It feels weird for me to type this but here goes: Alanis Morrisette’s song, “Perfect” is what I think of when I think about being Black in America.
Sometimes is never quite enough
If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love
Don’t forget to win first place
Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face
You’ve got to be perfect because otherwise no one else who is Black will ever get the opportunity (no pressure there). Also? Smile because if you don’t you’ll be known as angry Black woman and people will walk up to you asking, what’s wrong.
Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You’ve got to measure up
And make me prouder
You did good but not good enough. You’ve been found lacking and need to do better.
How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet
A slip-up? I told you SHE/HE wasn’t right for the job. Hush. Those other people can make mistakes. They’re from a good home and we don’t want to mess them up. Besides, you have a good job, you make good money. Hush and dance for me.
Be a good girl
You’ve gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn’t good enough
To make us proud
And once again another hashtag, another outrageous act and what the hell?
I don’t have the words.
I am angry. Scared. Pissed. Resentful.
It’s fucked up.
I will “Push a little farther now” because I have a daughter counting on me, children watching me but I don’t need your love to be perfect.