Tag Archive | Racism

Dear White People . . . I Have the Right to Be Angry

*If you are my friend and you are White, – if this offends you, contact me.  Have the difficult conservation with me.  If you aren’t willing to have a conversation with me about this, we aren’t really friends.*

I’ve started to see every white person I don’t know as the enemy/a threat.  I’m not exactly sure when it first started, but it was probably around the time that Mike Brown was murdered.  I didn’t grow up afraid of White people. Even though my mother made sure I knew the history of the United States, I lived the first 32 years of my life believing in the goodness of all people, regardless of their skin color.

I THOUGHT I understood racism.  I thought racism was dying out, and racism was just based on old ideals, in the south. I thought as we spent more time conversing and getting to know each other, racism would die.  After all, “Some of my BEST FRIENDS ARE WHITE.” They love me and I love them. They’ve never treated me any differently because I was Black*.

Racism is the herpes of -isms. Sometimes you forget it’s even there. But then, there is a flare up that very lewdly reminds you, “Oh Bitch, I NEVER Left.” It’s been there, lurking under the surface just waiting to ruin your whole got damn day. Be it the random white dude who won’t let you over on the freeway, to the lady checking your math, right after you give her the total, about money She Owes You. Or even, The News.

Before Mike Brown, I felt like the bad apples would eventually see the error in their ways, and we would all live together in harmony. Post-Ferguson, when people I’ve known my whole life wouldn’t stand up and speak up, I was . . . lost/hurt/angry/frustrated/devastated/other words that mean angry.

Why aren’t you fighting for me and my people? Why aren’t you in the streets, and talking to your family members about what is going on in the news? How could you even let the words come out of your mouth, “Well if he wouldn’t have . . . “

Strangers were livid about the collective rage coming from Black Millennials. They were livid that we were standing up for ourselves and being vocal about injustice. I’d never seen such ugly comments on internet articles. The wave of unarmed children, women, and men, killed by police officers, that followed Mike Brown’s murder has done nothing to illicit rage in some my White Counterparts.

They keep killing my people! Even children in the park aren’t safe! My skin color puts me in immediate danger every hour of every day! I’m afraid when I drive at night to get pulled over by a cop.  Help Me! Speak Up for Me! Can’t you see my pain! HELP ME!

It was at this point I realized the real issue.  The ROOT of Racism, is WHITE. PRIVILEGE. {a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.}

Add to that a sense of Entitlement, and we are all pretty much fucked.  Because YOU don’t want the status quo to change.  You are safe, comfortable, and happy with the way YOU are treated in the world we currently live in.  In your bubble, nothing is wrong.  Because you don’t worry about your children when they go out to play, why should you notice/protest that I have to have that worry?

Enter All Consuming Rage.

I am WORTH your concern.  How DARE you live a life of blissful ignorance, with my people’s blood running in the street?!?!?!?! My Life Matters.

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

That’s not a fucking Slogan. It’s a truth. And the fact that your response is, “All Lives Matter,” is not only insulting, but Bullshit.  The correct phrase should be, “All Lives that Mimic My Own Matter.”

I’ve started to re-evaluate everything I ever knew about the people around me.  I’ve started to look at certain situations, and ask new questions. I find myself assuming motivations, before I start a conversation to actually understand motivations.

Then I’m pissed again, because that’s what YOU do. It’s why I’m angry in the first place. The difference between me and YOU, I catch myself.

I do the FUCKING WORK. I take the next step, acknowledge my hurt/pain/fear and it’s affect on the situation, and try to make sure I’ve done everything to understand your point of view and/or educate you.

I’m tired. I’m  FUCKING Exhausted.

Because I have to do my work, your work, and extra work.  I’m So Damn Tired. Why won’t you do the work? Why won’t you talk to the people in your life that refuse to listen to me? Help Me Please!!! I’m so tried of carrying this burden on my own.

{I went to the doctor because I was feeling off last week.  My blood pressure was 200/148. That’s no hyperbole. This is why I’m tired. It’s a miracle I haven’t stroked out yet.}

And this has caused my current mindset to be, “If you aren’t For Us, you’re Against Us.”

I have the right to be angry.  The fact that I haven’t started fighting people in the street is a testament to my fairly decent upbringing, and my need to keep my job. Stop telling me why I should turn the other cheek.  Stop telling me it’s going to get better, especially if you aren’t actively working to make it better.

I’m done trying to be nice, and quiet, and calm.  I’m Fucking Angry.

Do something, or shut-up. Point. Blank. Period.

 

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I Can’t be Racist . . . I have White Friends!

