On Race, Sexuality & Responsibility

So that the intent of this is not confused or potentially lost in translation, this is not a "woe is ____" entry. Instead, it is merely another attempted thrown stone at the glass house of racism, bigotry, & the complete lack of understanding and basic sympathy that some people seem content to reside in.

It appears painfully obvious that not much has changed in regards to human relations and interactions in this country. Perhaps this is a global-sized epidemic, but I can only speak on what I have witnessed up close, with my own eyes and skin. I have mulled over one seemingly simple question for over the past decade of my adult life, and never could seem to come to a concise answer that would best sum up a nation-wide sentiment:


How does it feel to be a 'Black' man?


Well, I finally have an answer, after working for managers who wake up with a cup of White supremacy every morning, after serving overseas in the military side by side with good ol' country boys whom apparently have never encountered a Black man who both fully enunciated his words and looked said country boys in the eyes while speaking to them, after being arrested for "jay walking" and being accused as a drug dealer (even after having all of the contents of my pockets emptied & having to tell police exactly how much money that I had in my possession, and why), only to be released when they stumbled across my military ID. How does it feel to be a 'Black' man? Exhausting. It is exhausting to constantly be seen as a threat by people whom you have zero personal history of threatening, and very little cultural history of threatening. It is exhausting to be stricken with an indescribable fear when a police car pulls behind you - seat belt already fastened, license and registration intact, music already at 'non-threatening' levels. It is exhausting to see and hear so-called representations of your culture on television and radio, all shucking and jiving and thugging and pimping, all of the time. Commercials, movies, (promoted) music, etc. It is exhausting to have to hear so-called game plans from people who have long ago turned off their emotions, as they tell you "you've got to just learn how to play the game, youngster", as if playing the game how society wants you to play it won't simply lead to the same cycle being repeated. It is exhausting because broken homes are looked at as the cause of problems, instead of the result of problems. The disproportion in the race percentages that are jailed is a problem. The promoted image of what a Black person looks like, stands for, is capable of, is a problem. Those mentalities that buy into the projections by the media (on all fronts, in all races) are a problem. Those mentalities that buy into the fallacy that racism has long since evaporated, like some cup of water that was left outdoors on a typical Arizona afternoon, are a problem. The large-scale problem of racism in this country has so many layers to it, that the large problem appears to no longer exist. False. 

The focus on LGBT issues is a very necessary one, as well. Oddly enough, the shift in focus was an attempted "hot shot" topic by the media, to take the eyes off of the ever-present race issue, despite the similarities in both general disdain and ignorance/lack of willingness to understand being just as prevalent, if not more. In fact, the disdain and ignorance is more prevalent, because amongst those that promote an undeserved hatred towards the LGBT are people who are very familiar with how it feels to be treated like they have a contagious disease simply because they exist, treated like they are less than human, treated like they have to keep quiet as they go about life, in hopes of not disrupting the supposed "natural order" of things. Here's looking at you, Black community. Just as we do not wish to be looked at as people who are going to rob every single White person within a 50 foot radius, a person whose sexual orientation is homosexual does not wish to be looked at as someone who is going to harass every single person of the same sex within a 50 foot radius. Will it take something as ridiculous as some cherry lovers harassing, shooting & beating to death strawberry lovers for some to get the picture? Perhaps. 

Point being, whether you're of the opinion that people choose their sexual orientation or you believe that they are born that way, we as humans are all different. Nobody should have to go through life feeling like they are being ostracized by society, or are wearing a target on their back for simply stepping outside as who they are. Maybe these words mean nothing to you. Maybe they mean the world. I just hope that some type of basic human compassion can be reached so that we can finally get to the point of being able to live with each other. For as long as this planet has been inhabited, as long as humans have existed...we have done nothing more than do exactly that: exist.

It's time that we start to live with ourselves and each other.