this post has a lot of visual aids… follow along. 🙂
I suppose I’ve ruffled a few feathers. Those who follow me on twitter and facebook know that daily, even if i post nothing else, i write “Its morning. We made it. #GiveThanks” The day after the election, I posted the same thing with a slight amendment…
I did have some pushback… a friend from college said “I am loyal to our president no matter what color he is.” Which… I completely understand. Doesn’t change the fact that he’s a black man. Moving forward to yesterday, I shared a picture that a friend posted on facebook.
Not long after posting this picture, I received an inbox message…
To this message… I replied:
no worries. i’m not offended. it’s admirable that you don’t “see” people for their color… but when I look in the mirror everyday… i “see” my color. I didn’t post anything against white people… i merely quoted lyrics to a song. our president is indeed a black man. he has a black wife, and two beautiful black daughters. and i am proud to say it, type
but as i said… i’m not offended. our facebook identities are merely a small fraction of who we are, and what we represent. as a queer woman of color… its important that when i can and while i can to tell my version of the truth.
think peace. be peace.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -audre lorde
There was so much more that I wanted to say. So much more anger that I wanted to express. The idea of someone “not seeing color” is outrageous to me. Do we not see color when we look at the sky? Do we not see the color of changing leaves in autumn? Do we not see our favorite colors? The colors we chose to paint the walls of our home… the sun, the sprinkles on ice cream sundaes.
When someone says they don’t see color… that makes me feel like they don’t see me. Never have I heard a man say “I don’t see gender” …its blatantly obvious. It would be very difficult to un-see my 38DDs.
The thought of “reverse discrimination” is ridiculous. I as a black woman have never been discriminated against… in reverse.
To move towards a “post racial” society (whatever the hell that may be) we can’t do it by “un-seeing” the things that make us uncomfortable. It begins by telling the truth. No matter how uncomfortable the truth may feel being spoken from our lips. We can start with statements like this:
“The United States of America was founded by white men, for white men, via the systemic oppression of Africans, and the genocide of Native Americans.”
“The LGBTQ people of the world don’t care what heterosexual people do in their bedrooms, and why they get married… I shouldn’t either.”
“The President of the United States of America is a black man. And has been elected to his position by the people of this country because they feel like he will do the best job.”
“Even though Race & Gender are both social constructs… the ramifications of these constructs increase or decrease privilege depending on your major identity markers.”
“There is no such thing as “reverse discrimination” any thoughts or feelings that may make someone believe such is due to my own guilt and lack of comfort.”
“Just because my family did not own slaves doesn’t mean that I haven’t received access and privilege because of my white skin.”
This is only the beginning. But to move forward, you must first acknowledge where we have been. And be willing to SEE people… and all of their beautiful colors.