It’s important to tell anyone reading this, I didn’t actually understand that I was Black, until I was about 7.  I never looked in the mirror, and some of my best friends in Elementary school were white.  I assumed I looked like them.  Call it childish innocence.  It wasn’t until my lil’ redheaded friend’s father wouldn’t let me sleep over their house, and my mom had to explain to me why.  I don’t remember exactly how I felt, but as I remember the event some 30 years later, I’m sure it made an impact.

Thats Racist

In high school, my group of friends was like the United Colors of Benetton.  We took our “Buddy Pictures” in plaid flannel of all colors.  There was a biracial girl, 2 white girls, a Filipino girl, and me. Imagine my surprise when one of my white friend’s dad was angry that she was friends with me.  I had talked to this man on the phone almost every day for a year.  He KNEW me, I thought.  That’s when I found out her dad was racist.

The majority of my life, I’ve befriended people based solely on merit. If you can hold a conversation, or we have something in common, or we work together, I’ll talk to you.  I’ve never really looked at race as a determining factor in my relationships with people.  I don’t mean, “I don’t see color,” I mean color didn’t determine your worth in my life.

Then Travyon Martin was killed.

All of a sudden, people I’d been friends with all my life – some people I considered FAMILY – were saying the most horrifically racist things about this CHILD who was killed by an overzealous asshole, who was probably racist.

“I mean, maybe he did attack that guy!”

“Why was he looking suspicious in a neighborhood he didn’t belong in?”

“I have to hear both sides . . “

Snape Flippinf Tables.gif

 

For the first time in my life, I realized that my existence as a Black Woman was in no way separate from my position/worth in some of the relationships in my life. I was the Black friend,  not the black friend.  I was being regarded as “hostile,” and “argumentative” for expressing an opinion.

Then, Mike Brown was Killed.

It was at this point, I started to lose friends in droves.  Before it had been, “Let’s just agree to disagree,” and precarious alliances were formed.  As long as I didn’t express my opinions, or acknowledge the unfairness of the USA, it was all fine.  But I couldn’t be quiet. I had to express myself, the pain was too great. First it was unfollowing people on FB, then I was being cussed out in the comments of my own posts, then it was people blocking me.

I’d never specifically expressed myself as a Black Woman around my friends.  I shied away from all that, because I understood it wasn’t worth the fight.  “Just shut up MJ, they won’t get it.”  Suddenly, I was trying to MAKE people understand.  I tried to have serious dialogues with people about race in America, and how it affects everyone in some shape or form.

Then, #BlackBoyJoy happened.

There was a video of a little Black boy dancing to some song, I honestly don’t remember what song.  I shared it on my FB page, with a comment like, “I love to see a Little Black Boy having fun!” There were probably some heart eye emojis, because HELLO! Lil Black Boys dancing is ADORABLE.

LILBOyDancing

The step sister of my best friend – my LONGEST friendship (since 5th grade Latchkey), my #WhiteBoyBestFriend – commented on the status something to the effect of, “All children having fun is beautiful, why just black boys?”

I can admit now, she caught me on an off day.  Any other day, I would have probably just blocked her.  But I had TIME that day. I didn’t call her out on my status, I sent her a FB message.  I’ve known her since she was 12 years old, and her mom married my best friend’s dad. I was trying very hard to maintain this relationship.  Maybe she didn’t understand that she was #AllLivesMattering my post.

I’d felt some time of way about her for years.  She, IMO, was the Epitome of what was wrong with America.  She was white, and entitled, and felt that everything should always go her way.  She had never had to be hungry, or experience life failures (to my knowledge), or fear for her life when she got pulled over by a cop.  She lived with her parents, was over 25 and had NO SHAME in that.  She did the absolute bare minimum on an hourly basis, and somehow, she felt she had the right to tell ME, that #AllLivesMatter.

I was tired of her, and her White Privilege.  Her Whiteness was offensive to me that day. I tried yall, I really did.

Seriously, my pride in beautiful black children is my own…allow me to have it without trying to make the focus about you and ur feelings

Calm your bitch down dude. I asked a genuine question. There is absolutely no need to jump down my throat. You know, I used to believe you were a tolerant and understanding person, but I have to say that I no longer see that in you. I see a very angry person and that saddens me. I don’t know what happened but I feel sorry for you.

Note: My response . . . and hers. I started off doing so well, right?!?!? Like I didn’t call her out her name, or ANYTHING. Because, growth.  But after her response tho . . . I went the FUCK OFF.

So since you already pity me [I’ll] tell you this. You live in a world that doesn’t exist. You are the EPITOME of White Privilege and Frailty. If you have paid attention to ANYTHING I’ve posted in [the] last 3 years, you would know “what’s wrong with me.” You are vain, and selfish, and I pity what your life is going to become.

