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OMG! You’re Brack?

I was recently told a story about an African-American male who’d been discriminated against but, not really.

Let me explain.

One of his customers whom he’d only had phone relationships with said Merry Christmas to him last month, in which he replied that he doesn’t really get into Christmas, because he celebrates Kwanzaa.  Then she said, “Kwanzaa is for the Black people, wait, you’re Black?”  Yes, was his reply and from there she went on and on about how she didn’t know that and that she was amazed that he spoke so well.  Now oddly, she is Chinese and from what I was told her “Engrish” wasn’t all that up to par.  However, her amazement stemmed from the fact that she’d only been exposed to “difficult” Blacks that frequent her store and constantly gave her a hard time.  Every time that they talk now, she continues to listen in amazement as he speaks and conducts his business, always complimenting him at the end of the phone calls for being the professional that he always was before she knew what color he was.

How does that make you feel?  I know it makes me feel good and bad at the same time.  Good to know that this young man is well spoken, polite and handles his business, the bad/unfortunate part is that her expectation of all Blacks is likely in the negative.  It doesn’t take anyone outside of our race to define us.  Not by how we speak, dress or wear our hair, her prejudice and dim-witted thinking is the modus operandi of lots of Americans.  Guilty until proven innocent and it’s not until it’s been proven that we are safe enough to be included in certain professional and educational circles, that we get a proverbial pass.

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Yeah, what you thinking?

If you are too Black too Strong, you will have a mark on you other than the skin you are in.  You’re labeled, categorized, placed into a funnel that continuously sucks you down.  Why?  Isn’t being who you are a part of what we were taught as children; your individualism is what makes you special right?  Now, as adults many of us or “you” have to conform to someone else’s standards to fit in.  How many stories have we heard about people of color being turned away from jobs that they were worthy and well qualified for?  Only to be passed over by an equally or under qualified white person.  This happens in every aspect of life; from business to the arts, if you Black you have a strike against you and it’s not a matter of fairness, it just is.

A man or woman can’t be who they want to be when they’re being something or someone else that they are not.  We put on masks at work or out on the streets, come home and we are different people.  Conformity is not normal.  It’s a quick fix to the problem of you being you and they love it.  Is that success?

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. ~ Booker T. Washington

A lot of us like to blame the “Man” for our failures.  Blaming whites for keeping the Black man down, is a poor excuse that is used to distract others from our own individual failures. Pathetic self-lies that we tell ourselves to talk ourselves out of reaching for our dreams.  “Oh, I can’t do this.  I can’t do that.  No one is going to do anything for me.”  Then do for self, is what I say.

The young man recently received an email from his boss saying that his customer service was great and that the “customers” really enjoy working with him.  It was the same company and the same lady that took her story of the “Amazing Brack Man” to the very top and is now throwing all kinds of praise and rewards at his feet because he’s an “exceptional nigger.”  Where have we heard that term before?  I think it was in 12 Years a Slave, how Solomon Northup, the free man turned slave was somewhat special.  He could read, he could play music and was a carpenter; is this a fair analogy of the young man? I don’t know but, it wasn’t until his race became a highlight, that he received “exceptional” attention that wasn’t necessarily the attention that he wanted or was working for.

He never questioned his Asian colleague about her culture or why her accent was so bad, he just did his job.  Her ethnicity was never under review, he knew who she was and that was it, a colleague, now he’s the Black colleague that speaks very well.

Until the colour of a man's skin Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes -

Until the color of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes –

How does this play in the rest of our society?  There are millions of us that speak articulately, work like professionals and are dedicated-educated, is it possible that America doesn’t know that we exist or does America fail to believe that good Blacks can still exist in this torn up culture of ours?  Where images of our men are bordered by white chalk lines or saggin jeans and our women are naked, single, pregnant and poor?  That’s how Chinese media views African-Americans in this country.  Asian media is ripe with caricatures and sambo-esque pictures that mock and belittle the existence of Black people all over the globe.  Just like newspapers and comics in the US a little more than a century ago, other countries have taken up the art of showing us to their part of the world in a racist negative light.

Chinese racism

Dis is some bull….

Now as far south into the realm of negativity this could go, as a blogger I’m supposed to be subjective but, this time I’ll remain on the objective side of the scale and try to end this blog peacefully. (*@&%$#)

In order to change the perception of the world and America (yes, it’s in its own little world) we as African-Americans need to stop giving these people excuses and material to use against us.  We are the ones that are holding ourselves back from competing with everyone else for jobs, education, home-ownership and the realization of the American Dream, which isn’t really bad if you think about it.

I don’t think the color of your skin disqualifies you instantly from success; it may also hinge on your individual definition of success.  Personally, I’m successful does that mean that I drive fancy cars and live high up on the hog? No, but it means to me that I’ve reached a certain level where I feel I’ve achieved a sense of accomplishment, doing the work that I love to do.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The implication that your skin color impedes success can affect you if you want to conform and assimilate.  If you are an against the grain person, you’ll likely have less stress and less heartache and pain when you are not accepted to certain circles, clubs or corporations.  Nevertheless, we do deserve a fair share.  We do deserve to be heard and not just seen.  Perception is the epicenter of our innermost thinking.  We conceive and conceptualize our realities through our eyes and ears and are sometimes fooled terribly by them.

I wonder what kind of revolution it would take to free these close-minded people from the realities they’ve created for themselves.  A revolution of the mind comes to mind and it won’t be televised or digitized, it will be an awaking of the masses to fight against the prejudiced precursors that lead to institutionalized racism and its ugly way of blocking Black success.

In the end, success shouldn’t be pre-determined by social or racial allusions, it should be a reflection of your indomitable spirit that works hard for the rewards that you receive.  Success is more than a euphoric feeling of accomplishment; it’s a way of life that was once guaranteed in our pledges of allegiance, where liberty and justice for all, paved the way for everyone to be successful.

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CT

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