Wide Awake Part II : The 10 Lessons I’ve Re-Learned About America While Living Abroad
Living abroad automatically enrolls me in an online course of “Race Relations in America in the Presumed Post-Racial Era.” It affords me the invaluable opportunity to see America, my home, from the outside of the bubble. It’s beauty and flaws are equally more visible, especially as it relates to its darker-hued citizens. As one of them, I have a responsibility to share the wealth of knowledge I’m gaining. In the seven months of my course work, I’ve been reintroduced to some invaluable lessons:
1. Black men are seen as inept, incapable, ill-equipped, inferior, invisible “boys” when it comes to standard allowances for the “majority” such as personal or commercial loans, employment, or scholastic admissions and scholarships.
2. Black boys are seen as dangerous, threatening, thuggish, lethal “men” when it comes to justifying their murders with erroneous claims of self-defense.
3. White men, women, and children can and will be justified and excused for any infliction or infraction upon someone black or brown, and if they’re wealthy, any infliction or infraction period. If any action of systemic justice is taken such as an indictment, it will be far-reaching and unattainable to convict so as to pacify the cries of the oppressed.
4. Black men, women, and children will not be justified or excused in any infliction or infraction period. The system itself is built on the economic instrumentation of racism.
5. Black and brown children are not allowed to be children, to engage in frivolous activity, to be seen as innocent, to be mischievous or given the opportunity to mature and evolve as their white counterparts are.
6. Self-defense only applies to the majority culture. This luxury may include those that have assimilated to the point of being mistaken as a member of the majority culture. Black people are not allowed to feel and act with fear because they are only to be feared.
7. It’s worse in the south.
8. “The south is any state below Canada.” – Malcolm X
9. White entitlement, which is an intoxicating and debilitating drug that can be inherently or mistakenly consumed by anyone, will lead to great disdain as a response when any minority voices want to empower themselves. Those inebriated by it will NOT want you to advance in any way that affects them or their privilege. They will feel entitled to voice their opposing opinions in any forum, even yours. They will always play the victim. They will try to beat you over the head with insults and accusations, specifically that you, the oppressed party, are racist. They will not offer support. They will feel threatened and offended by any thought you have to progress your own as the majority culture has done since the inception of this country. They will not take kindly to any encroaching on their way of life. They will try to steal, kill, and/or destroy you, your ideals, your culture, & your identity. They are not to be entertained.
10. Many educated or influential, middle class or affluent Black people will be afraid to recognize or SPEAK on these matters in fear of disturbing their individual lives of contentment and complacency. Those of us who do will be marred even by our own. So is the price of reading of, thinking for, and loving oneself.
I was aware, but did not fully digest the reality of the aforementioned when I actually dwelled in the midst of it. I was honestly somewhat afraid of truly SPEAKing the truths of my experience for fear of ruining relationships, ostracizing myself, or jeopardizing the safety of those I love. (See number 9.) Now, I realize we are all in jeopardy. Our lives are already vulnerable because they are seen as disposable. Our rights to humanity have already been stripped for many, and can be from us all at any time. We have not progressed nearly as much as we have fooled ourselves into believing. What else do we have to lose?
Now, is the time to pool together to focus on what we have to gain. My husband and I have engaged in many discussions about restoring our culture and community within the states. Our ancestors literally slaved to build a country that has continually terrorized us as its inhabitants. It’s time we do something, well within our rights, about it. He has compiled a list, an action plan if you will, that can and should be implemented by all who are focused on rebuilding and restoring black economy, black neighborhoods, black greatness. Loving ourselves and wanting to support our own, just like all other cultures do already, does not mean we hate anyone else. There is no room or energy for hate. We have to know and understand this first.
I know posts like this will be met with opposition, and I no longer care to entertain it. Again, those who are intoxicated with supremacy will feel ENTITLED to speak even when they are not addressed at all. These things will apply to any one in opposition, regardless of race. Knowing these things, we must remain focused. We can lovingly educate those who are genuinely interested in our cause, but we will not engage in useless banter. We give credence to their voice when we do. If you are in disagreement with the purpose of this post and the following action plan, feel free to keep moving. We’ve got work to do here.
Resource list to help complete the list:
Black Banks: http://urbanintellectuals.com/2013/10/03/did-you-know-there-were-21-african-american-owned-banks-in-the-country/
Effects of Black Schools: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVfCOtt-axg?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
How to Support Black Businesses:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggdyOcT-A1E?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
Reblogged this on speakinginsingapore.
I think you make some very valid points and give an awesome guideline as to how to approach such a serious problem we face here in the United States. Thank you for SPEAKing upon it.
Thank you for supporting the message and SPEAKing in agreement! I look forward to working with you to make it happen.
Funny thing these tears rolling down my cheek. The hardest part about fighting for my son’s freedom is the ignorance that must first be dismantled when I speak against the SYSTEM that railroaded him. It’s almost easier to just believe he is guilty. “White entitlement is a drug… that can be consumed by anyone.”
This gives me courage. Thank you.
I support you in your fight and I applaud you for your resilience! Keep SPEAKing, and let the tears fall. They both lead to your healing. Thank you for your support.
There is so much here. So much to say…so much more to do. I have had an interesting experience living in California these last 3 years. Unfortunately, I haven’t had to leave the country to get intimately re-acquainted with many of the things that you’ve called out here. To become a disgusted observer of the still prevalent and seemingly unchanging, unavoidable truths that you’ve highlighted. One of my favorite lines: “The south is any state below Canada.” – Malcolm X So sad, but so true. No place in this country is exempt.
My BFFs and I were talking about the Back to Black movement just this morning, so this is very timely. What next?
The back to black list.
This is how the Chinese were able to survive the atrocities that were done to them in the Western world. We Africans in the continent and in the diaspora.need to stand in solidarity with each other and support and love one another. It’s very important that we do so for our own survival. Otherwise, we’ll end up being extinct in the next 50 years. We need to wake up.
Meant to say the back to black list awesome.