Keep talking bitch

Of course I had to call my best friend, and tell him what had happened.  I screenshot the convo, and told him I understood if he wanted to fall back on our friendship for a while.  Thankfully, he said, “That’s between you two.  I’m not in it.” It was at that moment when I had to remind myself – They aren’t all like that.

Some Facts which, at this point, must be Stated:

  • Whiteness is a threat to most people of color. Anytime I, in my Blackness, challenge the status quo (Whiteness), I am attacked in various ways and on multiple levels.
  • White Women, and their fragility is harmful to the voices of People of Color.  I’m tired of quieting my voice so that white tears can be heard.
  • I Don’t Hate White People. I hate White Privilege.

All this has been written to say: I’ve been entirely too quiet about this feeling of . . . unease I have regarding our current  society.  My fear/anger is turning me into a person who pushes buttons on purpose.  I wear/purchase shirts just to piss off the people I see.  I wear my hair in an Afro to offend the eyes of people who dislike – or are uncomfortable with – Blackness. I put color in my hair because I know people think it’s “Ghetto,” not creative, because I’m Black.

There are a myriad of White people in my life on a daily basis.  I have White friends on FB, Instagram, and at work.  Lately, I’ve had to put disclaimers on my status’ and posts, and what I say in group settings.  Sometimes I don’t even speak at all.  Because of the impact it could have on my job, my life, my relationships is too great. {Which is a PROBLEM}

The . . . silencing of my voice is getting to me.  It’s making me fall into depressive states on a regular basis.  When I trace back the origins of all my waves of depression in 2017, it was an instance when I silenced myself in some way.

Tupac Shhhhh

I’m not Racist . . . . I’m Black. This shit is HARD.

Before I’m a woman, before I’m a Social Worker, before I’m a Friend, before I’m a Daughter, I’m Black.  The burden of that . . the weight of that in today’s society is slowly sucking the Joy out of me.  It’s like you have a 1,000,000LB weight on your back, and every white person can’t see it.  Better yet, they keep saying to you, “Girl, it’s just 3 flights of stairs.  You can do it, because I did!” It’s making me bitter. It makes me think snide ass comments about Whiteness, then feel bad for thinking it.

To ME: My Blackness is beautiful.  My skin is damn near flawless, I haven’t aged since I was 12 (I have the pics to prove it.) My hair is amazing.  I can do 1000 things with my natural hair, and it will be just as beautiful. My curves are sexy – these hips can hurt you if I want them to, or they can change your life. The original woman probably looked just like me.

To Society: My Blackness makes me less than. My Blackness is ugly, and the exact opposite of Beauty. My hair is ugly, dirty, and nappy.  My curves are unhealthy and I don’t deserve to sit comfortably in any chair, ever.  People who looked like me, were shaped like me, where kept in museums and displayed at circuses. {Look up Venus Hottentot}

Adulthood for me, is finally understanding the real meaning of the following poem:

Mother to Son

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps

’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

This is Blackness in 2018.  This is Me.

Can You Hear Me? Do You See Me?

The Whiteness Spectrum – Explained

***This blog is meant to educate, not offend.
If you you feel some kind of way, Remember, Hit Dogs Holler.***

During a conversation with one of my clients (who is African American), she was lamenting on the phenomenon of White people speaking to us (African American People) like we are idiots. Sometimes it’s overt other times subtle, but it happens all the damn time.  As I worked on trying to prevent her from punching this lady in the face, I offered her my theory on The Whiteness Spectrum.

“She’s a low functioning White Woman, you have to cut her some slack.”

As with any Spectrum, you have to make concessions at times for those who are lower functioning.  You can’t really be mad at them, because they often don’t know any better.  I present, to those of you who haven’t closed out the blog yet, The Whiteness Spectrum – Explained.


If life was a point system, White people start out about 100 points ahead. From birth. Based purely on the fact that they were born White. The point system might look something like this:

White: +100
Black: 0
Light skinned Black: +25
Born Racially Ambiguous: +40
Hispanic (in the US): +25
Caucasian Featured Hispanic (in the US): +50
Asian (in the US): +75

There are – of course – factors that can add to/subtract from, your overall point total.

Poverty (while White): -50
Poverty (while Person of Color): -100
White Male Privilege: +100
White Female Fragility: +150
Born Black Male: -50
Born Black Woman: -75
White LGBT: -25
LGBT Person of Color: -50
Born in to Wealth: +100
Physically Disabled: -50
Form of Mental Illness (while White): -10
Form of Mental Illness (while POC): -25
Developmental Disability (while White): -25
Developmental Disability (while POC): -50
Good Credit: +50
Bad Credit: -50
Single Parent Household: -25
Higher Education (while White): +100
Higher Education (while POC): +50
Higher Education (while Black): +35
Lives 200% above the the poverty line (while White): +75
Live 200% above the poverty line (while POC): +50
Exposure to other cultures (while White): +25
Exposure to other cultures (while POC): +50
Drug Addiction (while White): -25
Drug addiction (while POC): -75
Childhood Trauma (while White): – 50
Childhood Trauma (while POC): – 150

The math is important, because it will help you to understand this next part.  The lower your score, the higher you rate on The Whiteness Spectrum.  I’ve envisioned this spectrum ranging from Low to High Functioning, using the following explanations.

