I want to start and end this particular post with a positive vibration, hence the YT video of a song by Bob Marley. He was/is one of many mainstream artists who are instrumental in restoring peace and unity on the planet. His legendary efforts will forever be honored.
I woke up yesterday morning to a beautiful reply on my article titled “My reflection as a Black Family Living in Colombia”.
It was really a well needed CHECK for myself since the topic of discussion was one in which I have struggled with in the past…and residually to this day.
The dialogue of interracial unity, friendships, etc.
This reply gave me another perspective about perceived mindsets and life PURPOSE.
As a young girl, I had friends of many different ethnic backgrounds. I remember being in the 4th grade. My best friend was from India. She had to wear her hair covered everyday to school and she had to wear a long skirt. She explained to me that it was because of her religion. Never phased me, although I was a Christian at the time. I was invited to her house on several occasions. The fact that we were different on multiple levels was never an issue.
In 8th grade, I had a best friend who was of European descent..(some people say “white” but I find that term equally offensive to being called “black” due to the context in which it has been widely used). Again, I spent so much time with her and her family, to the point I somehow felt like family! I was invited to see free movies with her (her Mom worked at a Theater). We had slumber parties over her house! Because of my long thick hair, she always referred to me as “mixed”, maybe that was why I was accepted 😂😂. Just kidding. The love was innocent, it was UNdoctrinated. The conversation of us not liking each other because of skin hue was never existent.
All of my high school years, I was immersed with various ethnicities. Surprisingly, I went to a school that was popular in the late 50s for racial discrimination. You may know this story as “The Little Rock Nine”. Graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2007.
I worked as a Waiver Aide for a family who had obvious skin tone differences than my own. My interview was done with the mother of the child I would be assisting. And guess what? She chose me even after CLEARLY seeing I was a young African-American female. She lived in a nicer neighborhood. She could have treated me like I was going to steal something every chance I got, but no she trusted me. I had the keys to her house as well as his Dad’s home (since they were living separately). I ate dinner with their family. I was even invited to events OUTSIDE of work hours. During my time with them, I felt genuine love. It’s been almost 8 years and I still have a special place in my heart for their family.
Joined the Air Force in 2010. I was amongst women from Russia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Italy…Roughly 50 different souls of just about every culture you could think of all packed in a small dorm.
We formed a sisterhood. One got in trouble, we all were in trouble (with the exception of those who had waivers 😂😂). But at the end of the day we were in a situation where bonding was necessary for our survival through Basic Training. And I’m forever grateful for that opportunity to connect with various beings. 💗💗💗💗
With all of this, you would think that being amongst other races would be a walk in the park right?
But instead of this, my view of European-Americans started to get a little hazy after a while..something penetrated my thinking and almost turned me cold.
When did my view of Caucasian people become altered?
When I stepped into the corporate world. I saw the privilege that was received for a person’s skin being lighter. Privilege in college…it appeared as if the struggle to keep your head above water was largely for “African-Americans”. I started to feel resentment for those who had their college paid for in full and only had to work to gain employment experience instead of financial stability. Their new cars were paid for, they had reliable transportation.
*Note that I came across other hues of people who had this privilege, but my primary analogies were, it’s the “caucasian” people who have it all!
I saw favoritism in basic training based on skin hue.
Privilege displayed in beauty…the wide belief that the lighter you are the more beautiful you are.
Most recently, for some reason at an alarmingly high rate, privilege is plastered across social media. There seems to be extra effort to display violence towards darker skinned people. This alone brought about anger and frustration for me. At the same time, a sense of trauma overcame me, having to relive the past of the treatment of our ancestors.
These feelings were similar to how one may grow up amongst other siblings, seeing one get more attention or privileges because they were younger. This is how society was shaping my perspectives.
So naturally, I gained a sort of resentment towards people of European descent. It wasn’t fair to me to have to live in a world that based success and a higher quality of living on skin color instead of talent and work ethics.
For MOST African-Americans, climbing up the ladder means being everything else other than ourselves. Being “black” has been widely synonymous with being lazy, so some feel the need to work extra hard to prove otherwise.
I won’t go into further synopsis because it will defeat the purpose of this blog post.
What I’m trying to say is, the reversal of my thoughts toward Caucasians was changed by what I was seeing (or better yet what was strategically being placed in front of my eyes.)
I didn’t feel “some type of way” about befriending a European-American until my everyday existence revolved around survival…my instincts were training me to think this way in order to stay alive…make it another day by not getting shot by a racist police officer.
