[I was hesitant to publish this post. I did 10 revisions on it. I want to thank my readers for their positive comments and for encouraging me to publish it. This is a reactionary piece, a piece of satire. I love and respect all people, especially female. read about my conflict writing this here.]
My fellow Caucasian-Americans,
I come in Peace!
I come alone and I am not wearing a wire or selling weed. I come with good tidings for the future bearing the gift of friendly language, a copy of Hustle and Flow, and an offering of peace to start Black History Month 2014!
It’s been a while since we talked. Actually we have never talked; we are both too scared of each other. The only time we talk socially is on the television, specifically on past episodes of New Girl. I want to put an end to that. I want to kick-off this Black History Month with the truth. I am not ashamed to admit that you scare me. I am not scared of you on a one on one basis. I’m scared of you as a whole, which is why I memorized a few alternative routes into Canada.
In my defense I inherited my fear of you (plural) from my father who received his from his, who received it from his and so on as far back as 1783 when the first African slaves entered the Island of Haiti. That means that for about 21 generations, the beast under our bed, in our closet, in our heads either looked like your or a relative of yours. (I’m listening to enter the sandman at the moment). The NYPD had something to do with it too but that’s another story.
My father first came to this country, to Memphis Tennessee, three years after the death of MLK in 71 and was frightened. Look at these two pieces of advice used to give me as a young child:
- Never hang around or talk to white women. They might accuse you of rape and we have no money to bail you out of jail or pay for lawyers. It will be her words against yours there is no justice for blacks.
- If you see a group of white men anywhere and they do not look like they work together or are on the job,or in suits run. My fathers uncle was beaten up in Bushwick Brooklyn by a gang of white guys. Also my my maternal grandmothers brother was beaten up by US Marines who invaded the island to help fix the price of sugar and bananas and stayed to help occupy the island as part of the Banana War initiative.
I totally get that that wasn’t you or your pops. I am not blaming you. The reality is that we are both suffering. As I read through the article Study Shows White People Believe They Experience More Racism Than Black People I started to be able to sympathize with how isolated you must have felt on the other side of town, in the gated communities you live in.
Researchers from Harvard and Tufts University have conducted a surprising study which shows that white people think that much needed racial progress has been made since the 1950s — but at their expense. … white people now believe that the decrease in anti-black racism has led to the rise of anti-white racism. In other words, white people believe that equality has been reached but that this has subjected them to experience more racism than black folk.
All forms of racism are evil. Racism kills people, that tend to look mostly like my extended family, with the exception of Carl and Garrick Hopkins. Authorities claim race had nothing to do with the death of these two brothers (not slang, actual brothers) shot by Rodney Blacks rifle. Their story was a sobering reminder that people don’t kill people, guns kill people. The brothers had made the mistake of inspecting a building on Garrick’s newly purchased piece of land. Black maintains that he thought the Hopkins were breaking into a building on his property. While the land in question did once belonged to Black’s family, it did not at the time of the incident.
And I think after years of living in fear from the police, and hearing stories that form the basis of my heritage, I am just starting to get that being judged by your skin color is awful. I’m prepared to sit with you at counters at the soul food places that refused to serve you and also boycott airlines where they make some of you sit in the front of the plane, in that tired, oppressive structure called First class.
One of my favorite writers said it best:
We do not talk—we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests. Henry Miller (1891-1980), U.S. author. “The Shadows,” The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945)
And that’s a shame. Because of the fact that every WW1, WW2,Vietnam, Korea and Rambo movie had Caucasian actors as the lead. I tended to think you were all a naturally belligerent race. The White on White violence during the turbulent periods of European History didn’t help either. I also never took, service and hospitality jobs in well to do area because the TV and cinematic depictions of colonialism had someone who looked like you stepping on the neck of someone who looked like me in a servants outfit.
I didn’t have a conversation with a Caucasian women, (unless you count Becky at that 800 number I called back in the day) until freshman physics in college. She was cool, she never blew her rape whistle when I approach to talk in class. I missed out on all of that.
Bottom line we need each other. After the police, miraculously sentient guns, and mass incarceration kill off enough of us, they will be after your kids and they will start with the poorer of you first. So what do you say we died by each other in enough wars; do you think we can finally walk together into the future, preferably without me carrying your stuff?