I write this from a place of frustration, sadness and sense of self-preservation. Since deciding to live my life without any alcohol consumption, I have felt grounded and purposeful. After five months, not drinking is now, simply, how I live. But the Black Lives Matter phenomenon has me overwhelmed and I am no longer certain about the future. I’m even unsure what, exactly, I can do to make myself feel better. So, last night, I decided to take a break from Social Media. Chiefly because I have to start somewhere. Something has to give.
I have two grown sons who are bi-racial, Hispanic(me) and African American(their dads). Yes, two different relationships, seven years apart. If you want to judge me, stop reading now and take that energy elsewhere. My 1st son, if you saw him walking through the grocery store, you would think to yourself, “What a handsome black man–maybe Cuban?” He gets that a lot. My 2nd son shocks people when he tells them he’s bi-racial. He looks like a Tela-Novela actor with big brown eyes and a smile that steals every wife from her husband in last week’s episode. The wonders of DNA-go figure.
Living in racist America is no joke. I heard it all, thirty years ago, when I had my first son. It was disgusting. It was hateful. It was painful. It shows the darkest side of humanity. One constantly has to read the room and have a cache full of diplomatic retort when a racist decides to ask ‘certain’ questions. I’ve gotten good at it. I’ve HAD to. My favorite thing to do, now that I’m older and wiser, is to fight hate with love. When they ask a racist question, I tell them, “I love_______ “(fill in the blank). I’ll say ‘donuts, those new jeans, a pink sweater from my grandma’….the sky is the limit. And when they give me that puzzled look, I go into a full short story about the item I chose. They will usually just walk away. I relish in the thought that they may think I’m CRAZY! It’s the best. The sad thing about the last thirty years is I’ve realized that most racists will never choose to stop being racist. And it sucks. And it never stops hurting when you realize someone likes to be so hateful.
Currently, the constancy of police murders of Black Americans and unnecessary police brutality of Brown and Black people has my stomach in knots and my heart beating to the point of fracturing. Racism is so ingrained in the fiber that is Americana. We ARE a racist nation. The framers of our beloved Constitution knew they didn’t mean to include slaves, women or other nationalities as they wrote those words into the night. The irony that they came up with “all men are created equal…endowed by their Creator”, is PRICELESS. I’m sure they spun in their graves when it was actually, and finally, put in to context. But the racism never died.
America has had to legislate racism time and time again. Congress has had to make it illegal to be openly hateful and openly exclusive based on a citizen’s skin color. Policing, however, has lobbied, unionized and legislated itself to the point of legal impenetrability from just about any and all accountability. They roam the streets like predators. They deem themselves superior to civil rights and liberties in the name of ‘crime fighting’? Human Nature 101, you CANNOT give humans unchecked power. They become murderers. Period. They will always abuse this power. Always. Modern day dictatorships also prove this.
So, I’m frustrated. I’m not sure I can do more for the cause than to continue to love my family and educate anyone who’s willing to learn that we are all one human race. I’m sad because, I’m not optimistic as to how much can be done to breakup the lawlessness that is today’s corrupted police force. Will something be done in MY lifetime? Will my grandchildren have it any better? So, for my own sanity, I need to take a break from consuming so much calamity. Social Media, right now, is NOT doing me any favors. Again, I live with racism. I know how deeply some people hate me and my son’s-just for existing. Now, imagine being a beautiful and fantastic, loving, compassionate and intelligent African American in this current climate. Just sit with that for a moment.
I need to find my center again. I need to find my footing, my bearings…my inner warrior.
Peace, Love and Prayers to All,