Baggage Check: Racism

So, the other day I received a comment on my post Dear White People that needed to be approved. I read the comment and sent that garbage to spam. Why? Because this is my blog and I don’t allow your BS or baggage on it. Writer’s prerogative.

I go check out the page of the person and was shocked that WordPress even allows this foolishness here:  https://vikingstrongman.wordpress.com/. This person is a white supremacist talking that racist BS that will destroy America and allow you the anonymity that you can claim in cyber world. Let me be clear, I don’t do racism or white supremacy. Not in real life or in cyberspace.

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He’s referring to blacks as niggers. Really? So, it takes a real man to hide in cyberspace and try to fuel the hate in so many people. Be authentic in your hate. Show your face. Spread your hate without a white robe.

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Let me be clear…I am about the inclusiveness of all people and no race is better than another. We were all created by one God and are descendants of Adam and Eve. I don’t care who you voted for (because I serve a Heavenly Father) and I will not allow people to disrespect me or my space. If you want to blame everything going on in the world on everyone else then check yourself.

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I don’t fear terrorists from other countries when we raise more terrorists in America than those that enter our borders. The face of terrorism to me is not brown. Take your hatred of all those that seek peace and kick rocks. We will not go quietly in the night.

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This election has allowed those white supremacists to show their true colors and think that it is acceptable to disrespect people of color. It is not. I will not allow you to come for me or my family. I will not allow you to disrespect any group that I support (women, children, men, veteran’s, the LGBQT family, people of color or any other group). We are one. United we stand.

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What Can I Say?

I know it’s been a while since I wrote a post. Please forgive me. Life got in the way. I went to sleep the night of Tuesday, November 8th praying that God’s will be done in the presidential election. I awoke the next day realizing that Donald Trump had won the election. Wow! I sighed. I cried. I felt defeated.

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I said “God, you are Sovereign. Your will be done.” It was. I’ve come to terms with it. Accepted it. Released all pain and fear to the one who leads my life. He knows what’s going on. I choose to trust in Him.

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That being said, I am like many of you. I will not tolerate any form of discrimination, fear or hate. I will not go quietly in the night and allow bullies to rule the land where my ancestors died. Can’t you hear it?

Freedom.

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Freedom from tyranny and oppression. Freedom from racism and misogyny. Freedom from bullies. I will and I can live in the country where I was born. I will pray. I will trust in the almighty.

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I am but one of many. I have a voice. I have witnessed the hate crimes being shown in the media. It’s heartbreaking. It’s scary. But, I will survive. You will survive. We will survive. If we unite together. We are one.

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Saturday Thoughts

Hey Loves,

Thank you for the wonderful and encouraging responses to my post entitled Dear White People. I love you all. You give me hope that we can be the change that I hope my son will see in this world.

I wanted to share with you some observations that we all do….

  1. We all make generalizations. We all have preconceived notions about someone the minute we see them. You don’t? Stop lying. Prime example – I had a vendor come in and speak with me about the graphics for my guide they are doing. I had never met the vendor and thought a gentleman was meeting me. It was a woman. No biggie. When I see the woman she was elderly and on a cane. Now, my first thought is why is this woman still working and is she really a graphic artist. My second was would she be able to deliver? Do you see how I made judgement about someone based off their outward appearance? People do it all the time especially with skin color.
  2. Referring to people by the color of their skin. This happens to all of us. Another blogger pointed that out and I said it happens mainly when I have two friends that have the same name and are of different races. If I was telling you what my friend Karen said and you know of both Karen’s most would ask which Karen. Now, let’s be real…do you know anybody’s last name unless they are a personal and close friend? Probably not. So, I would have to say my white girlfriend Karen or my black girlfriend Karen. Then you would be able to recall which Karen. That’s not racist or mean. I totally get it. You won’t have the problem when talking about me because how many of you know more than one Tikeetha? I’m waiting….

Finally, some great words from my fellow blogger Afrika Bohemian. I love this woman right here. She shares her world through her blog and I am always learning something new about her Tribe. Check her out if you haven’t. These were her words…

So to all my beautiful sun kissed brothers and sisters, going through hell because of the color of their skin. A line from one of the ancient African praise poems (translation is rough): “beautiful children of the soil, the ones carried for years in a black baby sling made of skin, children of color, of the hues of the earth and of life may you love your color and know that it is the color of the bark of the wild berry trees, a color of those who are friends with the sun).

 

Standing in Judgement

Last week I was reading this post over at Clutch Magazine about Charlize Theron dressing her son up in a blonde wig and hat. I clicked on the picture and looked closely and realized that he was in fact dressed up as Elsa from the movie, Frozen. Not just a random blonde wig. He had on the dress and shoes and black folks were all up in arms.

