Tag Archives: racism

Racism- The Uncomfortable Conversation

There are certain topics and experiences that we hold dear to our hearts. As a consequence, we get so uncomfortable when we need to sit and have a fluent conversation with others.

Some wise person did say the truth causes offense. And this is merely because the hard truth can make us feel so uncomfortable.

With everything that has been happening in the world, it has brought up racist led conversations- discussions about white vs black, how blacks think whites think and how blacks think of whites.

The reality is racial conversations are sensitive and oftentimes personal. We will take a side based on our interaction with blacks and whites and also the way we are treated as black people.

This is definitely one of those topics where there is a plethora of views that may differ from your friends’, your family’s, and strangers’.

A few days ago I was having a conversation about race with a friend and the way each of us think clearly did not coincide.

We spoke not of the social injustices or the protests but of how we think white people are. She was on the premise that white people all deep down have a shade- they do not really view us as equals. On the other hand, I was saying that I refused to think that because I just cannot bring myself to imagine that white people all deep down think that blacks are unequal or inferior to them.

We, however, both agreed that we have really close friends that are white.

And in that very moment I said that is the sole reason I cannot think all whites have a “shade” in regards to their views of black people. I even went as far as saying I refuse to think in that light because if that were true I would be deeply heartbroken.

I will reiterate that this is really an uncomfortable topic.

Even in writing this piece, I am somewhat concern about how my opinion will be interpreted or if it may seem offensive to someone. Racism is just one of those themes that may spark a backlash (check out Twitter, the Coons and people being cancelled) when you least expect it.

But to get back on track, firstly, I decided to address the awkwardness associated with racist led conversations because I want to know the views of others. With that said please feel free to leave a comment so I can know what your thoughts are.

Secondly, I address this issue because I want to let others know of an important message about not letting what you been through harden your heart.

Thirdly, I take such a stance because I do not want anyone to garner a generalized idea about me based entirely on the facts that I am black, I am a woman, I am an immigrant or I am Jamaican.

One of my personality traits is that I am always willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. In my world, anyone with whom I interact is innocent until proven guilty.

Whether you are black or white, immigrant or citizen through birth, I believe that I should have negative connotations of you only if you have hurt, discrimate or harm me and others.

In other words, I refuse to just hate someone or think they are “shady” only because of their color, heritage, customs and beliefs.

But again that is my take on life, racism and people on a whole.

I cannot bring myself to think that all whites are the same for the same reasons I do not want anyone to think of me being the same as all women, all black women, all blacks, all Caribbean immigrants and so on.

Furthermore, if I think someone has a shade or has treated me badly, I cannot bring myself to be in a position where I will smile and nod as if evrything is fine and dandy (one hypocritical American custom that I hate).

If you are mad at me state it. If you refuse to state it suck it up and let us carry on.

But do not be mad, say horrible things, treat me unjustly and then smile to my face as if we are good.

Because the moment I have established your position in regards to me I cannot engage in a relationship with you or I cannot let my often complimented beautiful smile greets you.

My facial expression will be enough to let you know I want nothing to do with you.

And I know this may sound like a rant, but it should be interpreted as a plea.

Despite of all the horrific injustices, blatant racism and the prevalence of ethnocentrism and nationalism, we should honor people (regardless of color and background) for being people.

Do not be quick to judge someone or gather stereotypical opinions solely because of physical appearance or their heritage.

Also, we have to make the hard decision of not letting the horrendous experiences we have encountered in life change us for the worse.

We have to find strength in knowing that despite all the unpleasantries, we will go through and grow through them and emerge as better versions of ourselves.

Black People Causes Havoc in the Streets

About a week ago, I published a post entitled Our Poor Black Men in which I speak of the unjust and cruel way some of our black men are treated by whites and society. All the things I spoke of were mere facts and events that have occurred in our great nation.

A few days later, George Floyd was murdered in the streets of Minnesota as three police men kneeled on him and one stood by doing nothing. I woke up to #GeorgeFloyd trending on Twitter and the moment I hit that play button to watch the video my body shivered.

Minnesota is burning to the ground in response to the killing of George Floyd, who repeatedly stated that he was unable to breathe but was not rendered aid by any of the four officers who were suppose to serve and protect. There has been nationwide protests over the barbaric act committed by those four police men and we have also organized a July7 boycott.

The truth is black people and our black men have always encountered injustice. Everyday we live in this society as black people, and have not witness and experience these brutal acts we are able to coexist and have a peace of mind.

However the moment we start to think we are safe and we no longer have issues such as prejudice, racism and unfairness parading on the frontline, videos showing the death of black men like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and so many others surface and we are once again placed in a dilemma.

