Am I the only one who is starting to feel divided? Not in a negative way, but just more aware of the division within myself and in how our society works.
To give a little history of my racial experiences, I don’t have a horrific tale of injustice. My parents are New Yorkers through and through. My Mom is a college educated proper lady. My Dad is a very smart and straight to point man. They migrated down south in search of a better life, which they found. For my formative years, I attend private school, mostly all black. By the time I went to high school we moved to Conyers, Ga, at the time there was a good mix of white, black, and latino families. During this time I had plenty of white friends, as well as black. I experienced different cultures, and grow as a person. Off to college I attended Georgia Southern University down in deep south Ga. I loved it there, and funny enough just about all of my friends were white. I was a “token”, but my friends were open-minded and our racial differences were never an issue.
So here I am at 28, feeling this uneasy feeling about race. I find myself thinking like my father. Years of him keeping things 100 with me about social issues finally caught up to me. I have come to understand how and why my race is where we are today. I see how our families have been systematically torn and broken from day one. I see how we have bought into a system that has, yet again, profited off our inability to see the game that’s being played. Our schools are underfunded, people incarcerated or killed, and worst of all, our sense of community is fading. We have bought into this materialistic way of thinking, worrying about a come up, instead of strengthening our community.
The other day I watched a Ted Talk by Maggie Anderson explaining how blacks have a huge economic impact on our economy with our spending power, and yet our neighborhoods are failing! $1 only last 6 hours in our community compared to days and weeks in other minority’s communities. I watch and read studies about how in just about all spheres, black people have a disadvantage, and it seems that we just keep on getting the short end of the stick.
My heart cries out for my people! I want us to have more, to be more! I personally have never been called a racial slur, or been openly discriminated against, as far as I know. But the last time that I was went for a promotion and was not offered the position, I really wondered if I was looked at differently because of who I am. I could not understand how someone less qualified than me was promoted before I was. I still remember how disappointed I felt, how it was just a shock to my system. Like maybe the stuff my co-workers were saying was true. Maybe it is going to be much harder for me to advance, even though I am clearly knowledgeable and qualified to do so much more.
So here I find myself struggling… struggling to figure out where my place is. I see and understand the wrong, but don’t know how to fix it. I see the results and the way my people are living and raising their children. I don’t hate anyone, but I can’t help but to think twice about things people say and do. I definitely want to see my community come back, but it kinda feels too late for us now. We in ourselves are divided into black people and niggas. I feel pro-black, but now it seems like others take that as anti-white, which I am not.
For the first time in my life I feel like I must choose a side, but I don’t know where I fit in!