*This isn’t an exact Science, obviously.*


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Low Functioning:

Those people who have never had to work for anything. It’s simply been handed to them their whole lives. Born White, the term average is based on their life experience.  They are the litmus test for all national polls, survey’s, studies, etc. Life has been good to them for the most part.  The things that happen to some people, those events in life that build internal strength and fortitude, they passed these people right on by. They know nothing more than their own world. They have no real concept of need, barely ever want for anything. They’ve never went without life’s basic necessities.

These can also be people that use their Privilege as a weapon to attack others. The Racists, the Homophobes, the Xenophobes, the White Nationalists, etc. The people who cut in line or constantly scream, “But I was Told By Apple Care!!!” Those who refuse to see their status quo change.

They’ve never had to “do the work.”  They’ve never had to look at their child and explain why dinner is just Kraft Mac & Cheese.  They’ve never had to struggle in front of a classroom because they couldn’t read.  They’ve never had to step outside themselves and sacrifice for their younger siblings to have clothing/shoes. They are easily frustrated/annoyed when having to deal with something outside their scope of life experience.

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Mild to Moderate Functioning:

Those people who have stumbled in their life. Maybe labeled ADHD, or raised by a single parent after a divorce.  Maybe they were chubby/fat as a youth, or had a crush on someone who rejected them.  They’ve felt hurt/pain/disappointment on more than a few occasions.  Maybe they went to public school, and happened to make friends with a Person of Color. Maybe they saw Mississippi Burning in middle school, and thought to themselves, “Well, that’s fucked up!”

They’ve signed some petitions about Global Warming, they might even vote Democrat. They have a Black Friend. They still remember that one time in high school when everyone walked out because the new AP grading system wasn’t fair.  They have thoughts about how to change the world, but they usually keep them to themselves.

Stirring the pot isn’t really their style, but they will march if everyone else is going too. They converse with like minded friends/colleagues about the current state of the world, but they aren’t quite affected {yet}.

1010-shailene-woodley-mug-3

High Functioning:

Raised in the worst neighborhoods, or even in the Foster Care System. Affected by abuse in it’s many forms, either done to them or seen as a child that was done to a parent. Bullied as a child, or even as an adult. Fought poverty to make something of themselves, had a mentor/coach/teacher who believed in them when no one else did. Maybe had a parent or parents who insisted they be involved in the Model UN.  Went to college on some kind of financial aid or scholarship, and fought to keep it.

Took classes that no one else was taking, joined clubs just to learn about new cultures.  Joined a Black Greek Letter Organization, and not just because they liked the “dancing.” Attends every march, and not just to spectate. Knew about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests BEFORE it was being covered on the news.  Unfriends people on Facebook for saying/posting/liking stupid, ignorant, racist shit. Fights with family members who voted for 45.

They put in the work.  They see injustice, and decide to use their Privilege in a positive way to help others.  Understands they even have Privilege in the first place. Asks the hard questions, and wants to have the hard conversations for the sake of understanding.  Helps others in their job or in their spare time, sometimes both. Strives to make the world a better place for everyone, not just them.


As stated, this isn’t an exact science.  It’s not based on anything but my observations throughout my life. This is how I am trying to figure out how to deal with my daily life experiences. I welcome feedback 🙂

Based on the point system, where do you range? Is it accurate?

30 Day Writing Challenge (3 Day Catch-Up): Ageism ad Fruit

How do I feel about Ageism?

Like, It’s a thing I guess? I think coming from the African American Community, ageism doesn’t really affect me because we keep our old folks around.  Nana is always going to live with someone, and have somebody taking care of her (usually).  I think I have the privlege of surronding myself with people who value the wisdom and strength that comes from having older people in their lives.  Lots of my friends have close relationships with their grandparents, even great grandparents and treat them with the utmost respect.  I feel like maybe it should be a big deal to me, but it’s not. Alas, I’m more worried about kids being threatened on college campus’ than Old people not getting jobs? You know, because Priorities.

A Fruit You Dislike and Why?

I don’t like Watermelon.  It’s gross.  I hate the taste of it, the texture of it, and the smell of it.  I hate watermelon flavored anything, and I hate most fruit cups becausxe they use melon as a filler.  You know what else I hate, that I am now allergic to my two favorite fruits, Mango and Pineapple.  I blame watermelon, because why not.