Even my religion in some ways, was shaping me to be unaccepting of anyone who didn’t believe in the Faith ABOVE all other faiths. Because Christianity was THE way to Heaven. Anyone else had to be coached into accepting it or suffer Hell fire in judgment day.
Dogmas, forced teachings, propaganda, all of these factors provoked a negative energy in me. It snuck up on me like a thief, like someone had stolen the paintbrush out of my hand and illustrated a more heartless reality for me.
But you know what, I have to be completely honest. This analogy is not to lessen the effects that is has caused on one group over another. Just to look at both sides of the coin.
When the tables are turned it affects everyone sitting at the table.
I never stopped to think that maybe “they” are afraid of us because of what has been perpetrated in the media about us. All some see is thugs and criminals. Imagine if you have been sheltered your whole life from the rest of the world, and this is all you are shown of other races.
That MAYBE they have been taught the same survival skills that we were taught (in reference to untrustworthiness of Caucasians.)
MAYBE they are struggling to make ends meet just like I am, so they USE their privilege not to arrogantly step on me, but to feed their family. Because I have seen homeless people who are of European descent, and actually had a classmate who lived in poorer conditions as a household with both parents vs. my living arrangement with only one parent. This programming that makes us feel that ALL Caucasians are rich and have it made, I have to come to grips that it is predominantly false.
I know some have adopted Hebrew doctrines about a deity giving a law to live separate from other races, but I ask myself is this really how we’re suppose to live on this huge earth?
The U.S. and other countries are melting pots of intermingled cultures. And I know there are some horror stories of how this largely came to be, but everything has its PURPOSE…the good and evil.
Because when this American dream crumbles to pieces…when sh$@ hits the fan, you mean to tell me we’re suppose to all just stay in our little corners and never come together?
I don’t believe that, because I’ve been in training where there was no room for that type of mindset. I was outside in the elements below freezing weather fighting to stay warm with all of my Air Force sisters. Nature didn’t discriminate against color. We all had to put our minds together to figure out how we were going to take turns watching the tent without suffering from hypothermia. My sisters were all I had, I didn’t see color.
You see, these type of experiences I’ve encountered were not by chance. Turns out it has been crucial to me finding my way through this maze called life..fighting past these attempts to defile my mind..so that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Seeing a reply from a stranger telling me that she PURPOSEfully moved to a predominantly black neighborhood to make a difference in the community, after I’m sure receiving some backlash from close friends and family…brought these precious memories to the forefront.
You guys, One bad apple cannot represent a whole bunch.
The people at the top pulling the strings on these race wars and inequality issues do NOT represent a whole race of people. If that were the case, we would have to conclude that ALL African Americans are uneducated, abusing government benefits….you see where I’m going? This GAME that’s being played leaves us ALL suffering in silence.
“We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don’t share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Living in Colombia amongst those who are different from me, I have to keep this in my daily remembrance. The natives are warm and welcoming. I haven’t experienced any sort of bigotry for being “African-American” or for wearing my natural coily hair proudly in public. But if I do, I will never take the hatred of a few and generalize it for a whole culture of people.
Here are some things that my family did to decrease media influence on our mental thought processes so that we could develop healthy, more realistic advances to figuring things out.
- We turned off the news. We haven’t watched the news in over 4 years because in our opinion, they tend to zero in on all the negative issues. It brings down our energy.
- We said BYE to cable television. The lady was shocked on the other end of the phone when I said I wanted to cancel my services. Haven’t paid for cable in almost two years. For us, it’s a distraction.
- We studied the CORRECT history. You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from right? At times we were afraid to know the truth of the past, but KNOWING for us was better than hypothesizing. Factual information..not HIStory that has been pushed into our brains since youth. I’m talking about MYstory (mystery) and YOURstory. This truth keeps us from repeating the same actions hoping for a different outcome. (Rioting, marching, pleading for equality). It allows us to formalize alternative solutions, realizing that everyone’s ancestors’ mistakes are not a reflection of who we are, but a lesson that we should learn from. We know that we may never know everything, but our heart is in it to keep searching for answers. We are one entity of a large body doing the work as lightbearers.
This is our M.O. And I’m sure there are others who have a similar approach to keep their family from being programmed.
These are only impressions that I have became aware of. What are your thoughts? Do various nationalities exist ONLY to CO-exist? Or are we here to use our differences as survival..working together like mechanics for the betterment of this earth?
*Artist of featured image: Osch aka Otto Schade*