Am I Not Human?
I’ve been on a hiatus for a while from writing anything really long because I can’t keep my thoughts straight. I get on Facebook and write a long status because my thoughts will stay in short bursts but I’m able to convey what I’m thinking for a little bit. I read status updates from some of the amazing people I follow on Facebook. I engage with white folks who say they’re colorblind and allies but still uphold racist ideologies and pretend they aren’t aware of it. One thing I will say that rings true for me, in all the statuses I write, read and comment on is me begging white people and non-black people of color to see us, black people, as human.
A few weeks ago a little boy named Keaton Jones had that viral video about being bullied. People came out the woodwork for this child. Offered all kinds to monetary gifts to him to make him feel better about himself and to know that he’s loved. I’m not even going to get in to his mother being a racist shit bag or anything like that because there’s no point. Lets flip the coin though. There was a 10 year old, Ashawnty Davis who committed suicide after being bullied. The silence was deafening. I’m sure some people reacted to her death but have YOU heard of her? Have you heard of Rosalie Avila? The 13 year old who committed suicide after being bullied. These deaths occurred within a week of the other. Were they less human than Keaton?
- When Trayvon Martin (17 yrs old) was killed all over social media people didn’t see him as a child he was a hulk of a man that wasn’t listening to the directives of a man that wasn’t law enforcement.
- When Tamir Rice (12 yrs old) was killed within 2 seconds of the officer getting out of the vehicle, social media made all kinds of excuses for the officer.
- When Jordan Davis (17 yrs old) was killed by Michael Dunn for playing loud music in a gas station. His killer used the, “I feared for my life” schtick to justify killing this CHILD and leaving, as if he were roadkill.
Now let’s look at the other side. White MEN who commit crimes are looked at as boys. Let’s take the Racist in Chief. He spoke of grabbing women by the pussies, the media spun it as “locker room” talk amongst “boys” Brock Turner who was caught raping a woman, given a light sentence because he was a kid that made a mistake and his victim was drunk so she was obviously asking for it. Ryan Lochte concocted a whole robbery story to cover up vandalizing a gas station was given the boys will be boys treatment by the media. Are they more human than Tamir, Jordan or Trayvon?
Whiteness is protected from all that it does in this society. There’s a shield put around it. Even when it comes to white men committing terrorist acts in this country. They’re looked at as lone wolves or they have some kind of mental illness that caused them to snap. Their atrocities are looked at as isolated incidents. But then we have FBI categorizing groups like Black Lives Matter as Black Identity Extremists meanwhile the Ku Klux Klan gets to roam the streets freely terrorizing people of color and yelling about how they’re protecting white identity.
I was watching a Jane Elliot video where this woman that was attending the workshop was surprised that when a black child fell and scraped her face that underneath her skin there wasn’t a vortex leading her to the motherland under the child’s skin. WE ARE JUST AS HUMAN AS YOU ARE.
We don’t possess any magic. Now yes, some of us are better at some things than the rest of you. Granted when black people enter things that were traditionally white and dominate it that doesn’t mean that we have powers. Yes, it looks like we’ve channeled the spirit of our ancestors and blew you out the water. But trust me when I tell you, there’s no magic. It’s just that we know, that as black people, we have to be 10 times better than you do in order to make it in this whitewashed world.
We know we have to study harder to get into ivy league schools and we have to put our pain on a platter in order for you to even consider us as human. We have to out-perform you on the job in order to even get a cost of living increase or beyond. We have to “behave” ourselves in your spaces so that we make YOU comfortable. We are what you dictate. We straighten our hair because you don’t understand it in its natural state. Some of us shorten our names to have names that don’t make you call us ghetto or to get our foot in the door before you even meet us. We have to change certain aspects of who we are just to navigate in a world you control. And even doing all that, you still don’t see us as human.
So I ask, what do you need to see us just as human as you are?