For Those Who "Don't See Color"

Racism in North America

Welcome to your alternate universe, where up is down and down is hate. It would be ignorant of me to not touch on this particular subject, especially considering what's happening in the United States. From "building a wall" to the immigration ban, it seems that the theme for 2017 is white power. Where Democracy once reigned, some countries like Greece or Hungary are now reveling in what they call "nationalism" but we all know it by its old name: fascism. It is now seen as freedom of expression to be outwardly hateful to other human beings based solely on the fact that some people cannot accept the fact that the landscape of the world is now changing. Welcome to 2017, where the need for a Martin Luther King or Gandhi has never felt more needed than now...

Clearly, by the title of this blog, you already know that I'm a black woman. I'm a proud black, Caribbean, Canadian woman. I haven't always been proud of the color of my skin (that didn't sound right...). What I meant to say is that I grew up in an environment where I wished I was white. (Yes, you read right!) I'm sure I'm not the only black person who's ever felt those terrible feelings, especially in an environment where you don't see many, if any, people who look like you. I grew up in a household with a revolutionary father (He's a communist who had to leave his homeland). He tried his best to build me up into a strong, black woman. But his best included attending an all-white school and letting me know from an early age that the world will never see me past the color of my skin. Those things were a conversation that my dad and I had when I was nine. He told me that I'll always have to work harder to prove that I deserve to be here and heard. That people will always underestimate me, so I had to show them that I was smarter, funnier, and just overall better. His favorite quote to me was, "You need to be worth two white people in order to be valued by this society."

Can you imagine hearing that at nine? I heard him, but I didn't have the comprehension skills at the time to really understand what he meant. I mean, was he wrong? What kind of parent says this to their kid? A parent who knows too well what the world has in store for their child. Just so that we are clear, black parents all across the country and the United States have had these conversations with their kids. To not have them is to have chosen to ignorantly not prepare your child for the real world. A world where people will judge their character by the color of their skin.

What happened in Charlottesville is nothing new to anyone who has ever experience racism in North America. What's new is that it is now making the 8 o'clock news and a poor, white woman lost her life. I don't want to disparage her death, but I must also look at it from a point view of a black woman. Do you think if it was a black woman who died, people would be this outraged? Look at what happened to Sandra Bland (I'm pretty sure many of you don't know who I'm referring to, but please google #SayHerName and educate yourself.), Korryn Gaines, Mya Hall, or Meagan Hockaday. Racism has always been there, but now that there's a "Cheeto head" at the forefront of this despicable movement. Every repulsive racist is now brazen as fuck.

Racism has always been part of our society, it's nothing new. What's new is now that people can see racists in high definition thanks in part to CNN, Fox, and all the others who have now chosen to feature shows (Yes, Vice I'm talking about you) and interview by giving them a platform. As if a white supremacist is someone who is simply misunderstood. My hate-on doesn't stop there. I'm also extremely, extremely bothered by the fact that six times out of ten, they seem to be interviewed by someone of color. Because who doesn't want to interview someone, who they know given the chance, would probably threaten their very existence. The normalization of white supremacy is due partly because of the disgusting desire to put it on display for ratings.

Hate is a conduit for many things. Racism got Hitler elected and racism got Trump elected. Both used a "nationalist" platform to win their elections. Both use xenophobic rhetoric to justify hateful and racist ideals. The only difference this time is the people voting for them. From your southern grandma who sometimes says racist stuff but swears she's not racist, to the unemployed factory worker who thinks all the Mexicans have stolen their job but not realizing the manufacturing industry is literally dying thanks to machines and robots (Yes, robots!), to the loan officer at your local bank who sees too many non-white people buying homes and wants to help his fellow, white man get ahead. Racism is no longer "another generation's" issue, it's now a global issue. What's now changed is that the hate is coming from some many different avenues that it seems no longer be feasible to live in a world without it. To not see color is to not see the various and obvious nuances between black and white, but it's also being complicit and complacent with a racist agenda. Just because you don't understand, and probably never will, it clearly doesn't bode well for our collective future to just pretend it doesn't exist...

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For Those Who "Don't See Color"