Black people are tired of having their humanity dismissed

I’m tired.  I never thought that I’d be this tired at 32 years old.  However, being a black woman in America, I’ve been on high alert for as long as I can remember and that cannot be good for my cortisol level.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure that you’ve heard all about the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

Some people think that racism is dead.  They are being deliberately obtuse.

Other people think that racism still exists, but it isn’t that bad because it doesn’t look like the horrible pictures and documentaries from history class.  They also have the brass ones to say that minorities bring it upon ourselves because we continue to think that we are oppressed.

Both of these groups of people can eat shit and live.

Because being black in America is being subjected to countless macro- and micro-aggressions daily since childhood.

  • Nearly all images/portrayal of my people in American media are negative or rooted in gross stereotypes. The Cosby Show was a fluke.  The average white American is more likely to treat me as a potential welfare recipient than as the next Claire Huxtable.  Imagine growing up in a country where your race was associated with all things wrong and dysfunctional.
  • Having to be twice as good to get the half (if any) the accolades.  Holla if you hear me and you got this talk from your parents and grandparents.  I could cure all cancers tomorrow, you know would I get called in some parts of America? A nigger.
  • Having to be always mindful how our speech and body language can be construed as threatening when we are just living.  I remember my ex telling me how he has always been very cautious of his movements or having too much bass in his voice when expressing himself because he could end up in jail or worse because of the automatic negative connotations of black men and their masculinity.  And then I thought about how many of my male relatives had said the same thing. Ronan Farrow just did an interview where he said his mother had to teach his black adopted brother that he couldn’t do certain things.
  • Our credentials are constantly questioned.  We get told that we only got into college because we’re black.  We got that job because we’re black.  It’s rarely acknowledged that we worked hard or that we were the best candidate.  “Are you sure you can afford to shop here? You’re black, you know.”  Let me follow you in the store from aisle to aisle insuring that you don’t steal anything. “Well Obama should show his birth certificate.”  I wish a motherfucker would ask to see my Goddamned birth certificate when I’ve been vetted by NSA, CIA, DOD, and every other damn agency in this country. Since he has the nuclear launch codes, bitch, he’s an American.
  • Being treated as a special unicorn when you’re just like countless other black people.  “You’re not ghetto like other black people.  You’re the whitest black girl/guy I know. ” White people…these are not compliments.
  • Being treated as a magical negro.  I may be a great listener and I have a sympathetic face, but I’m not your mammy and random black men are not your Uncle Ben. We don’t give a hot damn about your problems.  We have our own problems.  Find someone else to tell you that “You is kind.  You is good.  You is important.”
  • Being treated as invisible or interchangeable.  You could have said excuse me instead of practically running me over with your shopping cart.  Oh so you see me in a meeting and you burst right in and talk over me and only stop to apologize when someone calls you out on it. Okay. I’m 100% certain of my name, random colleague.  Repeating the name of another black person like I have a hearing difficulty is not going to change that.  You want the other black lady that sits on the floor that’s taller and several shades different from me.

I could go on all night but there’s a documentary waiting for me for to watch.  The point that I’m trying to make here is that from birth to death to after-life, we are treated with disregard and then people have the nerve to say that we’re the aggressive ones.  No, we’re the tired ones.  We’re tired of asking our fellow citizens to left their masks of privilege to see how dangerous and stressful systematic dismissal of our humanity is.

I gave a short list of the crap that we deal with in America.  Yet, we’re supposed to put on a happy face and pretend that we’re not mentally/physically hurt by all of this foolishness.

My friend Brownie always says that black people suffer from PTSD.  I’m starting to believe her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ShelbyCourtland
    Aug 18, 2014 @ 23:19:13

    You have mirrored my thoughts exactly!

    Thank you for this!

    Reply

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