An Apology

Today I choked in the face of belligerent racism.

Today, I let the hateful person win.

Today was a loss in my personal battle for equality between the majority and those of us with melanin.

Let me explain:

I work for a theater company. One of my several duties is to run the box office. Today I was performing my duties as usual and experienced the worst sort of racism I have experienced in my 7 years of working for this company. Today a gentleman came up to purchase 2 tickets. As soon as he saw me, this look came over his face. He clearly did not want to deal with me. I was just as professional as could be. I went through all of the details that we have to go through in regards to our ticketing system: Name, address, email address that sort of thing. This gentleman was clearly not having it. He started saying things such as “Why can’t you just slide my card?, “How do I know that no one will break into your system?”, and “Why do you not have a senior discount?” I just answered the questions with extreme professionalism and then it happened:

“Sir, for the purposes of giving you a receipt may I have your email address?”

“No, you may not have my G**D*** email address boy, just process my order!”

 

There were several things I could and probably should have said after this interaction. Instead of putting this man in his place, I froze. I just sat there and stared at him in his face. Then I went and processed the rest of his order, and wished that the man would enjoy the show.

I feel like shit…

I am sorry that I froze.

I am sorry that I did not stand up in the face of adversity.

I am sorry that when the time came for me to stand up and speak out that I sat down and kept quiet.

I hope that next time I will be able to speak out.

I hope that next time I will be able to put people in their place when needed.

A quote from the season which is applicable: “Today I told the devil I do work for him.”

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”- Edmund Burke

Today, evil triumphed in my little corner of the world, but hopefully it won’t for too much longer.

 

#minorbutnotmarginalized

I’m Tired of Having to Do This…

Today I am tired.

Today I am conflicted.

Today I am afraid.

Above all, I am tired.

…I am tired of living in fear

…I am tired of being profiled when I shop

…I am tired of seeing people with melanin being killed needlessly

But above all else…

…I am tired of having to educate non melanin people about how I am not a threat to their way of life

…I am tired of having to educate people who refuse to learn on their own about their inherent racist tendencies

Let me just give you a recent example from my personal life:

I was just doing a play with a local community theater where I live. I was cast in a role mainly due to the fact that I was the only person with enough melanin in my skin to do the role. When we got to staging the scene I was in, another member of the cast says “We need to work with him on his part, he doesn’t sound black enough.”

Let me repeat the last bit for you: “He doesn’t sound black enough.” 

There are so many ways that this statement is offensive, but let me explain to you why this statement makes me tired.

It is now 2017. There is no longer any reasonable reason that statements such as these should be a greater part of anyone’s vocabulary.

And yet, what constitutes being black, white, asian or any particular ethnicity? If you are going by outdated stereotypes that you grew up with then you need to check in with yourself and educate yourself.

Let me get to the heart of the matter: When I wake up, I am black

When I go to work, I am black

When I go to the bathroom, I am black

When I get home at night, I am black

Being black is not something that I just put on when it is convenient to me. Nor is it something which is simple actions based on something which you see on television, movies, or in public life.

Being black is a whole culture, filled with its ups and downs.

But I am tired of having to explain this to people

You would be too if you were in my position.

We have to do better people. We all have our own biases, prejudices, what have you that we all need to work on overcoming, myself included.

I mean, what example are we showing our children if we continue things as we have always done.

Join with me to do better.

Minor but Not Marginalized