Let me start with this... I am an American Black male and I have been all of my life. Now that that is out of the way I'll continue with my rant. It's not fair! It's not fair and I don't know who is at fault! Is it my own psyche or insecurities? Is my dismay and anger justified because my feelings are a result of self-hate born from oppression? My lack of clarity only adds to my angst, confusion, and frustration. Many American Black people, so I have been told, view the world and the interactions within through "white eyes." It's an utter curse that causes the afflicted to become judgmental, condescending, and negative about the other Black folks.
A great of us that are suffering with this problem cannot enjoy many of the great simplicities of life that most can take for granted. For instances, I cannot be late. Not to work. Not to events. Not to anything. Tardiness is a life simplicity that I cannot enjoy on occasion. Why you ask. Because I'm an American Black male, and according to the typecasting and pre-written narrative of my character, or I should say, according to my "white eyes," lateness is the expectation from me because I am innately lazy and irresponsible. Maybe I want to have dinner with my Black American male friends at a restaurant. God forbid any of those men tell a joke that would normally cause me to erupt into laughter. My curse prevents me from making a scene in a public place, or causing attention to be directed toward me. Doing so would fall into the "loud and boisterous" characterization of people that share my nationality and phenotype. I cannot voice a complaint about perceived racism or social injustice because "we always play the race card." I cannot have any typos because it's already assumed that I'm under-educated, or only educated because of Affirmative Action. My clothing, conversation, responses, dating choices, food selections, movie and book preferences, music, etc. must all be filtered through my "white eyes" before presented to the masses (especially the white ones). Why? Why do I feel obligated to live like this? Why am I psychologically imprisoned to standards and judgments that may, or may not exist? Why am I so concerned with what other people (especially white people) think? If I knew the "why," I would have removed this hindrance from my thoughts years ago. But I don't know the source. I can only speculate that the reason I give thought to how my life and actions are viewed to white people is because I care what they think about me. But I don't know why. Is it because I need them to view me favorably for opportunities? Is it Stockholm syndrome, and I want my ancestors' kidnappers to love me? Is it because I, and others, have worked hard to become positive, intelligent, successful people and we'll be damned if playing our rap music loudly from our car allow anyone the thought of taking that away from us? We'd rather ride in silence.
This personal dilemma would be a perfect opportunity to engage in some meditative soul searching. A great chance for me to look within and find the motive to these thoughts and feelings, but instead of an opportunity for personal growth, my "white eyes" become the lens through which I judge myself and other Black Americans. Other Black Americans? Yes. The others that aren't cursed, and don't feel obligated to modify behavior or conversation. These "free" thinkers and doers are disconnected from the commitment I feel shackled to. And instead of applauding their freedom, learning their strategies, and learning the way to mental freedom... I judge them. I judge their loud and free conversations, their clothing that reflects their idea of culture and style, their preference to unapologetically watch Tyler Perry films over Quentin Tarantino. The slave envies the free.
I'm not sure if the goal is for me, and those like me to live, think, react, and behave with free impulses and reckless abandonment. I wish I had a better way to end this, but I just don't have the answers. Have a great week. As long as it reflects the absolute best representation of your people.