Today I feel weary. And I suppose I will continue to feel weary for many days to come.

When I heard that Johannes Mehserle was only convicted of involuntary manslaughter I thought to myself, Damn they’ve done it again. I am not shocked by the verdict, but I am very distraught and somewhat perplexed.

As much as I thought I understood racism, I understand now that I had no idea how it distorts the mind. When I watch the tape of Oscar Grant being shot, I see nothing involuntary about the act committed. Even when I try to view it objectively (objective in this case meaning not as a black man from East Oakland), what I end up seeing on that BART platform isn’t just murder, but rather a lynching in town square.

It hurts me that the African-American experience is one that can be seen most clearly through the lens of fear. Fear of being captured by slave catchers on the Western Coast of Africa; fear of being strung up by the Klan in the old confederacy; and now, the very present fear of being shot to death by the police in the streets of California.

But then maybe I should be grateful that Johannes Mehserle was even convicted of anything.

Maybe I should look forward to the possible gun enhancements or the charges that could be brought about after a possible federal investigation. Perhaps this comforts some, but not me.

For me the issue isn’t necessarily the prison sentence that Mehserle receives, but rather its pain that consumes me knowing that five different videos can clearly display a man being killed while lying face down on the concrete and 12 god-fearing Americans can fail to see any one of them as evidence of murder.

My pain comes from the confirmation that in the year 2010, a white man can still get away with killing a black man.

And my weariness comes from walking around all day, fully aware that my whole life is only worth two years of that of a white man. When I found out what the verdict was, I could not gather the rage to riot. And no disrespect to the activists, but I could not find the voice to protest either.

All I could do was blindly stagger about my beloved town, to the gym and around the lake, looking for solace in my normal daily routine — I found none. The only thing that raised me from the depths of my stupor was the trauma expressed on the faces of every black man I encountered.

They all wore a countenance of pure pain and as they passed me everyone seemed to pose the question, “What are our lives really worth?”