

And so I got to work, picking the meme apart, educating myself on the stories of all the people mentioned in the hashtags. And I won’t lie—so much of the research was super depressing, but I knew it was necessary to build something that could help people think differently. It took plenty of work with some assists from my friend Jenn Annis, but after enough hours spent in Adobe Illustrator, I finally wound up with Murdered for their Melanin: It’s More Than Just a Meme.

The 2017 100

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 01:08 am

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100—It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It.—New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

Last updated on January 13th, 2017 at 01:37 pm

So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.

(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails—Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent—I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP—Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2—46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To.—A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad—I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?