Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's talk about Race baby

Not  Race Cooper, love him but not today.

Sorry I haven't given you more about Eurotrip 2013 but something more important came up.(btw this will be a longer on because I really have something to say).

First and foremost let me say I love all races. I am technically multiracial (my father is Jamaican and Native American while my mother has roots in Trinidad, Mexico, and Ireland) though I identify as African American. I have friends of other ethnicities (I actually hate when people say that, its like they are justifying what offensive behavior or thoughts).  I've been in relationships with men of various ethnic backgrounds and my current boyfriend is white. I never hold entire races accountable for what one person has done and I would expect the same coming from another.

As I lay in bed I am trying to figure out how to start this dialogue. I don't want to attack but I don't want to be a pussy either. Let me start by saying the only reason why I am even voicing my opinion about Trayvon Martin and race relations in America in general is because others started it. Childish I know but the more I checked social media today the more I saw colleagues of mine voices of  what they thought. I will always respect some one's opinion and defend their right to voice it but c'mon man, you can't really believe that.

I will do a quick  scoop of the case because to me Zimmerman isn't what matters. Its the whole process and mindset of people.The State of Florida vs George Zimmerman: The prosecution did a horrible job. They let the defense walk all over them. From evidence to witnesses this was a circus. Manslaughter should of been an easy conviction.

What caught my attention was some of the tweets, retweets or facebook statuses that some people posted. Asking why black people are so sensitive when it comes to race or how black people "need to get over it and stop using the race card". I will gladly get over it when justice is served. I will gladly get over when the media covers  every homicide in a black neighborhood the same they do in a white one. I will gladly get over being treated like a second class citizen in a country that was built on the back of my ancestors for 200 years. I will gladly over it when White Privilege ends. I will stop using the race card (hell I don't use it) when it stops becoming a factor. This kid was racially profiled point blank because he didn't "belong" in that neighborhood (WTF). I will stop using the race card when its not used as an adjective to describe me. I am a proud black man, but I don't need every description of me to include it.

I am sensitive about my race because it is always the common denominator with me. I'm black. Wanna know I how I know, because I am in constant reminder of my skin. I have followed in multiple stores, treated differently than  my white counterparts (considering I've had one for two years I can confidently say I have proof of this) and racially profiled. Ex #1 one. Jeff and I were in a department store shopping. We both decide upon a pair of underwear. Jeff buys his first, clerk swipes his card then rings him up no problem. I follow giving the man my card he looks at it then asks to see my id. He goes is this it (my real name) pausing to indicate that I should say my last name as to confirm its my license. I am ashamed to say I complied. I should of said never mind and asked to speak to a store manager. It was humiliating to be treated like that esp over a pair of $25 underwear.

At least that situation I could have done something about the racial profiling by cops is entirely something different. It was 10pm I pulled up to a friends house a couple of miles away from my own. As I turn the corner and  park a cop car drives past me. He looks and I nod my head in respect. He makes it down the street screeches to a halt then flies in reverse back to me. "what are you doing out here?" he asks as I look up from my phone in my brightly lit car (2002 white Jaguar).

"just waiting for a friend"

"Let me see your license and registration"

As I give them over to him I realized I've never been told why I'm being questioned. I've done nothing suspicious. I'm sitting in my car with the lights on, under a post light while on the phone in a white car. If I was going to to something wouldn't I be more stealthy. "Oh you're from the next suburb over. Well here you go. Had to make sure we've had some theft in this neighborhood". That is blatant profiling. this neighborhood that I was in is at a slightly socioeconomic level than the one grew up in and the one I live in now but apparently I am threat. Or I was perceived to be until the cop realized I was from the same side of 8 mile as him. It happens to me all the time esp at home. Because I don't "belong" in this neighborhood I get followed by cops until I get my license plate ran and they see I live out here. Is that what I deserve, to always have to get looks for living my life? So I am sensitive about what happened to Trayvon because that could have been me when I was 17 or hell could be now if I go into Jeff's neighborhood.

read this because it answers in a more insightful way what I tried to do. This is why I'm sensitive.

read this if you didn't feel any of this

*Note: This was written two weeks ago. I went back and forth deciding if I should or shouldn't post this. Obviously you have seen my decision.