Black Folks Burden

What is our burden? Accepting or not accepting White Racism. Plain and simple. Last week I experienced another racist event in my life. Sitting in my car talking to a male friend, a white man came up to the window, peered in and yelled to his significant other to call the sheriff’s department, he sees some suspicious people. My friend jumped out the car with his hoodie on and went off. He turned to me and told me to call the police. Like every Black woman you want to protect. You can see the flashing lights, the police batons, the bullshit and the drama. I got out of the car got my friend and hugged him. He hugged me back and told me he loved me. I told him the same and asked that he please go inside. The show of affection dumbfounded the two white folks. He was going off but went inside. Then they turned to me to try to be more civil, you look familiar they said. That was it. Fuck You, you don’t know me, you are a racist asshole and the only reason you have a problem is because I’m BLACK. Get the Fuck out of my face. Oh now you are playing the race card? My stepdaughters are Black, I’m not a racist. Yeah you are and you are a dumb motherfucker too. Got in my car and pulled off.

As I drove off I started to cry. I thought of all the hate. I thought of my own life and being called a nigger bitch so much at Marquette University it was like a middle name. I thought of how a friend and I in college caught a bus to go try a new restaurant and a truck load of white boys stopped and talked about let’s go get those bitches. My friend was terrified. So was I but I said if anybody touches me they will die today. The white boy got back in the truck and they drove off. I won’t even go into the countless incidents that continue to be a part of my life. It’s funny but many of us have learned to not even admit it because we just want to numb ourselves. At that instant with that white man I was so angry. What white people can’t seem to understand is their disrespect just  based on a look, is infuriating. All the judgement. What if I did the same?

What if I looked at every white person and judged them by all of my experiences of pain and hurt from them? What if I took the easier route of hating them for who they are? But for us, just hating White folks is not easy either. If I just hated their guts, how many academy awards would I need to win to just function. I need their money to live.  Most of what I buy to survive, food, clothes, rent, utilities, gas, whatever I pay to them. White people that hate me can easily navigate and live well in their world.

Our burden is how to deal with the anger so it won’t destroy our self esteem and sanity. Some of us deal by negating the existence period and totally assimilate. White friends, white mate, white activities, total denial. They even talk about Blacks as if they were not. Then you have other self haters that say and do nothing and just take whatever comes their way. You know the type that would vote for slavery because they say we at least we would have a job! The Jesse Peterson type that love Massah and hate themselves. The MOTEASUH Tribe. You want some Mo Tea Suh? Then you have the Black by Day, White by Night coping mechanism. Power to the people but hey, white men/women love me. Then you have the Holy Rollers that think you have to pray away the anger as if praying it away is going to fix it. No doubt our spirituality is what got us through but what we seem to have forgotten is they prayed to get the strength to DO something. Praying for numbness get’s you no where. Then is the crew like me. We know the truth because as Dr. Frances Cress Welsing said you have to know the truth in order to lie. That’s why we can see all the lies we’ve been told. Not to hate the hate makes you inhuman.

How long do we have to cry for Trayvon and every legal manuever that is used against us. How long do you have to say well that’s white folks for ya? How many of us have to die? It’s ok to be mad. You just can’t let it drive you mad. I can’t be numb. I have to feel something and DO something. I don’t give a racist white person any air. White folks better be glad we are not more like them. I don’t want to hear the Kumbayah shit because everybody knows who the racists are. So all yall that want to take up and say not all white people are like that, you know black people do blah blah blah. You are programmed. A white supremest is a white supremest. Our burden is learning how to filter and be righteous regardless of our treatment. Bob Marley said it best, emancipate yourself from mental slavery because none but our selves can free our minds.


8 thoughts on “Black Folks Burden

  1. We are not post-racial. This is not a post-racial world we’re living in. So, I approach this question as both a therapist and as a Black womon of the African Diaspora with many intersections. Racism does not exist in isolation and at the root is fear and power. We deal with it by naming it! Continuing to talk about it and moving through it. But for me, talking about it is not enough. I apply praxis: Action and Reflection. We deal with it by making art about it. We deal with it by loving each other and transcending internalized racism. We deal with it by praying, meditating and protesting it. We deal with it by supporting Black owned businesses. We deal with it by not passing judgment on the informal economies. We deal with it by understanding white supremacy and systems of oppression. We deal with it by not blaming those who are victimized. We deal with it by teaching youth our her/histories. We deal with it by hugging and loving our elders and children. We deal with it by talking about microagressions and not making tend like these things dont happen. We deal with it by living and thriving, in spite of it. We deal with it by not ignoring it! We all have our own way of dealing, but dealing with it by default, really aint dealing with it.

  2. That’s really powerful.
    It was as though I wa there watching the whole thing and “seeing” your feelings.
    Perhaps it’s because you express yourself well, perhaps it’s the way you strung it together, whatever.
    But what you were saying got home.
    And it won’t leave.

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