08 July, 2006

What Year Is This?

Isn't it 'funny' how some conversations are timeless. Things just do not change as rapidly as you would think. While browsing the news on msn.com, I noticed a category called "Race in America." The article begins with a description of a lawyer, who is garrulous and talks with his hands. He is 6' 7" tall and black. 'Many people find him threatening. He works hard to prove otherwise.'

And right there, I'm lost. Why is he threatening, because he is tall, his profession, no because he is a black man. His very being is threatening. It does not matter that he is intelligent, accomplished, just that he is black. I would say his height adds to it, but that is such a small issue that it really is a non-issue. He could be 4' 8" and still be 'threatening'. But my question is why is he the one who has to work hard to prove otherwise.

Yes I know that he has to make a living, may have to wine and dine clients or the boss, but they are not saying he is inarticulate, crass, bigoted, or anything except black and male.

No, I am not some Pollyanna who was unaware how difficult it is to walk around in this world. I live in beautiful "copper tone" skin that the world translates as otherwise. It is just frustrating. Infuriating. It makes me want to scream and cry and throw things. But, that would just mean that the stereotypes about my skin are true, wouldn't it. Oh, it is so confining to live in skin that defines without ever saying or doing anything. It is a damnation to the rest of the world. And, if one should dare express an honest and well-earned frustration about the absolute unfairness of it all, then it means you have too much rage and must calm down. It is never viewed as a fair and understandable reaction to an unfair and irrational assumption that is shoved down your throat, day in and day out.

Why should I have to keep a smile plastered on my face because I don't want to be viewed as an angry black woman? To be frank, there are days when I get angry. Not everyday. Not always. It is not an indictment on every other black person just because I may challenge you for some bullshit that you try to shove down my throat because you are ignorant. How is it OK to lump people together.

I love in the suburbs. I am brown-skinned with long (beautiful) dreadlocks. Today, I went to the market. When I walked in the 'store security' officer was staring at me. Not, 'hey, good evening', but 'oh, look, here come the usual suspects.' I was in the store for about 20 minutes when I made it over to the lotion. Who comes into the aisle, very interested in toothpaste but 'Officer Friendly', I just looked at him like he was nuts. I continued to hunt and gather, and remarkably, he decided he did not need toothpaste just as soon as I left the aisle.


Whatever, he thought he was looking at, I am not it.

What an asshole.


Whatever. I hope he doesn't get hurt by the real thing one day, obviously he hasn't a clue what to look for. It's sad for us all.

I guess in his mind dreadlocks don't say taxpayer, but that is just too bad for him. I was hoping he would say something to me. But he thought he was being intimidating.

I work with 'da po-lice', I am not easily intimidated.

Maybe I am supposed to put on a nice blond wig before I go shopping.

I guess it just proves that you cannot change human nature. People will always look down on others to make themselves feel better.

What year is this?