Monday, July 15, 2013

Obviously We Don't Matter

I'm writing this with fresh tears in my eyes for a black boy who was denied justice. Even if someone goes vigilante on George Zimmerman, it's not justice, because what I want is for THE LAW to recognize what Zimmerman did was wrong. I want THE LAW to affirm what's in my heart. And you can be mad at everyone for saying Zimmerman should have gotten off but please realize, THE LAW was on his side, and that's where our rage should be focused. We have to change THE LAW that allowed this to happen in the supposed land of the free.

I'm also writing this with a searing hatred in my heart that I'm working to quell. I can't explain it exactly, but it's like feeling an anxious indigestion in your lungs. Almost hard to breathe because of all the rage. I have this nervous energy that wants me to do bad things. I have a brand new headache that won't go away. I have a brand new Voice informing me that me and my babies and my family and my people aren't worth shit. We aren't worth tears or fairness or sympathy or even the benefit of the doubt. I can collect all the degrees I want and send my babies to all the best schools and bust my ass to make my own way in this world and never, ever have a scuffle with the law and still, I'm nothing. I don't even matter.

That's what this trial made me feel like: I don't matter. And that's bullshit, because I follow all of your motherfucking rules, AMERICA! I have a social security number; I pay taxes; I immunized my kids; I send them to school and keep them off the streets; I pay my own rent and utilities; I keep a job "on the books" and still, I don't matter. Well FUCK YOU, then. AMERICA.

And while we're on the subject, I need to address something real quick. All my white homies, pay attention and pass it on to the people you love.

When I'm visiting with either Cathi or Celia, dear, dear friends from college (more like family!!!!) who happen to be white and who live in areas where black folks are an anomaly, despite the fact that I know these women are my friends and love me and much as I love them, it doesn't diminish my hyper-awareness of, most times, being the only person of color in the room. It's something instinctual, like checking to see where all the exits are when you enter a room or making sure you're not alone with some dude on a subway car during that long ass ride from 59th Street to 125th Street on the A-Train. Just another safety precaution. I also listen intently for anything remotely racist said around me when I'm in said scenarios. Again, I can't turn it off, it just is.

This has always been my life. This is how I've learned to co-exist in a world that would rather I just go away and stop pestering it with desires of fairness and justice and liberty to pursue my happiness. I had to learn to adjust ME so as not to upset "the white folks" and I'm not kidding; this is how I grew up. "Don't be loud; don't make a scene; obey the cops" and so on, because I am the wrong shade of human to be afforded the luxury of being loud, causing a scene or disobeying the cops. It's exhausting to know I don't matter!

I'm not looking for pity or special treatment here, just understanding. We are systematically oppressed every day of our lives, on a small scale AND on a large scale. Everyday and all the time. This is why shit like this Zimmerman verdict has me flipping out and yelling RACISM. Because it is.

AND ANOTHER THING (to add to this unorganized rant). Just because you are the only white person in your group, neighborhood, city, state, dorm or WHATEVER, doesn't make you a minority in the same respect that non-whites are considered minorities, OK? The system is still on your side. You're not being ignored by your elected representatives (any more than usual). The cops aren't going to target or profile you. You can buy a house anywhere you want and no one will question WHY you got into a good school or got a great promotion.

So no, JAMES MCLELLAN, being the only white person in your county is not the same thing as being non-white in America. Shut the fuck up and enjoy your white privilege, idiot!

*no smooches today; I'm mourning my basic human right to exist in peace*
how was your weekend?