”The importance of us all being on the same page was paramount if we were to get preferential treatment nation wide.”
There we were. Debt of night, hooded and poised for the latest challenge. I can remember it like yesterday, though it took place almost before my conception. This meeting of the minds matching wit, skill and articulation. I was there with several million of my closest brothers and sisters. Fatherless children running rampant, starving for attention and guidance. Their single mothers decked out in Michael Kors, perfect weaves and flawless nails discussing child support and food stamps. Thugs in colored scarves pouring out their malt liquor for their homies that couldn’t attend due to death or incarceration. This scene may sound unbelievable to some, and to others it may seem like the most logical of pictures. Brown people as far as the eye can see meeting in a single location to concoct an intricate story of systematic racism and police brutality. The importance of us all being on the same page was paramount if we were to get preferential treatment nation wide. We needed to spark outrage and fictitious plights to further our secret agenda. Black and brown people of all walks of life. Doctors, judges, gas station attendants, teachers, gang bangers and project queens. All gathered peacefully for a common cause. A goal. A game changer that can’t happen unless we work together strategically and peacefully. We stayed out until nearly daybreak. Tired, hungry, and frustrated with lack of progress. Our plan was taking too long. We hadn’t thought this through thoroughly enough. My feet hurt and my back was beginning to ache. Someone started singing gospel hymns, and we all joined in subconsciously knowing every word. We were tired, weak and worn. Beginning to question our approach, we wondered out loud, “Why were we doing this again?” Oh, so we can take over America. So our race can make all the decisions and oppress the fairer races. We needed to stay the course. Turn the others against each other and get them on our side, supporting our quiet take over all the while, none the wiser to our plan. If this sounds far fetched to you, it is. No such meeting ever occurred, though if you listen to conservatives on the news, radio or even on your social media news feed, it would seem that something as outrageous as this has actually occurred. Black and brown people did not have a secret meeting, nor did we have a collective hallucination. We did not send a mass text to ensure that no one faltered from this fictional narrative. The things happening in America are real. They’re unfortunate and they hurt us as a whole. America is a great country and we are in a position where there’s room for greatness in all of its citizens. At a time when tensions run high, because our world has become so small that it’s beginning to turn in on itself, compassion and understanding are paramount. No one is asking you to walk in the shoes of your one black friend, or you Mexican brother in-law. What we are asking for is some kindness to a struggle that is uniquely ours. The notion that we may all benefit from equal treatment. The belief in our truth on a daily basis. If I tell you my bread is soggy because milk spilled on it, don’t tell me it’s the same as yours because their both still white. It’s not the same. Every time I pick up my soggy piece of bread, it falls apart, while you make a BLT out of yours and eat it in front of me. My struggle does not negate your struggle, nor does it mean I won’t work for things because you shared your sandwich. There’s enough bread for us all.
What we are asking for is some kindness to a struggle that is uniquely ours.
The constant uphill struggle of people of color is one of the only struggles still acceptable to scoff at. No one would dare tell a parent that lost a child to suck it up and get over it. Nor would anyone tell a Holocaust survivor that they created their own struggle and they should just stop telling their story. People of color don’t want someone to apologize. A good majority of us just want recognition of an issue and a commitment to do better in the future. So, let’s all remember that if the subject of race makes you uncomfortable. Commit to doing better.
Karlie is the person behind the blog Stop Yelling at Me...please! She enjoys writing about life, current events and of course, parenting. Karlie is a mother of three and the wife of one supportive husband that is not being held against his will, really. She is also a frelance writer, and contributing writer on the Today Parenting Team. You can check out more of her work at stopyellingatmeplease.com