The Woes of (and an Ode to) Being a Black Girl

September 29, 2017
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ATTENTION WHITE PEOPLE AND NON-BLACK POC:


1. We don’t hate you. Well most of us don’t. Still, you must understand and acknowledge the injustices that we have endured at the hands of your ancestors, and still some of your counterparts, today. We do not want to be victims and we are not trying to claim to fill that role but we are victims of social injustice.

 

2. NO YOU CAN’T SAY THE “N” WORD. THAT'S THE ONE PRIVILEGE YOU DON'T HAVE. This has been debated too long and too hard in my opinion. You still want to know why? The most common argument as to why you should say it is usually that WE say it. You then follow up with the infamous “If we can’t say it, nobody should.” Let me shut that down. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT WE CAN AND CANNOT SAY, contrary to AmeriKKKan beliefs.Moreover,you do not have the right to tell us what we should be offended by.We are humans with feelings This is where white privilege shows its nasty little head. From the beginning, white people have changed and dictated the lives of every other culture they encountered. Cuba didn’t want to be governed but America governed them anyway to “help them”. Hawaii didn’t want to be ruled so America overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and annexed the territory anyway. Africans minded their business on their continent, and white men and brainwashed black men came and kidnapped them and brought them here to be slaves while tormenting, raping, sodomizing, and demeaning them by referring to them as “n*****s”. That was a word of oppression and a label of possession. We,as a collective, took that word and made it into a term of endearment to use for and with EACH OTHER, thus changing the connotative meaning of it.We’ve always taken what life has given us, which isn’t much, and tried to make the best of it and we succeeded in our efforts.We are resilient but no we can't get over slavery and sweep it under the rug.We understand that the white people walking the Earth today are not slave owners and have never been but we also understand that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers and so on did and those ideals of being superior to black people have been passed down.The idea of equality between races is more so like a scientific theory. Some accept it to be pure fact and it’s pure fiction to some others.So, no you should not want to utter a word that YOUR ancestors used to oppress us. If we are friends, you should sympathize with our struggles even though you will NEVER understand it. I don’t care how many black friends and black significant others you may have or have had.


3. Don’t even speak on the kneeling situation. If you’re not going to take a knee, or at the very least acknowledge social injustice that black people and other minorities face, just don’t say anything. You claim it's disrespectful to the flag, but by society at large, the flag is always disrespected. It shouldn’t be used on clothing or propaganda or ads, but it is, and if we’re being real about it,the way the NFL displays the flag during the national anthem is wrong anyway.You’re not supposed to carry the flag horizontally.All of these rules and more can be found in the US Flag Code Book. Overall, if it is disrespectful to kneel (which we don’t feel it is), we are only doing it because we have been disrespected.America is called the “home of the brave” and we pay our respect to veterans and members of the armed forces that are currently serving.Do you know why?We respect them because they are also our siblings, our mothers, our fathers, and our family as well.We owe so much to the brave men and women who protect us but those same men and women fight to protect our constitutional rights.They fight so we have a right to speak out against injustice thus also giving us the name “land of the free”.Our government was founded and most influenced by the Social Contract Theory and for the theory to work, both the government and citizens must do their part.Well, it seems like someone is not honoring the contract at this moment..I wonder who?Black people were never supposed to be considered equal citizens.When the constitution referred to men, it meant white men. They had to throw us in there some kind of way to stop all the fuss so we got three little amendments that didn't mean anything then and don't mean anything now.After the Civil War, congress made the states agree to these amendments before they could be let back into the Union.After much reluctance and arguing, they agreed. In 1877,seven short years later, the supreme court ruled in Hall v. DeCuir that no one could be discriminated against when using public transportation. Fast forward about two decades later to Plessy v. Ferguson, the court went backwards and ruled that public facilities could be separate for whites and blacks (excuse me,colored) as long as they were equal.Most of them were not as we have come to know.The South then felt comfortable enough with this decision to enact “Jim Crow” laws. I always thought Jim Crow was a white man but I have recently found out that he was a character portrayed to be a dumb, black slave.This character played by a white actor by the name of Thomas Dartmouth Rice.These laws caused an unmistakable societal rift where there should have been a union. Brown v. Board of Education overturned this about sixty years later but there was a clause in that ruling that said “at all deliberate speed”.The government deliberately let us live in limbo while we were waiting to see if we were really “free” this time.We were not and we are not.So, once again, I say do not speak on the kneeling situation.We are doing it because we still have to fight and beg for rights that should ours in the first place.


