I had to log off.
People are hurting.
Some of it is tough for me to see.
Some of it tough for me to speak.
Most of it so confusing that I can’t wrap my brain around it.
Like many others, I’ve watched the protesting and riots happen around the world. I can’t tell people how to mourn or how to be angry. I don’t want them to loot. I don’t want them to destruct. But the indescribable pain that we feel gets released in various ways. You can’t tell a hurting person…how to hurt.
On one hand it makes me proud and on the next I can’t handle the depth of sadness that comes along with it. To fully grasp the understanding that someone hates me because of the color of my skin. The various showing of humanity. The display of being heard and cared for. The unity is amazingly comforting, but being black also makes me think, ‘Is this real?’
I PROUDLY acknowledge myself as BLACK. I am BLACK and I don’t deny it or stray from it. I enjoy single weaved braids, bass in my music, long colorful nails (only on vacation because it’s hard gripping a crown with long nails), and everything else that makes a person ‘black.’ I am a black daughter. I am a black sister. I am a black wife. I am a black mother. I am a black doctor.
I can not wrap my head around that fact that people will look at my daughter and treat her differently because the color of her skin. THAT’S IT—-Because of the color of her skin.
I’ve had personal experiences of passive aggressive racism and blatant racism. I vividly remember being called a NIGGER and monkey at the age of 15/16 on Auburn University’s campus. I was there with my high school cheerleading camp and a white male in a red Jeep decided to yell it while we were walking to the dormitories. Ironically, he had dreads. I’ll never forget it and due to that fact that it still happens, I can’t forget it if I wanted too.
Someone that I know—who is white—reached out to me and poured her heart out. She expressed her concern and ACKNOWLEDGED her own faults on not being vocal enough and how she sees ME! I smiled when I read her message, but a second later when I thought about it—IT WAS HEAVY. She really had to send me that message. In 2020, she really needed to reach out and express her solidarity because I was black and she was white. Mind blowing.
Please realize that acknowledgement is all I need. The sooner you acknowledge that racism is everywhere the sooner we can work together in this battle. This fight will never be over, but the fact that Georgia—a southern state—doesn’t even have a hate crime law just shows the amount of work that needs to be done. I don’t need anyone to understand. My white counterparts will never experience angrily being called a NIGGER or monkey so they can’t feel what I feel. The same way I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be a slave. BUT, the acknowledgment and being outspoken about the truth is what is going to propel us to the finish line.
YYESSSSSS, it’s 2020 and racism still exists. IT STILL EXISTS!
So when I’m ready and I’m sure it won’t be long, I’ll log back on and happily scroll through Instagram. It’s HEAVY right now. I need you to understand that I PERSONALLY DON’T NEED understanding—I don’t expect it. But PLEASE, acknowledge our pain and suffering. Acknowledge that when I walk into a Starbucks in a predominantly white area—the stares are LOUD. Acknowledge that when I am on a jet ski in the middle of the lake outside of the city I SEE YOU! Acknowledge that when I go to a city with predominantly confederate flags around—I am constantly looking over my shoulder. Acknowledge that as a black woman—my white colleagues are getting better salaries and more respect. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I AM HUMAN. I BLEED BLOOD AND I LOVE THE SAME. Acknowledge I matter.