I’m so happy to see all my fellow Americans reppin their black power signs and paying homage to Mister MLK Jr. While quoting his infamous sayings and being all black empowered and what not. This obviously doesn’t apply to all Americans; I know how some of y’all get down)
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if he were still alive.
You know, for us black struggling folk who can’t seem to make it out the hood or live off of government cheese and eventually learned that love was just a dream that couldn’t be attained so we decided to pick up the sword and hold it against our brother’s our sister’s and even to our unborn babies.
Praise God for the projects, the black paradise. What would we do without you MLK Jr. I bet the African-American community has left you feeling so proud. We have attained greatness through our misogynistic woman bashing music; our women can’t stand to see one another rise to the top. We work hard to possess materialism and if we’re hungry, we feed our souls with a pair of Jordan’s on our feet instead of putting food to our mouths. Oh yes, let me not forget that we enjoy killing one another, we even rap about it and declare it when we rep our gang statuses.
Yessssss……. View our community from the lens of society. May You Rest In Peace. You aren’t missing out on much!
And then you have those who aren’t American. Like those people I came in contact with when I took a Study Abroad trip out to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I should’ve known something was going to be up from the moment I boarded the plane.
But then I landed, and it became a trip from hell.
After being there for 48 hours the fact that the only Black people I had encountered were my roommate and two school friends I knew it would be a problem, and yes, it became one.
The stares, the looks, the wide open mouths and the gasps were too much to bear. The picture-taking, the stopping and staring, the touching, the flirting and the looks of disgust were probably just enough to make someone want to burn with righteous anger and snap into a hate crime attack.
Why me? What is so wrong with me that I can’t even walk down the street without being asked if I’m from Brazil or being stared at as if was a monster. Dining at a restaurant was even worse, my friends and I might as well have been circus clowns and danced on our tables since the room full of “white-skinned” people couldn’t help but to stare at us and our dark skin.
I’m going to stop right here and acknowledge that this post will probably make some people feel uncomfortable. Welcome, you now understand about uhhh, hmmm let’s see … 0.5% of our struggle.
So as I was saying….
After only being there for a few days and dealing with this racial nonsense I couldn’t bear the fact that I had to be there for two more weeks and prayed I would make it out alive. The last thing I needed was to be stoned, raped or murdered… I watch a lot of crime TV, you just never know nowadays…
But really… what’s wrong with me? Actually, what’s wrong with me and my dark skin?
Were people afraid of me? Were people amazed to see some young black women in an upscale city and not walking around in what certain students on the trip referred to as “the slums”… I won’t even get into my thoughts behind that term or I will be here all day and it won’t be pretty…
I just don’t understand. Here I am walking around in a beautiful city, enjoying scenic views and Latin/European culture and getting fat from bife de chorizo every night and yet, people won’t even let me breathe without staring at me. And let me not forget the infamous group that ran after my friends and me one night and pulled out their camera and snapped a picture. I’m probably hanging on someone’s wall right now being viewed as a mysterious living artifact.
We just can’t win. Here you have three young black women attending a highly accredited University working on obtaining their second degree in the field of Social Work and Mental Health and we’ve been placed inside a box filled with stigma. A box containing all the things you should know about black women before you really get to know them. You know those video dancing vixens with no daddy’s and foul mouths who only know how to dance for loose change. They’d rather party instead of obtain a degree or take care of their kids. They love to be called “bad bitch” instead of classy, beautiful and fearfully made.
Too bad the men have it worse. Make sure you hide your kids, hide your wives when they come around. The typical tall dark black man that’s probably holding a weapon to his hip and isn’t afraid to use it. Baggy jeans? There must be some weed strapped to his waist, time to stop and frisk. Another uneducated being who is better off sitting in a cell somewhere cause who knows what he’s capable of doing in these streets!
Who’s to blame? This here is a double-edged sword.
Darkness cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.
The only way the world will change is when the people do. We (society) need to stop oppressing and being oppressors, marginalizing and comparing, hating and disrespecting. Look at where it’s gotten us, we’ve gotten far but we still have a long way to go. There is no need for the great debate about what racial group is at fault here because it’s all meaningless.
As a woman of color who has been rejected, disrespected and berated because of my skin color IN my country and outside of it, if I walk around with hatred in my heart what is there to gain? Nothing, it is all meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
We need to stop giving people labels, but we also need to stop giving people the ability to label us from our actions.
I don’t need to prove anything to anybody, whether in my community or outside of it, my credentials can do that for me. When you see me, take the time to get to know me. Don’t view me how the world filled with stigma has taught you to prepare yourself when you encounter a woman who looks like me… you know the dark-skinned girl with a mane full of “nappy” natural hair!
I’m human. We’re all human. So let’s show each other some grace.
I leave you with some images of the beautiful Buenos Aires.
La Recoleta Cemteria
A village outside of Buenos Aires
My wonderful hotel
The infamous Bife de Chorizo