Same As it Ever Was

Please stop interrupting my grind!

I didn’t plan on posting about the woman who attempted to weaponize 9-1-1, when she called to report a black man for harassing her (read: who asked her to place her dog on a leash in Central Park, as per the posted municipal signage.) In the Central Park, where five young black men lost their freedom for a brutal and horrific crime that they did not commit.

I didn’t plan on writing about the Minneapolis black man whose body, namely his head, was intentionally affixed to asphalt by an individual who literally detained the defenseless man with his knee. The man later died after being publicly asphyxiated by an officer who took an oath to protect and serve him. I cannot imagine a scenario that justly warrants a law enforcement agent in an effort to fight crime, commit another one in order to do so.

Same as it ever was…

I wanted to celebrate other things. Like how M.A.C. Cosmetics ProLongwear concealer is a treasure with its flawless coverage and stellar performance underneath my face mask (with proper application and setting techniques followed!) Or, about how much I love attending Zoom birthday parties and events.

Unfortunately, these happier, more pleasant experiences must take a back seat to what seems to have become a dangerous penchant, or fixation on a time in our country’s history when my ancestors were considered property. Non-human. A blemish on our nation’s history that neither deserves to be accentuated or celebrated. This pronounced mindset, when you think on it, seems rather peculiar given that many longing for such an environment, never actually experienced this despicable crime against humanity first-hand. So please help me to understand how some people yearn for the days of old, when they weren’t even born to experience, let alone relish in it.

It’s essentially the equivalent of me yearning for the days when I danced in Paris alongside a young Josephine Baker in her hey-day, or sang “Careless Love Blues”, for W.C. Handy, and before Bessie Smith made the song an American standard.

On the contrary, the effects of my families’ enslavement are very present in my experience today.

Some may question, “why is everything about race?” Or the moment that a PoC (Person of Color) references race, it is often presumed that they (we) are seeking to invoke guilt, shame; are engaging in reverse racism, or maybe even seeking to garner the upper-hand during the discussion. Not at all. I would rather people see me for me. I would like to believe that my race is among the last characteristics people notice when I walk into a room.

I would rather you notice how my red lipstick is poppin. That I’m wearing carefully selected accessories, and did you peep these Circus by Sam Edelman graffiti pumps and matching bag that I’m rocking?

Yet some people won’t allow me or others to be great. Literally. And that makes me very sad. Especially when someone believes that they could know anything substantive about me or my experiences, and even potentially judge whether I’m permitted to walk away from an exchange on my own free will…or live, solely based on the color of my skin.

Or yours.


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