Updated: Apr 20, 2019
“An object appears white when it reflects all wavelengths and black when it absorbs them all.” Since I started thinking about this topic, Black History Month has come and gone (it's BHM all year in my head) and we are now safely out of Mercury's retrograde bullshit and in full Spring swing. 🙄 Frankly, I am sick of dealing with race bullshit with white people. I try to not speak from a place of anger, but fuck that! I AM angry! I am in a position where I am surrounded by mostly white men 90% of the day. White Male Privilege is a FUCKING FORCE!!! On Gawwwwwddddd!!! The only thing keeping me from losing my shit daily is weed and the fact that the prison experience is one I can live this life without! I am fascinated by how white men can go through life completely oblivious to the world around them. And do you know why they can do that shit? Because they've molded this country in a way such that it is THEIR world. Why would I be insecure and second guess my safety and surroundings in my own home when I am the only entity who truly belongs here? That's the mindset. I can't count how many times I'll say something in the room and NO ONE will hear me. Why would they hear me? I'm a black woman. What intelligible thing could possibly escape my lips that they haven't already thought of or don't already know? Again, this is the mindset. To be fair, I am not surrounded by just one demographic of white man. I see all types from all walks of life. And no matter their race stance, the mindset remains status quo across the board. White men are bred to think they are superior and all answers lie within them. It's as simple as that. For all those who wear the "stop making everything about race" badge of courage proudly, let me school you. To Black people, or POC in general, we don't get to do anything in life without it being about the fucking color of our skin. People hate us just because we are brown. We don't get to decide if life is about race for ourselves! That decision was made for us! We are hated or condemned for being born blessed by the sun, but when we raise awareness that we were targeted because of our skin color, we are accused of making things about race and just being angry black people. YOU MADE US THIS WAY AND YOU HATE US!!! The very definition of black is that it absorbs everything. Magical. We are simply magical. Other cultures look at the Black American and wonder why we celebrate the parts that other cultures sweep under the rug. Shit, most black people don’t even realize that we aren’t the only ones stricken by poverty. Why don’t we realize it? It’s because other cultures/races have never been considered the absolute bottom of the barrel or worst there is so they must maintain the facade of everything being a-ok. We literally started off on this continent with nothing. Yes, we celebrate everything because as a whole our people are looked at as having nothing, being nothing, and most importantly, being worth nothing. We were labeled from jump! We had no choice. And once we began to obtain..freedom, rights, properties, accolades....we became even more feared. So like most things people are afraid of, we became ignored. Kids don’t look under their beds when they think there’s a monster living down there. They completely ignore under the bed so they won’t have to deal with it. The problem with that approach is it is a breeding ground for xenophobia. We are hated or judged before we are even born. We become more hated when we embrace exactly who we are, ghetto. Let's exam what that word means and its history. Dictionary dot com lists the definition of ghetto as "a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.
(formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews. any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment:job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly."
The origin was not an adjective. It wasn't even bout US! It has evolved, somehow, into a derogatory way to describe the natural culture of the Black American. But here's where society fucked up. Like most nasty things that were sent to degrade and keep us down, we've embraced the term and made it our own. We, myself included, struggled with embracing the term at first. But upon reflection, I realized that being called ghetto is not a negative thing. Am I from a neighborhood mostly populated with poor Black people? Yes. Am I a product of that environment? Yes. Now what a product of that environment is is where the negative/positive conversation truly starts. And it’s too much to unpack in a written form so I’ll be doing the second part of this topic via podcast. Stay tuned!