Monthly Archives: April 2017

ME

I have a need to explain myself.

No. No, I don’t. I have a desire to address a few nonsensical individuals who have been emboldened by their leadership.

Dear Sirs,

Pleased be informed, your time trying to derail my postings has been wasted. I realize, when you friended me, you were expecting a much better behaved HN. I appreciate your gratuitous use of capital letters and exclamation points when you chastise me. And, your lengthy paragraphs full of stupid shit…err…deep wisdom on subjects beyond your comprehension.

I know, writing about the topics you suggest would help me earn your approval (Seriously, using that Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained interview, where he said he gets to kill white people, as an example of the suffering of whites, was eye-opening. Clearly, more important than the real issues affecting my family).

Obviously, I don’t understand my purpose. I was supposed to be your ‘black friend’. Your silent, accommodating, black friend. I messed up accommodating; totally blew silent. Friend is such a strong word. Gee whiz. The only part I got right was ‘black’.

I’m divisive. I say mean things. I intentionally antagonize people who have only shown me love (they’ve shown me some other things too but that part doesn’t count).

I know, I know, I’ve hurt you..mocked you…betrayed you… (All on purpose, I confess.) But, sadly, there is an unavoidable reason your efforts to train me, teach me, get me in line are failing.

I do not give a damn.

Call me flawed, but meeting your standards just so you can feel good about your judgments is not on my itinerary. Ever. Also, cracking your rose-colored glasses is my gift to you.

Sincerely,

Notyourblackfriend

*

I do my thing and you do your thing

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,

And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

If not, it can’t be helped.

(Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Vervatim”, 1969)

I don’t know anything about Gestalt or this therapy. This was on a poster my brother had on his door when I was three-years-old. I memorized it, impressed visitors with my reading skills and let those words become a part of who I am. Deal with it.

Speaking of who I am…

For the first twenty years of my life, I lived under liberal influences. For the next twenty, under conservative influences. And, the last ten, detoxing from both. I don’t base my political opinions on the news, social media, or religious understanding. I am guided by personal experience. I have sat around enough dinner tables listening to ‘the other side of the argument’ long enough to have developed a decent sense of truth. When I take the time to call your hypotheticals and judgments BS, it’s because, while you are having a cup of coffee and a second helping of assumption, I am putting real names, real faces and real situations to your wrongful conclusions.

That twenty, twenty, ten breakdown applies to my Christianity as well. No religion, too much religion and now proper religion. By proper religion, I mean love, not control. Respect not manipulation. Help not hurt. Truth not lies. Living by a code that makes me a better human being rather than a code that places expectations on others. That’s what my Bible teaches. (My Bible also taught me not to put up with BS from people playing God. It was a good lesson. Just saying…)

I have lived in the ghetto. I have lived in my car. I have gone without food and wore safety pins in my shoes. I have been beaten, I have been sexually assaulted.

I have lived in four different states and another country. I’ve hung out in the homes of the wealthy. My wedding reception was held in the backyard of a retired Westinghouse VP. I have interacted with Bishops and Archbishops, and more than a few successful entrepreneurs. Single mother, suburban homemaker —yes, I’ve even made cookies for the bake sale.

I was married to the Military for seven years. I can give you a list of things true heroes and real patriots don’t do.

I grew up among the disabled and handicapped, watching them accomplish more in a day than some of their full-body counterparts could accomplish in a month. Eating crabs with a quadriplegic or having my ponytail adjusted by a lady without arms was not an oddity.

I lived with a murderer and was surrounded by all manner of criminals. Urban fiction writer, Donald Goines, based his stories on real people/events. His work was required reading for my survival, because a few of those characters were in and out of my mother’s kitchen, regularly.

They weren’t the only people in my house. Diversity was the norm. Different races, different religions, different levels of understanding. I repeat, in my house-not on my television. Ever ate with a Muslim? Worked with an illegal immigrant? I have. Under all those labels and judgments, they’re sooo… human.

I can tell you all about the benefits I received from being married to a white person…and all the things (and people) he lost because he married me. I could just as easily tell you about the things (and people) we’ve lost because we fight injustice…and everything we’ve gained in pursuit of the truth. When I say something is white-privilege or supremacy, it’s because I have experienced it first hand. Not one iota of your surprise, shock, denial or outrage can change that.

Finally, I am a writer. That means, I read. I research. I listen. I learn. I am required to see the world through a thousand eyes. I have to live a hundred different perspectives, searching for what is right about each one. I don’t get to enjoy a history of control, the luxury of fearing others, or the desire to throw people into boxes (that would make for some flat, boring characters).

I’m not talking about myself because I need attention. I don’t. This is who I am. This is what I bring to the fight: personal experience. I am diversity. I am racial. I am proof that your locked-in, blocked-in understanding is limited. If your comprehension of the subjects I write about does not reach any further than your comfort zone, social circles or the news, I’m not the person you should attempt to enlighten.

I choose truth, so, of course, I am divisive. Yes, I say mean things. And, no, I am not going to fix your rose-colored glasses.

Would you like that in caps, or perhaps with a few exclamation points?

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