The Two Races in America
December 5, 2014
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The Two Races in America
Growing up I was told that I would need to work twice as hard to get half as far. I needed to learn to live in two societies: the mainstream and my home community. I had to learn two ways of speaking, thinking and acting so that I could achieve my goals. I was subtly shown that my home community was considered less than by those in the mainstream. Folks were astonished with my elocution, intelligence and interests because they were unaware that my “kind” was just like their “kind”.
In the 90’s, my “kind” was told that the playing field was level so we no longer needed the hard fought protections of certain laws. We began to be accused of reverse racism. We lost so much of the ground that our ancestors fought for.
In the new millennium, we were told we should be colorblind; that we lived in a post racial society. We were told that we were playing a hand of cards from an era that no longer existed. I knew better though because I had been in this race a long time. I knew that as long as me and mine were considered hyphenated Americans instead of just Americans that all the rest was smoke and mirrors. For too long others have determined that the narratives of their fellow citizens were only the fairy tales of race baiters. For far too long others have tried to prove to us that skin color had no effect on perceptions. Now as 2014 turns into 2015, the blinders are being forced off by the actions of the military organizations masquerading as civil servants that protect and serve. I, for one, am glad.
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m tired of trying to adjust the rules for my sons so that they can make it home alive. I’m tired of denying my daughters full confidence in their feminity so that they aren’t viewed as typical wanton belly warmers. I am tired of over thinking what I put on to run to the grocery. I’m tired of my husband being passed over for promotions even though he has more credentials than those directly above him on the corporate ladder. I’m tired of being turned into the suspect when I report crime to the police. I’m tired… I’m also mad as hell that some of the people I love more than oxygen just can’t seem to understand. I’m mad that I have to question the motives of my Mexican and White relatives because they don’t get it either. I’m mad that my children will eventually have to navigate this course.
Hopefully by the time I meet my grandkids, their race will be easier.