People Who Don’t Understand Racism Boggle My Mind


This country can be funny sometimes. It’s like Chris Rock said in one of his stand-up comedy shows (I think the one where he had the silver suit on) “America is like that uncle who put you through college…but molested you along the way.” Okay maybe that was an odd analogy but America has a problem with race (duh) and one of the biggest problems is that too many people don’t know exactly what racism is. Some of them are more appalled at the word racist than they are the actual act of racism.

I tell myself ALL THE TIME don’t read the comments on news stories or on social media. I know I’m going to be left looking at my phone or computer screen sideways because TOO. MANY. PEOPLE. DON’T. GET. IT. They refuse to get it. They repel from sense. And I’m not buying the “I don’t experience it so I never knew that could be a problem” excuse. I have legs but that doesn’t prevent me from maybe having some inkling of the plight of people who don’t have legs and what they might go through.

I’ve always thought and have had convos with friends that one of the biggest problems with racism is too many people don’t understand what it is. These are people who say things like “Black people are racists, too.” Nah, boo-boo. Racism is a system—a system of making sure that a marginalized group (or groups) are constantly brought back five steps every time they take two steps forward: housing, job discrimination, the biased justice system, finances, killing unarmed Black men and women and not being charged for it, etc. Folks like to tell you slavery happened over 200 years ago and that its effects aren’t still felt today. Being charged more for the same item white people got, or being passed up from jobs because of my zip code, or having to “soften” myself because I’m Black sure doesn’t sound so “free” to me.

Some of it isn’t as overt as it was back in slavery days—but if you read up or watch any of the latest TV shows or movies depicting slavery (yeah, I wasn’t trying to watch yet another slave movie but I watched season 1 of Underground and the Roots reboot and glad I did because I feel more enriched—I’ll talk more about that later perhaps) you’ll understand how many of the tactics the white upper classes used to divide us and keep us slaves (as well as manipulate poor whites) are STILL going on today. STILL. If you don’t realize we STILL have a real problem with race in this country, you are part of the problem.


And that’s the mess that boggles my mind. I shake my head so damn hard every time someone runs in something talmbout #AllLivesMatter, I’m pretty sure I have a concussion by now. Or when people (Black and white) try to say mess like “Well if Black folks didn’t keep killing Black folks…” like um, white people kill each other every got damn day but no one uses that as justification for their deaths. I gotta be manhandled (or worse) during a traffic stop because someone I don’t know shot LeRoy? How does that even make sense to people?

Thing is, folks let their preconceived notions about Black people affect how they interact with us. And it’s not just white folks—there are tons of non-Black people of color who are anti-Black as well. It’s following me around in your store because you think I’m going to steal. It’s not posting images of Black women on your beauty page. It’s feeling uncomfortable because a Black man crosses your path. It’s canceling an AirBNB reservation when you found out the potential renter is Black. It’s calling our hairstyles ghetto (and then stealing them and putting them in your magazine and calling it fashion because YOU’RE wearing it). It’s EVERY and ANY possible thing you can imagine and a lot of these “little” occurrences happen to a lot of us every single day and them shits are cumulative AF. It’s exhausting (and yet beautiful) to be Black. Can you imagine going through this mess everyday and then having folks tell you you’re crazy and YOU’RE being a race baiter or dividing the country when you point it out. This mess is part of the reason why we’re susceptible to things like high blood pressure and depression.


And yet people still don’t get it. You merely mention the word “white” and these folks are all up in arms calling YOU racist. THEY COULD NOT BE BLACK FOR FIVE MINUTES I SWEAR ‘FORE GAWD. SHDIHFNIVOIVHV#$:$:@:!3


Like Paul Mooney (I think it was Paul) once said: “Everybody wanna be Black, but nobody wants to BE Black.”

Oh, and I’ve also had enough of this respectability politics mess. Black folks should not have to dress up in bow ties looking like the got damn WB frog just to get some damn respect in this country. You should not have to go through a damn obstacle course just to get basic human rights. It saddens and enrages me that we have to teach our young boys and men how to interact with the police so they don’t get shot and killed. To teach our young girls and women to be proud but not “too proud” so it doesn’t offend some power-tripping cop. It makes me want to air box any time our fathers, husbands, boyfriends, etc. have to soften their demeanor during interactions with the cops. Last I checked the cops worked for the public and that includes us. But it also frustrates me that a lot of this has to be done because of survival. Because you’d rather swallow your pride and submit to some racist cop choking on his power just so you can come home to your family.

We’ve seen that advanced degrees and letters behind your name also don’t mean shit when your skin color is brown. Martin wore suits and to many was considered someone who spoke calmly—they still killed him. We do NOT have to speak softly and remain calm when talking about this mess either. WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED.

I’m nice AF, MAD friendly (well, most of the time at least), but what I will NOT be doing is making myself less loud, less “threatening,” be less BLACK just to appease folks and make them feel comfortable. Some white folks scare me (I don’t know—maybe it’s the suits or the weird mustaches), but do they walk around being all cognizant of their every move to appease my fears? Nah. Better yet—I’m sure our ancestors were scared out of their minds of white folk during slavery and during Jim Crow and during the Civil Rights era. Was the white folk PR team out there trying to soften their image? Did they hire an image consultant?


I don’t know what it will take to curb America’s race problem. Centuries after this country was founded, we’re STILL having a problem. It could take the second coming of Christ for things to change. And then, only if it’s blue-eyed, blonde hair Jesus.

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