Before you read, I want you to keep this in mind: racism is not political. Anti-racism is not political. You can change your political affiliation at a whim, but I cannot change the color of my skin or the way people treat me because of it. I have long felt that it “wasn’t my place” to be vocal on race issues, being a biracial POC. I was treated differently by both sides of my genetic makeup because I don’t quite fit. I truly can’t stay silent any longer. I CAN’T BREATHE.
George Floyd didn’t deserve the death he was given. He didn’t deserve to die slowly and agonizingly by asphyxiation because he was Black. And you might say “well hold up, we don’t know that’s why!” To that I say, please sit down. There are a multitude of examples across the World Wide Web of unfair and harsher treatment of POC vs Whites committing the same act. The truth is that the color of our skin is considered a threat in itself, and one that needs to be dealt with and neutralized.
The FACT is that every time you say you don’t want to get involved in the current racial divide because of politics, you are turning your back on that missing little Black girl that didn’t get the search party. You are silencing the Black woman, man and child that are trying to tell you of the injustices they’ve witnessed. You are telling the terrified innocent Black man that you won’t use your privilege to help make sure his life is spared at that routine traffic stop. YOU can opt out of the issue, but WE were born into it, and I’m tired of us having to carry that torch for all of humanity.
The FACT is that until everyone stands up and shows that racism in this country will not be tolerated, it will continue to persist. Please don’t patronize. Open your eyes. Open your ears. Hear us, see us, stand with us. My life has been rife with subtle racism and bias.
You should straighten your hair, it looks better/nicer/cleaner/more professional that way.
What are you?
You’ll never amount to anything, your best bet is to marry well.
[After having a stiletto stabbed into my neck, jumped by a White girl and her friends, being addressed by the officer.] Well she said you ripped her jeans. Officer, her jeans were ripped because she bought them that way. And I’m bleeding and she is clearly fine. Well she said you did, so if you want me to arrest her I’m going to arrest you too because I don’t trust these witnesses. You don’t trust 5 witnesses who all have the same story?
This last story is my most blatant racist encounter and it truly shook me. Visiting the mountains in North Georgia with my husband, then boyfriend, and his parents (all White), we had lunch at a restaurant with an attached market. I left to peruse and walked to the register, where the White cashier was laughing and joking with the White man ahead of me. She turned to help me, and her face immediately fell. I said “Hi, how are you?” She refused to make eye contact. She turned her back. I was STUNNED. Was I really being refused service in the year of our Lord, 2011? I walked away. The other customers saw and said nothing. I went outside and was shocked for a minute, then I cried. I wasn’t threatened. I wasn’t called racial slurs. I was simply refused service and that cut so deeply. Am I not the same person as anyone walking around with less melanin in their skin? But possibly what hurt the worst was when I told my travel companions about what happened and they said that maybe I misunderstood. Maybe it wasn’t really about race at all. If I can take anything away from this experience, it’s this- when someone experiences racism and is kind enough to bring you into their emotional bubble to talk about it do not invalidate their experience. To think that someone can’t recognize hatred when they are the brunt of it is exhausting to deal with, patronizing and condescending.
So there it is. Welcome to your brief stay in the land of racial divide, where I am a permanent resident. Do you condone this? If you think this isn’t ok, please STAND. Use your privilege for good and speak out against the injustices in our nation. And please remember- this is not a political issue.
If you’ve stayed with me thus far, thank you. Thank you for listening to my story. I know you come here for nails, so here they are- nails for your attention. I put them at the end like the proverbial rainbow after the storm. I used all Zooty colors this time around, but you can expect my next mani to be with those companies that have already taken a stand for BLM. Thank you, Lauren of Diplomatiq Nails. Thank you Melissa of Decals by Melissa. Thank you Bridgette of Zebra. Thank you to countless others that have turned #BlackOutTuesday into a success. Thank you for those that stand as allies.