Never Rebel Against Your Blackness
"I feel that I am being attacked," said the white girl trapped inside of Samsung, I studied her next outburst of emotion once the truth of her questions had been revealed. "I feared for my life," said the white woman in the Wal-Mart video that went viral after she had blatantly taken an item out of a child's hand while following his mother through the store. "Why are you so aggressive," asked the white man who judged others so aggressively based off the pigmentation of their skin.
There was this adolescent manager who asked me to speak with another employee of color because he didn't know how to handle him. "With care and compassion." I advised before walking out of the office. Too often black people are asked why is it that you respond this way or interact that way; we are misunderstood, scrutinized and labeled before given a chance to speak. There are people in this world who allow television to be our voice, teaching them everything that they know nothing about.
We don't even have the rights to our own identity anymore! There are those that tell us how we should speak, walk and move in everyday society. They pick us apart mentally and physically taking everything that can be glorified and profitable but leaving the struggle and inequalities that blacks and other people of color may face. I'd like to only speak about blacks but then someone will read this and say, "Blacks aren't the only race that went through something!" I'd reply, "You're right, but I'm black so these are the people that matter most to me."
"Don't they know that everyone isn't racist and I can't be blamed for what my ancestors have done?" "I couldn't care less about your ancestors but more about your acknowledgment of right and wrong in the here and now," I would say. "White people live in a bubble believing that everything is OK and things like racism can't even exist in 2016...right?!" I had a little more tolerance for this type of ignorance back in 2002 before the internet became the plug that every citizen had immediate access to, to educate themselves out of their own regurgitated foolishness.
I often visit places on the North side to find those that resemble my reflection and sometimes I find them and from afar they have the struggle written all over them; I think to myself for a moment they have to understand this struggle and in passing I attempt to give the "members only" head nod, acknowledging the presence of another black man in a foreign land and to no avail, they don't return my form of communication. They have been infiltrated, turned, flipped, converted, conformed and forever changed. Damn it! Another one bites the dust!
Too often I enter my home at night feeling as though I am the only one left, I am the only one that can't be bought or turned against what I believe in. I have no visible evidence that more like me even exist. Yet, here I am still in search of what's left of my culture, one that's not tainted or dumbed down to make white people and the rest of society feel better about themselves while I continue to become a shell of my own.