I’d Rather Go Blind (or) . . . an Ode to James Baldwin

I have to start this blog by saying, I’ve never finished a James Baldwin novel.  I was SUPPOSED to in my Race in American Lit class in 11th grade . . .but youth. I have to also say, I’ve lived my live on the fringe of “Black Consciousness.” Meaning, I knew the world was fucked up.  I just chose to not let the fuckedupedness {yes, that is indeed a word} affect me.  Sadly, 2014 happened.  Actually, to be honest, 2008 happened . . . but we will get there.

I’ve stated on more than one occasion, I was raised strangely.  I had access to my history.  I knew my family’s history, and the history of my people.  Not because I went to the best schools {even though that helped} or because I was so well read {again, that did help}, but because my mother made sure I knew.  I didn’t know other people didn’t watch Eyes on the Prize on a yearly basis until college.

Best. Series. Ever.

Best. Series. Ever.

I’m not just talking about a casual glace, I mean we planned our WEEK around it showing on PBS.  Homework was done at school, so that i didn’t have to do it at home.  We sang all the protest songs while we were cooking dinner, and we sat down together to watch it.  I knew who the Little Rock Nine were before the Disney Movie came out.  I used to love Thurgood Marshall because he looked like my Great Uncle.

So it’s not that I didn’t know that racism and discrimination existed in the world.  I just didn’t have to deal with it.  I lived in Detroit, but I went to school in the suburbs.  All my friends were white.  If they weren’t white, they were something that wasn’t Black.  I’ve been the minority my whole life, even within my circle of friends.  Racism was a concept I understood, and had never really encountered until my then best friend’s father found out I was Black.

I'm referring to the white one . . .

I’m referring to the white one . . .

I’d been calling their house the entirety of Freshman Year. The minute the buddy pictures came back, the “secret” was revealed.  This man, whom I had spoken to at length whenever I had called their home, who always asked how I was doing and about my family, suddenly didn’t want his child to spend time with me.  He didn’t want her to drive to my home (even though I lived in the suburbs {better suburbs than them}), he told her not to interact with me at all.  Because I had tricked him! I didn’t “talk Black,” so how was he supposed to know I was invading his daughter’s life and setting such a bad example.  Her dad was an asshole, and he was racist, and he was born in a time when both of those were the norm.

United Colors of Benneton . . .

United Colors of Benetton . . .

Racism didn’t become real to me until affected my paycheck.  I blogged about it, feel free to check it out {here, and here,} Even still it wasn’t something that permeated.  They were #IsolatedIncidents. The world is a better place in the 21st century.  We elected a Black President for crying out loud.  People stood in a voting booth, and said we put our faith in that proud and self-identifiying Black Man, with his Beautiful Black Wife and Children.  The world has changed for the better! Or so we thought . . .

This was my morning board in my classroom for a WEEK!

This was my morning board in my classroom for a WEEK!

What we didn’t know, while we were shouting in the streets, and hugging each other with pride and glee . . . was some folks was MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD! WHEW, they was so mad! About life, and everything that was in it. And every time he made a difference, made a change, and potentially helped someone less fortunate than them . . . the anger built. And Bulit. AND BUILT. And for me, being able to ignore the undercurrents of racism was getting harder and harder.  Those names started adding up, and my memories of Eyes on the Prize starting connecting those dots.  From Rodney King, to Malice Green, to Sean Bell, to Oscar Grant, to Trayvon Martin.

Thank God for Black Twitter . . .

Thank God for Black Twitter . . .

Social Media ruined my life! Because I wasn’t just getting my news from CNN anymore.  I had minute my minute updates on things going on all over the country.  Every new name on the list had a hastag, and a story behind that wasn’t being censored by the media.  Suddenly, I had to acknowledge that my bubble had been popped, stepped on, and destroyed.  The anger started to build. And Build. AND BUILD. Why are they killing young children? Why are people so angry? Why do they hate us so much? Why do they work SO HARD to make sure we stay down? Why is no one paying attention?!?! Why does Don Lemon exist on Television?

I . . . loathe . . . you

I . . . loathe . . . you

Why are Black Men Thugs and White Men “troubled” and “mentally unstable?” Why are Black children a threat? Why is CNN reporting a Riot, when Black Twitter is live streaming police being the aggressors? Why are the only pictures of Mike Brown him looking like a “gangsta?” Why does the Republican run government shoot down anything the President attempts to to to a vote? Why is everyone on Fox News an Asshole? Why do I only trust Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Rachel Maddow?

He Follows ever member of Black Twitter . . .

He Follows ever member of Black Twitter . . .

