What Re-election Says to Me

I know the title sounds like a fourth grade essay but I feel like this is something that may help some people understand that we, and I mean black people, are as diverse as any other group of people on the planet.  As a group of diverse individuals with different income levels, and employment types and psychological ideologies and spiritual ideologies we have different reasons why we voted for President Barak Obama.  This is mine.

When I went to kindergarten schools were segregated.  School wasn’t the only thing segregated, the world, my world, was segregated.  I saw white people on TV.  There were white people in my town but they lived in a different section and as a child i didn’t have much occasion to interact with them.  I just knew that they would spit on you every chance they got and you were not safe near their neighborhoods.  They called my daddy boy which baffled me because he was the strongest man I knew and was obviously not a boy.  The next year schools integrated.  I was thrust into a world that I didn’t know existed.  People were mean and they called us ugly names and even the poor and ugly and dumb ones thought they were better than us just because they were white.  As I got older I saw more and more of this.  Many times in school, elementary, middle and high school, I was mistreated or passed over for certain things because of the color of my skin.  There was even an incident with a substitute teacher who was notorious for her racist attitudes (when schools integrated she sent her daughter to private school) and when she taught in my class i decided that i would touch her because I knew that she didn’t want a black person to touch her.  It created a huge incident which ended with my mother going to the school and the sub not being allowed to sub anymore.  These little incidents, these tiny paper cuts that I have been sustaining since I was six years old can cause a person to bleed to death.  Along with the other stresses and pressures that come with living in the world, there is the added pressure of living in this black skin.  Please do not misunderstand, I would not trade this black skin for all the money in the world.  I am proud to wear it.  If you look at the history behind this skin I wear, in this country, you will understand why I’m so proud of it.  People who were kidnapped and taken to a foreign country, enslaved, brutalized, treated like less than animals, indoctrinated to believe that they were less than human, which was societally perpetuated with laws and rules and hanging and whipping and Jim Crow, not only survived it all but continued to thrive to the point that now there is a president that looks like us.  Not only does he look like us he understands what it is to be thought of as not intelligent just because of the amount of melanin in his skin.  He knows what it’s like to have the deck stacked against you but to creatively turn victimization into victory.  He knows what it’s like to be bleeding to death from one million tiny paper cuts.  To have everything you say or do diminished and disrespected, doubted and defamed. And yet, he continues to work tirelessly for all of us, not just the ones who look like him.  He continues to care regardless of how the conservative media has painted him, regardless of how many people have prayed that his children will be fatherless, regardless of how many people blame him for everything that goes wrong including natural disasters. He, like other great Americans of all shades and hues, continues to care about women, and children and people in general to the extent that he is willing to be maligned and misrepresented.  And to me, that is a million tiny bandaids on a million tiny paper cuts and perhaps my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not bleed to death.

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~ by Diva2de on November 10, 2012.

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