There’s a harsh reality in the fact that part of my sons’ civility training has to include awareness of how they’ll be potentially perceived by those outside of their race, simply for being black men. I have to teach them that their lives may depend on that awareness. It breaks my heart that I have to pass on the life skill of knowing when a scenario is underway that may result in others feeling threatened by their mere existence, in-turn threatening THEIR existence.
Another aspect of this is the matter of how they’ll approach discussing any instances of discomfort, without violating their integrity, but still maintaining a calm and civilized demeanor. I have to tell them that no matter how upset they may be, showing their anger without forethought will only provide what some consider justification to vilify their characters.
The weight of being a black man in The United States of America isn’t easily explained or experienced. Even with my pleasant approach to strangers and light complexion, the fact that I radiate with pride for my culture still gives me a disadvantage in many social settings. I can only imagine the exponential difference my darker brothers have to live through.
We’ve done many things short of engaging in organized combat against the rest of society. We’ve had peaceful leaders, radical leaders, spiritual leaders, and crooked leaders. We’ve had movements to integrate, to empower, to educate, to strengthen, to calm, etc… But why?
In my eyes, it’s pretty clear that a substantial and powerful portion of this society does not want black people to (freely) share this land. Today is also an appropriate day to point out that the intent was never to share it with anyone, even the natives who already were already occupying it. This leads me to ask myself and my fellow people of (more recent) African decent, “why continue”?
The comforts and conveniences modern Western society encapsulates has bred folks with a fear of being more involved in processes of truly providing for themselves. We too easily find resources so accessible, that the thought of having to wait a single minute longer is unacceptable. Living like this has become a justification for dealing with racist, subhuman treatment. Getting past the expectation of having so many options for instant gratification and doorstep services will allow our minds to give more thought to opportunities we have to create happier generations of black people.
This is where I offer the idea of taking our collective talents, ideas, workforce, youth, knowledge, revenue, etc, and moving back to our ancestral continent of origin. We have become people without a nation, while African countries have become crippled without the people. Fear of disease and conflict shouldn’t be deterrents, especially when that’s projected by media outlets controlled by a society that clearly can’t be trusted to serve our interest.
It wouldn’t be easy, but in my heart, I truly believe our descendants would reap the benefits of and honor the significance of such an act. We owe ourselves and our children something to be proud of, and ESPECIALLY the option of not worrying about being murdered simply because they didn’t cower in order to make someone less fearful of their natural appearance.