No Title

Just Feelings

So much is going on. Trying to organize my feelings and thoughts has been a challenge. (The Empath in me has been on 100) Living with the realization that I am hated simply because of the color of my skin has been… I don’t know… I mean, as sad as it may be, I learned that as a kid. I have always known that my blackness made me lesser than other races, specifically the white race. It’s one of the lessons in life that you just pick up. There isn’t really a need to sit and be schooled on it because it’s on T.V., you see it in school, and you hear your parents and other adults talk about “dem white folks.” My lessons on the issue were stern and to the point. The conversations were more like, “Don’t be out there actin’ stupid.” “Yall be careful, dem police is hot tonight.” “Oh Lord, he hit a white woman! They about to bury him under the jail.” “Nawl, not all white people are bad, but you gotta be careful.” I paraphrased, but I think you got the picture.

I even remember that there were more black boys sent to In School Suspension or ISS during my days in school. There were more black kids in detention, and we were always the ones thrown out of class. The black kids were the trouble-makers. At first, I thought that we were being punished for disobeying the rules until I saw this white child having a whole argument with the teacher and was never punished.

OMG, the year that we had a black female win Homecoming Queen in 2006. OMG! The white parents were outraged and wanted a recount of the votes. During my senior year, in 2009, the class voted for a prom theme in which the colors were black and gold. Let me give you some history on these colors. Back in the days when schools were segregated, the white school, Fairview, were red and white, and the black school, Lafayette, were black and gold. Do you see where I’m going with this? Once again, parents showed their butts and made such a big deal about it, so we had to pick another theme.

I also remember one incident that I experienced when mama, Dion, and I were riding to El Dorado, AR, and on the way, there were two men perched high on the backs of their steed, dressed in their freshly bleached and pressed KKK nightgowns. Between them stood a wooden cross. Seeing that on T.V. versus seeing that in person is in no way comparable. I remember how quiet the ride became. I’m pretty sure we were all praying for a safe trip home.

How, after all these years, active racism and groups like the KKK are still allowed to exist? It goes back to the foundation of this great country. Imagine how hard it is to change the foundation of a house after the house is built. America is prosperous on the foundation of hate and greed. She is sitting pretty on her stolen land and high on the backs of African Americans.

For many, changing means admitting, “I was wrong, and you were right.” To change means accepting others as their equal and even superior. And for most, doing that is admitting defeat. Those men would have to come off their high horses…

I feel that they are afraid of the repercussions of their actions. Around the year 2050, it has been predicted that whites will be the minority. Think about it, from the day you were conceived; you were taught that the world was yours and you were taught to hate a particular race because they are only here to take it away from you. That they are beneath you, they are cursed, and God does not smile on them but only on you and other white people. However, witnessing those same people rising and proving that they are intelligent, creative, inventive, talented, and successful is threatening their position and showing that what they’ve been taught is all a lie. I can only imagine how most of them will feel. I am not giving them an excuse, but I am only showing where I think most of these actions are coming from and why they are desperately attempting to keep us down.

I feel there is another group that does not think this way and believes all humans are created equal, but they are embarrassed to speak out because of their family’s actions. They are also afraid of losing the benefits they have from those deeds or being ousted from their comfortable circle. So silently, they want a change in the world. Silently they pray for the mistreated. So, they silently continue to watch people like me struggle when they have the power to speak out and possibly make a difference.

Living Black in America is living daily, knowing that I am hated. We joke about driving while black, about specific areas we know not to go at night, and even particular cities that are off-limits, but that is how we teach each other and cope with it in laughter. Being Black in America is living without a history of my roots. I envy those who know about their ancestors and heritage.

Being black in America is having every door closed and locked, and you have to find a creative and unorthodox way to get into the room. A better example is being in a maze. But this maze has tunnels and ladders, it has scavenger hunts, hurtles, unwritten rules and regulations, and obstacle courses. Who else has been told they must work twice as hard than one particular race to get anything in life?

It’s horrible to say, but over the 29 years of my life, I have heard the tragic stories of black men and women being killed by white people and the attacker getting a slap on the wrist or no investigation is conducted. I grieve as I think of how that person could have been one of my relatives. But those thoughts fade away as I push through life.

But lately, the thoughts are not fading away. It’s likely because we have begun to record everything, and the secrets are being brought to the light, and every day I am hearing or seeing a new hashtag. So many emotions…

Lost hope. Millineums have come and gone, our grandparents and their grandparents lived in and fought against this mess, and here we are fighting the same fight. A part of me is holding on to the faith that this fight will end so the future generations will live in harmony. But I have another fearful side that believes that this fight will remain to the end of time.

Let’s throw anger out there for size. I am angry because we are judged not by our works or the crimes we have committed, but because our skin complexion has a tint. That tint that a lot of white people sit for hours in the sun or pay to achieve. Here they are listening to music that we have created, speaking ebonics that we started, wearing the styles that we introduced to the world, and taking credit for the inventions and ideas used in our everyday lives. They love everything about us, but hate us.

Fear. At first, I would be afraid to see the police because I was speeding and didn’t want to get a ticket. Now when I see a cop, I begin praying for my life and others’ lives. And living alone adds to the fear. Breonna Taylor could easily read as Breanna Williams! Atatiana Jefferson could have been me! Botham Jean could have been my brother, my cousins, my uncles, my man, or any other black man that I consider family or a friend. Shucks, who doesn’t like to eat ice cream in the comfort of their home. Your home is supposed to be a place of peace and security.

Worry. The number of police killings compared to the amount of them being charged has given the green light to White people. They are becoming more comfortable to show their racism. And let the record show, being racist is one thing, I really don’t care how you feel about me, it’s the actions that come from it. Those actions are causing my people pain. Your actions are continuing to make their lives hard.

My little cousin out here actin’ crazy and racking up tickets. From the pattern, it does not take much to put a black man in the system. Young black boys are being tried as adults! He and other young men do not have the excuse of being “young and dumb.”

My boyfriend was pulled over last Monday. When he finally told me what happened, I praised God for his safety, and I wanted to cry! No ticket. The officer said it was a routine stop, checked his license and registration, and let him go. What? I’ve never heard of this. I thank God nothing happened, but the ideas of what could have happened to him frighten me.

I don’t know what it’s going to take. I don’t know if it will ever end. There is more to say, but I just don’t know how to formulate it into words. I have re-written this article over five times, and each time, including now, I don’t feel that it paints the picture I’m going for. My heart is heavy, but I don’t have a choice to give up. I gotta keep pushin’.

Love,

Bree

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Transparency is a cure for the soul. Here you are getting a woman’s perspective on various topics as I share my story to encourage others. Love, Bree

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Transparency is a cure for the soul. Here you are getting a woman’s perspective on various topics as I share my story to encourage others. Love, Bree

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