Someone on my Facebook timelines shared a story about the fires at Black Churches and asked why “there was no news about this” I shared the article and also asked why there wasn’t more conversation but I really had to check myself.
Why wasn’t *I* doing anything about this?
I have sat back and used all of the excuses in the book. First I was all, “but I don’t know enough about it to write something coherent” but I knew that to be a falsehood. I know enough about my feelings to share that and here is goes. Then I thought, “Well, other people have said it so much better!” and they have. There are some damn good writers out there who have said exactly what I wanted to say quite coherently and lovely. Then it was me wondering if I needed to say something. Who cares about my voice in the chorus of folk making a statement?
When the blogger Luvvie Ajai called out Black Beauty Bloggers for not speaking up I found myself feeling like I needed to say something. I was stuck but here goes my rambling thoughts.
I may not be called “Nigger” to my face everyday but it’s those little slights that get cha. Like…when I’m at work and people will as the white male teen – in shorts – a question about where to find books on the shelf. There are some other things at play (male hierarchy, hello!) but he’s wearing basketball shorts…come on!
Or how a few days after the discussions began about the removal of the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse in South Caroline, certain members from one of my online groups were passing around a crochet pattern for a blanket that would create a Confederate Flag. The group, ironically called Crochet without Drama, was one which had had fierce discussions about those boob hats for nursing children, passionate discussions about protecting members feelings when someone didn’t like some of their posted works, a raucous discussion for those terrible banana hammocks for men. Most times I would turn the notifications off and go about my day but for the rallying around a flag which has such a racist message, I had to go.
While that flag may be considered heritage for some but in my experience it excludes and only offers negative interactions with hateful bigots. Like the man who wouldn’t let me merge into traffic and called me all kinds of “Black Nigger Bitch” as I tried to drive down Baltimore Pike during the holidays. Or the pickup who drove just a little too closely on that narrow stretch of Lincoln Drive when The Bee and I were headed home after meeting a friend in Germantown. The man with a Confederate tattoo on his arm who kept calling me gal and girl despite me being far from a girl.
I am tired of turning the other cheek, pretending that everything is OK, holding my tongue because someone *may* get offended. It’s exhausting and annoying and just demeaning. I am not ready to start the revolution but…sometimes I am ready to scream.
I love reading the words of others and share some with you today.
My blogging friend Nicole shared this post about being reading to talk about race (Girl!)
I shared this post on my facebook page about the very thing I speak about above.
There is more out there and maybe one day I will be eloquent enough to share my words but for now, this.