RACE RELATIONS 1: Perception of the angry black man
Let me preface this by saying I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I think it is actually insulting when people make comments like, “I am not racist, I have x-amount of __ friends!” I heard a comedian say before if you have to count how many black friends you have you are a racist. lol. I could play the same game and try to impress you like, “I have this many white friends!” but to me that is ignorant and irrelevant. Now I chose to do this blog (and most likely it will evolve into an extended discussion over the lifespan of me blogging) because I want to talk about issues we either sweep under the rug, or choose to ignore. In this particular instance, I suppose it is geared more towards granting others people a perspective of how we (African-American) view things. I won’t say that I am speaking for an entire race, but I will say my attitude reflects the views of many of us.
That being said let me start off by saying I don’t hate people just because of their skin color. That is just foolish. What I hate is ignorance. Pure(in)breed, generational ignorance. When you hear a black person make a comment about ‘the man’ they are basically speaking about numerous bad experiences with Caucasians. It doesn’t mean they particularly hate all white people. Say for example everybody on the earth was transparent, and we wore t-shirts with different colors. Over your lifespan, if you met 250 people with red shirts and 200 of them said they like lasagna, most of us would eventually generalize when making comments about them (e.g. those red-shirts sure love lasagna). Just human nature I suppose. That is how it is with us. I was watching this old black movie about these sisters who lived back in the day and dealt with all types of racism. She made this statement that will always stick with me. Because of the red-shirts that black people have dealt with, they will understand this statement. She said, “I truly believe that God sends a good white person in our path at times to show us that they all aren’t bad.” That sounds horrible, but from a black person’s perspective, we deal with racism on a consistent basis that you wouldn’t believe.
Now don’t get it twisted. I have some REAL issues with my people in several areas (including racism within our race). One of the problems I have (which I will address in a later blog) is the way we project who we are, and what we represent. It has nothing to do with keeping it real because ignorance comes in all shades. So in that respect, I can’t really fault some of the blue-shirts that white people have experienced. I have a friend back in Ohio and he is a quarter of a century older than me. His grandfather was a KKK wizard (secretary, treasure or something). This guy and I have some of the most engaging, intellectual conversations about race relations. It is so raw, candid, and in your face. We usually both are completely honest, and try to share these misconceptions; and I truly believe at the end of all of our conversations we are both better for it. All that to say I am open minded and understand there are two sides (perceptions), but sometimes that still doesn’t make things better. Sometimes I just get tired. Of course this blog was prompted by some silly racism here. Don’t have the energy to go into it, but the question many black man continue to face is why should we constantly have to prove myself?
I was talking to my buddy the other day, and he wrote this blog about interviewing for this job at a white church, and the pastor telling him that hiring more colored’s would diversify the congregation. I don’t even know how to react to that one. I had to just laugh. Like I stated before, we live in a pretty wealthy area which is predominately (statistically 98%) white, and I get tired of snide looks like I am not supposed to be here. I am not ignorant by any means, not loud, educated, yet time and time again I still have to go an extra mile to disprove the numerous stereotypes about our people.
I tell you what else makes me mad when people act like it is not that serious. Yes it is. When you deal with it as frequent as we do, yes the hell it is serious. Most of us just don’t talk about it because we can’t. Black men can’t express themselves without being misconstrued as violent or irrational. I could dedicate a blog to all the stupid crap I have encountered, but I don’t want to make this a bash/complain session. I suppose I am just frustrated because I get tired of how black men are always categorized.
Now I love my sistas, but this is just the truth. Please don’t get mad by this comment because black women go through things I can’t even remotely imagine. They have a limited selection of men, and have to work harder to get ahead in the workplace. But on that same token, black women have more flexibility to say what is on their mind than black men. A black woman can go in the office, and completely snap…and that is ok. Maybe because of our history of black women being caregivers, nurturing, and taking care of other families. Thing is, a sista can snap, roll her eyes, completely clock and write someone up about themselves…and get away with it. Black men on the other hand can’t. We get pissed and try to address anything, the second our voice gets louder they go get security (literally) and blow it completely out of proportion.
I am not trying to come at an entire race, but I am just frustrated with ignorant people in society. You know, I am probably the only person in America (along with my wife) who didn’t like the movie Crash. I thought it was stupid. Granted it was interesting how they linked everything together, but it was not all the hype people made it out to be. Maybe people found themselves in the characters, felt guilty and thought it was deep, but to me the movie should have been called ‘duh’ because nothing was shocking at all. Anyone with any type of discernible spirit sees this stuff every day.
All that to say, we are created equal in God’s eyes, but truth is in society’s eyes we are not. We have made strides, but are no where near there yet. My buddy was telling me CNN did this piece about how a white man with a felony can get a job before a black man with a bachelors. What? I guess I have a hard time accepting that things have to be that way. I have numerous friends (all races) I have been blessed to have over the course of my life (that I speak/interact with daily), so you can’t sit here and tell me we can’t coexist in harmony. You can’t tell me that equality is not possible. That is nonsense. People just don’t want to change. They’d rather stick to the fears and predijuces they have, than to educate themselves about another culture and face the fact they may have had preconceived notions.