So I wrote a blog about not watching the news, but I used to watch it every day.
I used to wake up every morning and put my television on ch. 12 (because that is the station that had my local news). At that time, I was also very vocal about things such as saying Nigga (as a term of endearment), saying Indian instead of Native American (especially if you were saying you were one) and other things of that nature. I got a lot of push back and I had a lot of people whose eyes would glaze over when my passionate speeches would start. I remember I got into a heated argument with a girl (actually a very close friend of mine) of Peruvian and Middle Eastern background who felt it was okay to use the word Nigga, even though she didn’t consider herself to be black. Whew, it was at work in the teller area of the bank and I lit into her. I let her know that she should not use the word because she would not admit her “of color” background (although I am not a fan of anyone using the word) and then I informed her that the Middle Eastern epithet was actually “sand nigger” (which many people don’t know).
I began feeling lost.
My father is amazing at what he did, but I did not feel strong enough to be able to handle what he handles. He can handle being threatened with bodily harm and even being hated by his own people at times. I felt sensitive, unable to keep my emotions from bubbling up throughout my body to take over my common sense (I have since come to realize that it is, in fact, my sensitivity that allows me to be unique in my approach). I was very torn, because not only was I a strong activist and very particular with my conversations, I am a woman, very light skinned and had a relaxer (not anymore!). I confused people and with the way our society and community is set up, people of color are quick to judge someone if they are not “black enough”. I speak what is considered “proper (standard) English” and grew a vast vocabulary due to my love of reading. So I was different. I was well aware of the plight of black people and never judged anyone’s situation because I understood how we got to the places where we are, even if I could not partake in it.
But even through all that, I KNEW that I was going to be an activist, until… people began attacking my father on Facebook. At this point, he had become very well known because of the documentary Hidden Colors that he was in and social media was really taking off, so people have to ability to judge from behind a computer screen. One person in particular (a few, but the worst one) made it so that I stayed up all hours of the night fighting with dumb people. And I nearly lost my mind. I hated the community for trying to bring down a man who dedicated every atom in his body to his people, people who didn’t appreciate him and didn’t even know him!
I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram, stopped watching the news and vowed to only speak unending love and positivity into the world. I made the mistake of watching the altercation with Sandra Bland and quickly took hold of that before I went off the rails. I was good and content, completely empty with regards to my purpose, but I was CALM.
I stopped educating people. I stopped enlightening people. I stopped BEING MYSELF. But I didn’t care because I had a new family and that is ALL that mattered! When Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America, I REFUSED to become involved. The only time I watched the news was when I walked into the kitchen of my job and the only news I really absorbed was the Front Page News on The Breakfast Club on the radio station Power 105.1. Other than that, I was AWARE but not INVOLVED.
And then Saturday happened.
I went to visit my parents (news lovers) and it was all over. I sat in my mother’s seat and watch as they played the events over and over and over and over. And I lost my content-ness. I lost my complacency. I lost my comfortability. Even nerve in my body was alive as I watch hundreds of white, racist, evil “people” march with tiki torches screaming that they were going to take back their land (that they stole from Native Americans by the way). I had to go back to work that Monday in a place where the black and brown people could be counted on two hands and some of the non-melanated people only talk to us if they need something. As I was walking to the bathroom, I envision myself running down the hall and out the building the way that man did in the movie Get Out. It is hard, because there are a number of white people at my job that I really like and with the world that we live in, commingling is sometimes tense.
Something very important that my dad taught me is that not everyone is ready or willing to hear what I have to say. Not everyone is willing to be “woke”. But the people who are will listen. So I have to stop focusing on the people whose eyes would glaze over and start focusing on the people whose eyes light up!
Angela Rye is really helping me. She doesn’t know me, but her story is a kinda similar to mine and it feels good to have someone to relate to. She is a black woman who was judged and made to feel not black enough because of her hair and complexion, who was primarily baffled because her father raised her to be aware. She is her father’s child and does not apologize for it. At this point, I am on edge, immensely, but more importantly, I want us to win. I have come to truly realize if you are silent about your purpose, you are robbing the world.