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 If you are going by outdated stereotypes that you grew up with then you need to check in with yourself and educate yourself.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

What’s the Good Word Ya’ll?

I really hate logging onto social media these days. I also really hate listening to the news, reading articles, or just trying to live these days. This morning I woke up, and I was Utterly, Completely, and Inexcusably sickened by the news that I became aware of.

This morning I woke up to the news about a Seattle woman who was shot to death in her home by police officers, with her children being present. This woman was pregnant according to the reports that I have read, and had a history of mental illness. The other thing notable about this woman: she was black!

Now before those of you who are reading start trying to clapback at my statements above, let me clarify some things. I do not condemn every single police officer is out to get a person of color. I also do not believe that people of color are just always in the wrong place at the completely wrong time.

We are considered minorities in America, people with a higher concentration of melanin in our skin. This, in my opinion, has given the so called majority the opportunity to subjugate people who could be so beneficial in changing our society for the better. Why are we still being subjugated to this backward thinking all because of one particular reason. What is that reason dear readers? The reason is…

FEAR

Fear causes people to make rash decisions. If you look at WWII, we put Japanese Americans into concentration camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, for “Their” own safety. In reality, this was done out of a sense of fear, fear that we would be attacked by this group of people because they looked different from the majority.

Fast Forward 30 Years

It is now the 1960s. Minorities (and allies from the greater majority) are converging on Washington. The reason being that they refuse to be bogged down by societal conventions of what people of color were capable of doing. These people were brought together by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who had a great dream which we were able to all take as our own dream. Sadly that man was killed before sweeping changes could be made. Depsite that fact, there were changes made which were beneficial for all people as a result of this man and his dream, a man killed way to soon.

Fast Forward 50 Years

We have now entered an age where to be a person with concentrated amounts of melanin in your skin almost guarantees that you will be killed by the police even if you do exactly what is told. The shooting in Seattle yesterday illustrates this point. Now, I do not have all of the information about the events of June 18th (no one does except the 2 officers involved), I have read enough to know a few facts for you:

  1. This woman had a documented case of mental illness
  2. She had been arrested less than a month ago, and as a result her file was flagged
  3. The officers who responded to her call were aware of these facts, they could be heard talking about these facts on the car audio which was released early this morning.
  4. 2 police officers were sent to this disturbance when normally 1 officer was sent in these instances. This is admirable given the woman’s history of mental illness, but from the audio it does not seem as though the officers were as unbiased as they should have been.

There are so many cases that go on. The pessimist in me wants to say that neither one of these officers will be found guilty, that they will get off much like the officer who shot Philandro Castille was recently found. The pessimist in me wants to rant and rave about how the system is broken, how we with melanin need to stand up for ourselves, and how change needs to happen in this day and age.

However, there is a small part of me who does not want to believe this. The optimist in me still believes in the justice system, still believes that this is the greatest country in the world, as I have been told so many years ago when I was a young lad.

Regardless of what I believe at any particular moment, it is imperative that we (melanin gifted people) speak out about what is going on. We are all in this together, and so we need to speak out. If we do not, then we are contributing to the problems much like these officers. We have to begin to make the greater majority understand that we are just like them, we are not threats to their way of life. These posts will be highly irregular, but they should always (I hope) have a message to them.

For We are Minor, but NOT Marginalized