In response to these atrocities, black people march, we come up with hashtags such as blacklivesmatter and sayhername, we organize boycotts, we engage in nationwide protests, we kneel to show that we are taking a stand against inequality, police brutality and racism and we loot and cause havoc in the streets.

Our response to these vicious, vile and inhumane acts done to our black men, and even to our black women- Breonna Taylor, is a mixture of peace and war.

As a consequence of George Floyd’s death, we are once again on the streets, in our homes and on social media riled up with anger, sadness and disappointment.

Personally, I am at a complete loss. My heart is heavy. I am angry. And my spirit is once again broken.

I can know longer bear to see everything that is happening in this very moment:

  • I cannot bear to see blacks in the streets burning buildings, attacking people and looting because I know that we have turned to that because we are overwhelmed, frustrated and angry about all the wrongs that have been done and are being done to us without getting the justice we deserve,

  • I cannot bear to see those who come up with responses, such as alllivesmatter and bluelivesmatter, to our hashtags of sayhername or blacklivesmatter because they are making it into something that defeats the fact that we are trying to bring notice to the racism and injustice that continue to linger in the veins of this very nation,

  • I cannot bear to see that as a nation people’s hate and treatment of us, black people, is motivated by race and their belief in us being inferior to them,

  • I cannot bear to see those (regardless of color) saying that when we hit the streets with fires, looting and war we will not bring back those black men and women who we have lost to police brutality and white supremacists because the fact is even when we protest peacefully they still have something to say, and as Leonardo Jacobs point out to Charlie Kirk:

This tweet and response show that even our nation responds with acts of violence against those who have persecuted us. More importantly, it exposes the hypocritical system of our nation as it relates to violence being acceptable only on certain terms.

With everything that is happening, my heart truly aches. I am dumbfounded and angry about the way some whites treat us because in this day and age they still carry around the superior/inferior complex and still think of us as property and things and not as human beings.

It is about time we get rid of the remnants of slavery that continue to form the underlying principles for which our fellow citizens and agents of society treat us as black men and black women.

I wish that by walking peacefully to protest and even in rage to loot and destruct we would by now be able to enact, see and live in real change.

It is definitely been a long time coming.

We deserve to be treated equally as any other race. We are humans and we deserve the same respect that other races receive.

The journey to change, equality and the relinquishment of racism seems to be forever ongoing but we will continue to riot (peacefully or otherwise) in the streets until we have received the respect and equality we deserve.

Alien in the Streets

Migration can be traced as far back to historical events such as conquests and colonization, and slavery and indentureship. Today many people continue to immigrate to other countries in a quest for better life, better education, better medical care and even so that they can escape persecutions from their own country.

We pack our bags and leave to start a journey on our own or to reunite with our families. Some people did not even get the chance to leave peacefully.

Regardless of the reasons for leaving, we find ourselves in new realms where we learn new customs and try to adjust.

When I first came to America as an exchange student, I was in awe of how beautiful and accessible everything is. I was, however, amused that people treated persons in a prejudicial way because you looked and sounded different from them.

That was my first cultural shock!

Years later when I migrated permanently, I found out through observation that depending on the state in which you live and the area within the state, you may be further exposed to different prejudicial treatments.

For example, in a diversed area as New York City, you tend to feel accepted and you are hardly ever treated in an unjust way. People are definitely rude but it seem to be more by nature and not because of the color of your skin or your accent. On the contrary, as you move farther away from the city you find that there are strains of prejudice and even racism. You may live in a nice neighborhood tucked away from the crowd and bustling city life, but then you find that not everyone is welcoming or let you feel accepted because, I assume, you have just invaded their neighborhood.

I then came to conclude that the habitation of Caribbean people, Asians, Indians and so on, in close proximity in certain neighborhoods, occur because immigrants get to feel at home and experience a sense of belonging.

The fact is when you live in neighborhoods with people who are similar to you in color, beliefs and social and geographical backgrounds there tend to be more comfort and sense of community.

As immigrants we have been physically alienated from our own country.

We face scrutiny from those who have claimed true stakes on our new home by the nature of their birth.

At times I try to tell myself that in a work setting nothing said and done to me is personal. But 7 out of 10 times it is completely hard to ignore the way I am treated because I look and sound different from those who were born here.

Despite the atrocities that are meted out to us, we take our new country as our home. We work hard to feel accepted, to utilize all the opportunities that are available and to rise above the prejudicial ways that we encounter.

We make sacrifices so that we can have a better life for ourselves and our children and so that we can achieve things that may have not been attainable in the country of our birth.

But even when we do what the Romans do, there sometimes seem to be a level of unacceptance that leave us being aliens in these streets.