Sometimes when I read your stuff, I feel tempted to defend myself because you seem so angry at anyone born with white skin and my life is hardscrabble, bottom of the barrel tough as shit and if I’m so much better off than you are I can’t see it. You know, because I’m IN it.
But I know you come from a reality I don’t share, so I pause. And I breathe. And I think of Sandra Bland’s family and imagine them getting that call. That call making it sound like she was dead because of something SHE did. And I think about all of the calls making everything sound like the other party was blameless and it makes me angry at my country.
THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY OF MY DREAMS
My father is an unrepentant racist. Growing up, I was told that if I ever brought a black boy home he would be shot, and I believe he meant it. I could have a black female friend but I couldn’t visit her home. To this day, I don’t date black men because I don’t want to subject them to my family. Even though I’ve found them, as a whole, to be infinitely more respectful of women, more well-spoken and polite, and more well-read/better educated than their white counterparts.
And I think that is terrifying to men like my father.
And it tells me that black women are providing the world with good, honorable men in a way that white women are falling short.
I don’t know if it’s the “my kid can do no wrong” attitude, or what, but it has to do with basic manners and respect for your fellow man and I hope to God I do better by my son.
I can’t pretend to know what the world looks like through the lens of your life experiences, but I know a lot of the rhetoric I am hearing lately- about how all of this complaining and raging and insistence on focusing on the negative is the reason bad things keep happening and I’m reminded of something my brother said to me last summer about my relationship with my father.
He basically told me to get over it and move on; to stop blaming my problems on our upbringing and I laughed and told him
I forgave Dad for the things he did to me as a child years and years ago. I don’t hold any resentment about that. I haven’t since about 1993. And I don’t blame my problems on him at all.
Nor do I hold resentments for things he did for the next ten years.
The things I’m angry about are things he did TODAY. The reason they sound like the same old bullshit 30 years later is because he has made NO ATTEMPT TO DO ANY DIFFERENT.
He’s still committing the same atrocities he was committing when I was born.
Now isn’t that sad?
I feel like it’s the same with America. I see people who are “so over the whole #blacklivesmatter drama” and to them I have to say,
And maybe when the drama is actually over, you won’t hear about it anymore. Maybe when we stop mowing down unarmed black men, and wrongly incarcerating innocent black women, and maybe when we finally stand up as a nation, and admit culpability, and make a genuine effort to reform the broken system, well, then maybe you won’t have to hear about it anymore. Because this isn’t people bitching about slavery, pre- “abolition”, because black folks just can’t let it go. This is a cry against the invisible restraints imposed on a significant portion of the American population, TODAY, just because of skin color, because of the way our nation is structured. This is now. And we can’t ask for forgiveness without changing it first.
I’ve kind of rambled stream of conscious-like, and hope I’ve not offended.
Mostly I wanted to say that this country is nothing I’m proud to be a part of. Not one thing.