I'm not sure if there was ever a time in history where the strong racial ties that continue to separate our nation were silenced. Suppressed is maybe a better word to express what was, but now we live in a world where blatant disrespect among various groups of people are accepted and actually encouraged. Now I could be shocked about what happened in Charlottesville, but honestly - nothing surprises me anymore. We've been desensitized ever since Google emerged, cellphone companies rolled out data plans and killings were plastered throughout the internet. Every notification, every occurrence - whether we choose to take advantage of the information is at our fingertips.
I didn't just see videos of white terrorists/supremacists/nationalists/bigots yelling, being belligerent in their cowardly method of freedom of speech. I saw ignorance. Complete disregard for the hearts and minds of others. I saw the reflection of my ancestors bleed, the tears that fell to fight for the "freedom" we have - or what we have pushed ourselves as a people to create. I saw the images of slave masters revolt, literally. Because…you know - they're looking to reclaim a false pretense of power. I saw the chaos we as a people were brought under against our own will; with the sole intention to intimidate and destruct an entire community. I saw low self-esteem, fear and anxiety sweep over thousands of people. I saw a lot of people that don't know how to come to terms with things being different. I saw generations of lies being told and rumors turned into belief systems. I saw fake truth - the inability and unwillingness to be open minded; to learn about the internal struggles of people that don't look like you. Don't talk like you - grow up where we once were unable to step foot in. I saw self-righteous hatred.
Why does my skin bother you? Why does my success place fear in your heart? Why must I explain things to my future children I'm unable to comprehend myself? What is it that you don’t like about me? Who told you to hate me? Whose influence are you living under?
I am not a threat to you - but trust I can be.
This Earth was not solely created for you. You can’t dominate something you had no hands in forming. I'm not naïve enough to believe racism, prejudices and ideals of fascism will be eradicated completely. I do believe after the rallies and hate riots subside, you'll go home and not have to worry about your children being safe. The men in your life not returning home. Your children being taunted by your hate-filled hellians - you know, because they are watching you. They can't have a chance to actually develop real connections because of your selfish choices. Bigoted words spewed in the house. Spirits of envy and evil throughout your whitewashed subdivisions, trailer parks, motel rooms. And then wake up to go to church on Sunday morning like nothing at UVA happened. Sing hymns and pray that God continues to bless your family while cursing the lineage of those that breastfed your subordinate great grandparents. Playing 'The Nanny' before Fran Drescher. But you know…that’s all you think we're good for. To be caretakers while the muted cries of our independence are silenced because it makes you uncomfortable.
Don’t let fear win.
Monday morning comes…time for the corporate grind. Three black people are on the elevator alone; a rarity. Before the woman gets off, she said to me and the young man, "Guess I gotta go in here and act like nothing happened over the weekend. I'm sick of this." Talking about setting the tone for the day. The first two and a half hours were eerily quiet on my floor. Then, two executives just had to open their mouths. For the record, they aren’t on my team - I just happen to sit by these overly privileged, misogynistic Hilary Clinton (yes, they talk about her like she is still campaigning) haters. Out of all days, I forgot my headphones. Conversation went something like this:
Person 1: "You know, I know there are things going on in the world that I don’t know about. But, this was an isolated event. I don’t know. Everybody wants to say white supremacy, white nationalists. That was just one crazy guy (referring to the late Heather Heyer's killer)…he's not a terrorist. ISIS and those groups are. This was an isolated event. It's just not fair."
Person 2: "Everybody is going crazy over it. It is what it is."
At this point, I was disgusted. I started making fake noises. They know (and don't care) I am the only black person within a 3 cube isle radius that can hear the buffoonery. It ended with a fake empathic comment, "I just don't understand - we're better than this."
Guess what? Black people are too. Welcome to the world of generalizing - where the actions of one African-American equates to a whole race of 'thugs'.
Alt-right hates. Willingly condemns. Justifies wrongdoing. Is careless. Poor in spirit. Limited in truth.
Donald Frump's half ass, emotionless, poorly written, G rated speech was a complete waste of airtime. "True affection" as he mentioned will never be achieved. In a few days there will be new CNN alerts showcasing the next 'big' news - that will once again sweep the triggered feelings of minorities with the ashes of our forefathers. Leading us to squeeze our children a little harder before we drop them off. Tell them to love themselves no matter what because the world you live in doesn't love you. Check on our significant others more frequently throughout the day. Tell them to be safe out there - in a war we weren't properly equipped to win.
Another weight on our mental health.
Another burden we try to bury.
Another situation where we are left to process the carelessness of others.
To afford their definition of the American dream at the expense of ours.