THE TRUTH HURTS: Race Relations as experienced by an old Mixed Chick

For the next few moments, I am going to nominate myself spokeswoman for race relations in this country. You don’t have to agree, but seeing as I am 47% African and 53% European (thanks to the Europeans who penetrated my mother’s side, welcomed or not), I may be the best example you’re going to get.

First of all, I am not a militant anything. I am, however, passionate about the fair treatment of ALL people. I call it as I see it. I have the ability to walk within both races, black and white, and witness the good and the not-so-good. For those of you who refuse to believe there are two separate and defined races in this country, I’m here to tell you that denial makes you unattractive.

Let’s get one thing out of the way fast, quick and in a hurry. I identify myself as a black female. Why? I was born in 1965, in Chicago, to loving parents, a black mother and a white father. In that day, a child was considered the race of the mother. Also, back in the day, a drop of black made you black. My mother was the predominant caretaker at home while dad worked as an Airline Captain. My mother was my rock. My father, simply put, was and is my hero. As a young lady, I wanted to be just like my mother as I began to understand her struggles, her pain and her triumphs. She was a dark-skinned woman, no confusion about her blackness. I felt a comfort with her that somehow she was stronger than most, and she was. I married a man who happened to be white, which is incidentally what my mother always told me about my dad. I married a man who most reminded me of the values and strength exhibited by my father, who taught me how a man should treat his wife. So, let’s move on..

White people are still winning. Yes, it’s true. Yes, I said it. My white friends, rich or poor, Ivy League or trade school educated, city or rural folk have it better than most. When I say better, I’m not talking about bank accounts or net worth. I’m talking about a day in the life. I have never once had a conversation with my white friends about fear of their young boys being beaten or murdered by the police. Not once have we ever discussed discrimination in the workplace based on color. Their white children are never concerned about what they can grow up to be, because they won’t have roadblocks placed in their paths (except maybe Affirmative Action). Before you start freaking out, my fair friends, think of the last time you were in a group of fellow pale citizens discussing academic opportunities for white kids and how you can help to advance their education. You haven’t, and you don’t. You don’t have an NAACP or a UNCF because you don’t need them. White people I know rely on the police for assistance and protection. They take comfort in knowing that 911 will respond. White people I know haven’t the slightest clue what it’s like to be profiled because of skin color.

There is an unspoken freedom granted to white people which blacks and other minorities, let’s face it, may never know.

I have lots of black friends. Unlike some of you, I’m telling the truth. Black people have white friends… to a degree. You will never be on the inside. Hell, I’m not even all the way accepted in the inner workings of the black community. My husband is just a confused bystander. There is much distrust in the black community of other races. Some is warranted, some isn’t. Here’s some of what makes me shake my head:

• Tanning

• Butt implants

• Hair Extensions

• Lip injections

• Elvis (ask Chuck Berry)

Listen, I understand that we all interact in diverse groups to illustrate that we can communicate with many kinds of people, but at the end of the day, we are most comfortable in the companionship of our own race of people. That’s natural. However, within that security and contentment cannot come unresponsiveness to the plight of the HUMAN RACE.

Here’s where the rubber hits the road, folks.

White people, imagine for a moment, if you will, that your dog Fluffy was walking down the middle of the street and a policeman rolled up on it and shot it. Would it be justified if your dog had stolen a bone from the butcher and growled at the butcher as it left the building?

By all means No, I am not equating a young man’s life to a dog, it’s just that using a canine in this scenario is more believable than a white kid.

Let’s say it happens time and time again. You complain about the police brutality but nothing ever changes. Sometimes, your Golden Retriever is minding its own business, sometimes its behavior is less than stellar. But your dog has no teeth and really can’t seriously hurt anyone. Still, it’s dead. You’d fight for change. I know you would. Who would stand for such behavior? When is it okay for police to round-up innocent Labradors and take them to the pound without cause? Since when did it become routine for police to murder Schnauzers for no reason. See where I’m going here?

As someone who has a teensy more European blood than African blood, it still boils when I see mistreatment of ANYONE.

Get angry. Don’t stand for it. Speak up. Inaction is a sign of apathy and indifference.

The only hope that our children and grandchildren will see no color, is if we all see RED.