With everything that has been going on this week, people have been feeling real free about expressing their random thoughts about the president and how others are reacting to his inauguration.
During a "ReplyAll" conversation with some friends from back home, I realized that it is true...SOME Caucasian people will NEVER understand WHY SOME Black people have what they consider to be an over eager racial pride. I knew it existed, don't get me wrong, but I don't associate with people who lack the heart to even try to understand that being Black, well there is some unwarranted bullshat that comes with it. It's not like we ask for it, it just is what it is.
It was this comment that made me see that some people just won't get it until they HAVE TO walk a mile in your shoes (I edited it so it would be legible):
"...I ain't ever understood people with massive racial pride. I get having strong personal pride, but a swollen racial pride I don't get"
My first thoughts WERE NOT that he was racist; it irritates me to no end that some people's first thought to shout is that someone is racist when they make comments like this. Everyone who isn't Black is not racist simply because they are ignorant. My first thought was, he doesn't understand because he's never been picked on, insulted, looked over, or mistreated because he was Caucasian so it's understandable that he wouldn't understand someone being PROUD they are Black. Granted, you have some Jewish and Irish people (read: Caucasian) who were treated JUST as bad but he probably wouldn't understand that either...or he'd look at it differently.
The pride actually (well at least for me) stems from KNOWING there are people out there who would LOVE for me to be beneath them but I am NOW (thank God for civil rights!!!) afforded the same opportunities as them. I am proud of who I am and part of who I am IS that I am Black. There are some people who because of their religious affliations, do not vote and I understand that. THAT is their RIGHT, as well as, THEIR BUSINESS. But I think about the Civil Rights and how it did take voting to get Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to where he could be a voice heard among the masses to put things in motion to get people Civil Rights...and it makes me think about some of the things Barack Obama might be able to do since he is now in a position to make certain things happen that would still be sitting in the corner collecting dust if the 44th president was another Caucasian...and THAT made me look at the process totally different. There were times when life was made a little difficult BECAUSE I am Black but those times when color is not an issue and I am treated like any other person (read: Caucasian), I have a justified reason to be proud. During those times, I just feel like singing to the rooftops, "Anything you can do, I can do better!!!"
So my response to him was:
"Yea...sensitive subject :) Sometimes it takes going through something simply because you're the wrong skin color to understand it..."
And it was followed up with this response from another friend who was participating in the conversation (FYI, she's bi-racial):
(edited for legibility)
"being told you can't do things and being looked at on a lower level because of what you look like can take a toll on you and to be able to identify with someone else that gets treated the same way, you tend to just band together for support since they understand where the frustration is coming from"
Even though she is bi-racial, the first thing people see when they look at her is a Black person...simply because she favors that side more than her other side...even though she is maybe two shades darker than mayonnaise (that ain't that dark folks LOL). Therefore, she understands and probably relates more to the Black side because that is what she is categorized as.
It is my hope that one day people will WANT to understand this "race thing" so that we can get along better. This conversation alone could have gotten so ugly and unnecessary...due to ignorance. Just so happens we knew he meant well so we weren't gonna just attack him for his ignorance but in the back of my mind, it makes me wonder if he really cares that there is that divide that still exists between people. I wondered if he would take out the time to TRULY understand why it is different for "us" than it is for him. Who knows and by the end of the day, I really won't care because this is just what I'm accustomed to being Black in America.