Why am I TERRIFIED every time I’m pulled over by a police officer? Why do I have to have conversations with all my clients about the dangers of expressing your opinions when dealing with certain kinds of people? Why do I fear for all of the children I work with who were raised in Happy Tucson, and don’t know who the rest of the world sees them? Why did I lose friends because of my reaction to Ferguson? Why was Ferguson the scariest thing I’d ever experienced as an American . . . not September 11th?

2014

2014

I can’t un-see those videos of Black Men AND WOMEN being abused by the people we pay to protect us.  I can’t un-know that 2015 is more like 1964.  I can’t un-experience someone walking in a church and shooting 9 people, because of the color of their skin.  I can’t un-cry those tears of frustration when conversing with people about my pain.

I’d Rather Go Blind.  I’d Rather be Deaf.  I’d Rather be Dumb.

I’m Afraid. I’m Angry.  I’m Hurt.

There is no time to heal. There is no time to recover from seeing Michael Brown’s body in the middle of a street.  There is no way to unwatch John Crawford III getting shot down for HOLDING a gun while talking on the phone. I can’t BREATHE! I can’t catch my breath, because it’s happening everyday.  Twice a day. The list continues to grow.

blackfaces

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

– James Baldwin

This. Is. America.  This is being Black in America. This is Depressing as All the Hells.

This Is My Experience.  

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Thank You For Reading.

The Revolution will be Live Tweeted

Posted on my Facebook TL by me Re: The Tony Stewart Fatal Car Accident –
I bet they will publicize this more than  what’s taking place in Ferguson right now.

This is the beginning of a new phase in my life.  The part of my life in which, I can no longer be your “Safe Black Friend.” I’ve decided to instead be the friend who forces you to see how Race and racism is a daily occurrence in MY life. It must be stated before this potentially long blog, that I really did think I was white until I was about 7.

Not, I wanted to be white.  I thought I was white.  I thought I looked like all the dolls my father purchased for me, and the friends I had at the private school I attended.  I never looked in the mirror, not because I was afraid of what I would see, but because I truly believed I was a reflection of my peers.  My mother’s hairdresser’s children quite roughly set me on the right path. This was also around the time a friends mom wouldn’t let me sleep over because, “I’m not sure she knows how to act. You never know with her kind.” I thought she meant girls.

Race doesn’t matter to me. All of our poop is brown, so who cares.  Racism on the other hand, matters a great deal. My upbringing made me this way.  When other people were watching Roseanne and Martin, I was watching Eyes on the Prize on PBS. That’s the kind of Mom I have.  She wanted me to be informed of my history, so I knew the kind of world I was facing before she sent me out in it to fend for myself as an adult. My mother truly believes Knowledge is Power, and it was her goal to give me as much Power as she could.

News or Media: Are they the same?

Michael Brown, Jr was killed around noon on August 9th, 2014.  I didn’t see any mention of Ferguson on any major news network until Tuesday Night.  It didn’t show up on my Facebook TL until Thursday – in posts other than those belonging to myself and my Soror Amber.  It was on my Twitter TL Saturday afternoon. I was already following @nettaaaaaaaa, because she is hilarious. She is in STL, had heard of the unrest and went to investigate.

The beauty of Twitter is that you can connect with anyone in just one tweet.  #BlackTwitter proved it’s complete and utter worth in less than 24 hours.  Minute to minute updates, with pictures and video about what was happening.  Every night, I logged on to Twitter, and found out EXACTLY how it was happening. Just as they did with #JusticeForTrayvon, they made #Ferguson and #MikeBrown trending topics in major cities.  Ferguson residents DEMANDED justice.  They took to the streets, and marched for what they wanted.

They also demanded someone know the police were basically occupying their streets, seemingly to stop them from exercising their right to protest. They tweeted to @CNN and all the local news stations.  They tweeted @HuffingtonPost and @NYTimes and demanded they cover what was happening.  I’ve always heard people say news stations report what they want you to see.  Never before had I seen it In Living Color.

When a protester was shoved onto the ground by an angry police officer, CNN was reporting the crowd was becoming more aggressive.  But @ElonJames and @Vandalyzm were posting video of the incident to refute what was being reported.  If, in the example of the now Iconic picture below, a resident was throwing a Tear Gas Can, MSNBC was reporting that the protestors were retaliating angrily.  In real life, he posted on his TL he was protecting the children who were in the crowd with him.

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Operation Help or Hush

{For Clarification Purposes: You don’t have to be Black to be a member of #BlackTwitter.}

#BlackTwitter is a place people come together to talk, a lot, about the problems of the world, mainly superficially.  We  all complain and post about the societal topic of the day, then we usually move to less trying and often petty conversation.    But everyone should be afraid, because those of us who belong to this literal World Wide Web of people, have started to understand the power #BlackTwitter holds. In having so many residents of the greater STL area posting about the murder of #MikeBrown, and the subsequent protests, it was too in our face.  We saw people reaching out for help on an hourly basis.

