(if you are color-blind and believe in equality for all, none of the following applies to you. enjoy)
If you don’t know by now, I am black. My writing is so eclectic, it may be hard to discern my race. Growing up poor and black, plus female is a triple whammy no one should endure, but I was ‘blessed’ with the trifecta. I was recently sent into a blind, silent rage by the mistrial of Michael Dunn who viciously and cowardly murdered unarmed Jordan Davis: http://abcnews.go.com/US/michael-dunn-trial-mistrial-declared-murder-charge-loud/story?id=22503778
Memories of Trayvon Martin also come to mind. Then unfaded memories of Susan Smith seeped in, you know her, she strapped her two children in their car seats and pushed her car into a lake. She claimed a black man carjacked her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Smith Thinking of her classic lies regurgitated memories of lynchings of blacks. As a child I remember the song Strange Fruit, detailing lynchings:
My blackness is something that is with me everyday. That I wear it so casually may have you believe it is easy being black. It is not easy, I just make it look effortless from years of practice. For one day, please imagine being hated, scorned, feared, loathed, for no other reason than the color of your skin. Then try existing in a society that is disgusted by your physical attributes on your black skin, but exalts the exact same features on white skin. Why are my big lips vulgar on me but oh so delicious on Angelina Jolie? Why is the way I dance tribal and savage, yet edgy and provocative when Miley Cyrus poorly imitates it? And if someone could please explain to me why if my black skin is so filthy, then why oh why do you spend countless hours tanning to get your white skin as black as mine?
As I watch the Oscars, I am overjoyed with the wins of 12 Years a Slave for Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o and the pièce de résistance, Best Picture! I am overjoyed not because they are black, but because they triumphed in spite of the odds. I am overjoyed because no matter the senseless killings, the unjust imprisonments, or the secretly racist comments you hide in your head or share privately with your white friends, I am still here. I AM STILL HERE. And I am not going away, because you do not have enough rope, enough chains, enough bullets, enough negative propaganda to destroy me and those like me. We are a resilient breed.
I have found a quiet dignity in being black. My black skin is my sword and my shield. It is my cloak and my dagger. It is my salvation and it is my burning cross I proudly bear. So please, stop clenching your purse when I walk by. Stop saying I’m a ‘thug’ because of what I wear or listen to. And stop thinking your ugly, ugly thoughts about my beautiful black skin.
Stop the hate.