4. Please, quit saying you don’t see color. We know you don’t.This statement itself reveals the sheer ignorance of the person who says it.Not seeing color is just a way of sweeping our societal downfalls under the rug and it’s been that way for too long.We are sick of it. You don’t see the struggle we endured and even if you see it, you don’t care enough to encourage it to be stopped. Stop beating around the bush.What I find most sickening is that our voices seem to not matter,especially alone.We need white voices as well.We are so oppressed and suppressed that we don't even have the power to dictate our own change.The only way white people see our struggle is if other white people show them.Alas, there are those who have seen the light.For those of you who stand up for us and even just acknowledge that things should be changed, thank you.


5. Yes, you have white privilege. It may not be living in the big house anymore, but its other little things you’d never notice. It’s not being followed in a store. It’s not getting the side eye for being the only person of color in the room. It’s not being in constant limbo because black people hate you because they think that you think you’re too good and white people hate you because you’re not good enough. Is that too hard to understand? Well, let’s talk about makeup. How come “flesh-colored” band aids are not the color of my flesh? How come “nude” doesn’t mean nude for me? Why are there 50 shades of makeup for fairer skin but only three for girls with melanin?Now a lot of black people may feel differently about what I will say next: you don't have to “check” your privilege. All we ask is that you acknowledge it.Realize that the things that you take for granted,things that are just second nature to you,we don’t have the luxury of not always being cautious. Our parents must explain to us how to deal with police in gruesome detail and explain the consequences if we don’t comply.As a female, I relaxed and damage my hair so much by using heat to keep it straight because I knew the looks and backlash I’d get if I didn't.Many people don't believe there is white privilege but there is. It isn't just so “in your face” anymore. It’s systematic and for the most part silently understood by all.


6. Why are black people judged so harshly, even by each other?More than that, why is it that black people are judged by the “undesirables”?We are just the murderers, the rapists, and just the dangerous black people.Why is it that white people are looked upon as the societal favorite and the “majority” when most serial killers are middle-class, middle-aged white men? The faults of white people seem to get forgotten, and the faults of black people seem to be publicized. Why do I have to work twice as hard in school just to get the same opportunities?I feel the need (because there is one) to represent my people in a good way. My successes become their success while my sins will also become theirs. If I fail, the ones under me will not get a chance and will be judged harshly because of me, and I cannot allow that to happen. We, as young black adults, carry the weight of our culture on our shoulders.

 

Now, I must change the focus of this list. Being black has its share of disadvantages, too many to discuss here BUT I am proud to be black. My hair is healthy and it defies the law of gravity and my skin is warm and I can soak up the sun without a need for sunscreen. I have a natural rhythm that can’t be taught. My family can cook just about anything. I defy expectations. I was made in God’s image and excuse my French but as far as I’m concerned, God ain't out here making no junk. I can adapt to any situation and be whoever I want to be. We are an amazing people who have overcome all challenges we have faced and it may not look like it now but WE. WILL. RISE.






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SkylerWright03 said...
Oct. 4 at 11:17 am
This really made me cry.It is what black people still have to deal with in america and it's sad that it is not getting better. It is actually getting worst. And it's sad that we have a President that don't think we have a right to speak up on injustices in America. The flag does't just mean the military or the army, Its also about unity.
 
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