The Beautiful @SheSeauxSaditty was tired of talking.  She decided to do.  She decided to ask for donations of money (and later the creation of an Amazon Wishlist) to help purchase supplies needed for protesters in Ferguson.  They raised more than $9100 in less than 18 hours, and then set out to provide bagged lunches, water bottles, gas masks, cooling towels, and a plethora of other essentials for the residents of Ferguson, and those who had come to march in solidarity.

Twitter did that.  Social media did that.  The pride from seeing that develop, even though I had no part in it (other than to donate) is immense.  Its like looking at the beginning of something that is going to eventually become a part of every struggle/movement/experience where people have a need.  Kudos to you, Nona.  I’m inspired to be better because of the impact I’ve seen you make in these last two weeks.

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#NMOS14

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention @FeministaJones and the creation of the National Moment of Silence.  She used her more than 34,000 followers to create one moment in time, when people all over the country – even the world – could come together and be seen, heard, and comforted.

Back in the day, it took weeks to execute what she did in less than a week.  Listing a city, and that you wanted to have a moment of silence was enough for people all around the country to coordinate and spread the message. Hundreds of thousands of people, standing together showing their solidarity for #Ferguson and all those men and women that Racism Killed.

Ignorance is Bliss

By Wednesday of last week (Aug 13,2014) I was exhausted. I spent ALL of my free time on Twitter, retweeting articles, and live accounts of what was going on. Posting links on my Facebook TL, which for some reason had been taken over by the ALS Ice Challenge.  Why was no one talking about this?!?! Where was the outrage?!?! No one at work was angry!  Half the time if I tried to bring it up in conversation , I first had to explain who #MikeBrown even was! How could this be happening in 2014.

My constant exposure, via Twitter and MSNBC {shoutout to Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow who are EVERYTHING}, gives me the distinct ability – nay, responsibility – to inform people of the truth! Yet, I’ve been batted down at every turn.  Told that they were fine getting their info from the local news and CNN. They didn’t need to read all the op-ed and think pieces, and to remember everything isn’t about race. Justice will prevail, and he shouldn’t have robbed the store in the first place, and if those people would just stop marching, this will all die down in another week.

 LOTS of people were unfriended this week, many more were unfollowed.  

If you want to live in a blissful and calm world, you have that right.  If you believe thousands of people tweeting about the same event, in real time, is somehow LESS reliable than Don Lemonn, go right ahead.  If you take everything at face value, and believe Propaganda isn’t actually a thing . . . I will acknowledge your right to make your own choices.

Of course, I can also acknowledge that you are stupid, and I don’t want your stupidity tainting my TL anymore.

A Black Man’s Existence 

{Due to my extreme lack of being about to figure out Storify, the link is below} 
Tuesday Night, I happened to come across the TL of a young Black Man roughly my age, ‘free tweeting’ about how #Ferguson is affecting him.  Something he said really struck me.
  1. Fifty years. Fifty years and we still have damn near the same problems. Didn’t seem like it a month ago. But I’m scared. I’m hurt.
    I donate clothes. I give food for the food banks. I even played SANTA CLAUS at my daughter’s school. Yet I’m hurting over Ferguson.
    I’m hurt because at 18, that could have been ME. Whether the cop was racist or scared, the fact remains that Mike Brown is dead.

The Revolution will be Live Tweeted

Change is created when several elements come together at just the right time.  Too many people are hurt.  Too many people are angry.  Too many people know families who have lost loved ones at the hands of Law Enforcement.  Too many people have cried, and yelled, and marched silently expecting results. Too many people have counted on the justice system for justice.  Too many mothers have been afraid for their children to leave the house.  Too many times of being Sick, and Tired, and Hurt, and Angry, and Confused.

 My mother said to me about Ferguson, “It used to be lynching.  They used to have picnics under the hanging bodies with their families.  It used to be a town event.” My response: The time for supplication and silence is over.  We, and yes I include myself in this declaration of my generation, are tired of being part of the problem.  We have decided to be the solution.  You can’t teach us to love everyone, and yet tell us that some people just don’t want to change.  What’s good for the goose is just as good for the Gander.

The ENTIRE world is watching these young adults and families and children march in the streets and demand justice.  The Whole World is looking at an entire county of Police Officers abuse their power.  The Whole World is watching #Ferguson.  Keep doing what you are doing.  Yell and March and Make Demands.  Fight for your rights to be treated fairly and as equals.  Continue to create the uncomfortable moments on TV when anchors HAVE to talk about race in this country.

{The} Election of Obama was supposed to usher in post-racial America, but evoked white backlash instead.    

– @dpgushee (Aug 20, 2014)

Wait . . . Black People Make Other People Uncomfortable?!?

Well Color Me Brown Skinned.  You mean all this time, people don’t like me because of the color of my skin and my boisterous voice? You mean it’s not my political viewpoints or my religion? It’s JUST the color of my skin? You mean to tell me I don’t get jobs because I’m Black?!?!?

When I tell you I’m SHOCKED! You don’t even know.  This whole time, I thought Racism was gone! After Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” Speech, Racism was already on it’s way out.  We had the Civil Rights Bill (oh wait, they revoked that a few years ago), and Clarence Thomas, and Barack Obama.  No One Sees Color Anymore.  Don’t you Read the Internet?

But Then . . . This Happened.

This less than 30 second Interview has caused an Internet Orgasm of Epic Proportions.  There are so MANY things in this clip, and the reactions to it that I want to rant about.  I’m going to try not to veer from my original point, but Let’s Just Take it Step By Step.

1) OMG A Black Man is Yelling!

First, let me say . . . YOU GEAUX FRAT! Richard Sherman was hype at HELL.  As he should have been.  Did you actually watch the game? Or see the play? If you weren’t that hype after helping take your team to the Superbowl, you should just quit playing sports.  Two Minutes after that kind of play, you ask me how I feel about that play.  You should be glad he didn’t push the reporter (we will get to her later) out the way and scream, “I AM A GOD!”

He wasn’t yelling at her, he was yelling at EVERYONE. That’s what you get for doubting him and his skill.  He did what millions of people have been doing from years, staking their Athletic Claim. The Problem . . . he scared a White Lady.

B) Oh Lawd, You Done Scared the Missus

Black Men are never more out of line than when they make a White Woman scared. Or, it’s perceived you scared her.

Erin Andrews Screenshot

Saving a White Woman from the Mandingo Warrior who lusts to defile her . . . Ya’ll! People have lived that narrative their whole life.  That’s why interracial dating is such a huge deal.  Still. 50 Years after The Loving Case. In My Humble Yet Educated Opinion, that’s why there was outrage.  Because this man used his emotion and it scared PollyAnna. *le sigh*

She wasn’t even scared.  Shocked. I’ll give her that.  But he wasn’t even looking at her.  He was looking straight at the camera, almost as if he was talking to a specific person. Like he was sending a message to someone who needed to hear it . . .

3rd) When In Doubt, He Must Be a Thug

richard sherman

When Angry Black Man isn’t enough, the next step is ALWAYS to call him Uneducated. Because God forbid he’s ACTUALLY Stanford Educated.  That’s right, STANFORD. Ivy League.  ANNNNNND He Graduated! Like, OMG. He Has a Degree and plays a Sport! He should be okay . . . as long as he’s making us money.  But then, he got loud. *le super sigh*

‘To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse …I show passion on the football field—but that’s only a small part of who I am. If you want to judge me, I can handle it. – Richard Sherman

{I’m not even going to talk about the only real way for a Black Man to get an education of the same caliber of his white counterparts IS to play a sport. Or that whole Breeding to be genetically Superior . . .nope. Not Gonna Do It}

Also, This Happened...

Also, This Happened…

Let Us Make this ONE Incident about Race in America

I have read no less than FOUR articles breaking down this 30 second clip.  These articles weren’t short either. Clearly, as I am blogging about this, I am part of the problem.  EXCEPT, I blogging about the reaction to it.  Why does EVERY Single incident when America shows it’s RACIST ASS do we have to do this?!?! Hey Guys . . . WE KNOW! We know that Racism is real.  We know that Black People make Other People Uncomfortable.  

We know that White Women date Black Men to piss off their parents.  We know that Loud Black Men are always labelled Thugish, Ignorant, and Classless. WE. FUCKING. KNOW. You don’t have to write articles about it, and tweet about it, and create memes about it. Don’t Talk About It . . . BE ABOUT IT.

Be the Change you Want to See.  Online Protesting only works if you actually attack the system. Not Each Other. George Zimmerman was prosecuted because we inundated the Prosecuter with calls, emails, letters etc.  Marissa Alexander is no longer in jail because We Fought Back.  The Revolution will take place online . . . when people stop rehashing and reacting.

If Billy Bob and Jo Sue from Alabama hate all Black People, let them.  Unless Billy Bob is also a Senator or law maker, and he also votes in every election, he really has no say in what’s gonna happen.  Stop paying attention to ignorance. DO SOMETHING!

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky. My name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me.” ~ Muhammad Ali

All that Being Said . . . What Are YOU doing?