Why? Charlize Theron is the mother to a five year old son. Yes, he’s black. Yes she adopted him, but she’s still his mother. Now that we have that settled let’s get something straight…parents can do whatever the hell they wish when raising their children. As long as it doesn’t hurt them in any form or fashion.

I’ve written about this before. It is a parent’s right to raise our children however we choose. Ultimately we all want the same thing… to raise happy and healthy children that become productive citizens and not mass murders. That being said, Charlize is no different. The problem with the comments in this post were noticeable. People were making it into a race issue. It wasn’t. It was a parenting choice.

They were attacking how she chose to parent her son and trying to paint it is a racial issue saying she is prohibiting him from knowing how much of a strong black boy he is by allowing him to dress as Elsa. What? I in no way thought that he was going to be damaged by dressing as Elsa. I felt it was her parenting choice. However, I felt the commentators were disguising their disgust and trying to mask it in race when it is in fact a homophobic issue for them.

They were mad that she allowed her son to dress up as a girl. If it was from Disney’s Princess and the Frog and it was Princess Tiana (a black princess) would that have made it better? Nope. It wouldn’t. But, it wasn’t a race issue and I felt compelled to say that it was a parenting choice. Why? Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Nope, because I know what it’s like to parent.

 

The conversation took an ugly turn when I tried to defend her. Why? I’m defending her right to parent and to parent a black boy in the best way possible. Who are we to judge? That made me the apparent target of being judged.

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Now, I stopped responding to the foolishness of others, but the woman Sys Author had some pretty respectful comments so I continued to engage. I don’t engage with idiots, but she was polite and respectful and we could agree to disagree.

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While I appreciated the interaction of intellectual conversation, I just find that the whole thing has grown out of proportion. Rich people have a different set of issues that an average middle class or poor person may not understand. Each level of the tax bracket could probably say the same… You don’t know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. Do we?

I don’t think so. I am thankful for my varied experiences. I grew up poor. I would be described as middle class (working poor in my opinion) but I may never obtain millionaire status without hitting the lottery. I’m okay with it, but unless things take a turn for the worse, my son will never know what it’s like to be poor.

Thankfully.

But, I say all this to say that parenting in general is hard. Parenting black boys is hard. Parenting black girls brings another set of issues too. Parenting black children in today’s society where you have to wonder whether or not sending your children to school will allow them to come home safely or whether walking them down the street will get you killed by a stray bullet is a hard reality for many black Americans. But, we can’t allow bitterness to make us judgmental and make everything about race.

In this case it was a parent’s decision to allow her child to dress up like Elsa. You don’t agree? Fine. It’s not up to you to agree with it or not. However, it doesn’t make her a bad parent or someone who lacks racial sensitivity.

We can’t judge a parenting choice and disguise it as a racial issue. There are enough racial inequalities that are real. Those are the battles that are worth fighting. I respect her decision to allow her son to do what he wants. To wear what he wants. To allow him to freely express himself.

We just have to stop judging each other. We have to stand united and understand that we all make mistakes, but respect our differences. We all want the same thing for our children and we all want a better country. I  believe that someday we’ll get there.

He Likes

The way I kiss him.

The way I hold him.

The way that I explain difficult concepts.

The way that I spoil him.

The way that I believe in him.

The way that I scream his name.

The way that I tickle him.

He also likes…

The color of my lip gloss.

I smile.

It was bright red that day.

I replied, “It’s not gloss, but lipstick”

I bent over and kissed his perfect face

He had a pair of red lips on his face

I smiled

“I love you Munch”

“I love you too Mommy” he replied.

Kisses

He likes many things about me

My kisses are what he’ll remember

When he grows up and leaves me to find his own way

I will remember the day that I wore red lipstick

Not my usual lip gloss

And kissed the face of my sweet 8 year old angel

Red kisses

Red

The color of red

Blood is red

The stain on his shoes when he scrapped his knee

The blood gushing from his nose bleeds

I pray

That the color red

Will never be more than sweet kisses

On his face

Or scrapes when he falls

Or random inconvenient nose bleeds

I pray for no red sheets draped over his body

As he lays in the street

A victim

A child

My child

Who liked my red kisses

© Tikeetha Thomas

These Are Perilous Times

I didn’t want to write this. Another post about the injustices of those who are supposed to serve and protect killing two men last week. The videos. Social media. I couldn’t. I was too emotionally drained. Angry. Frustrated. Scared. Heartbroken.

So, I prayed. I prayed for healing for our nation. I prayed for the families of the victims. I prayed for the families of the officers who committed these heinous crimes. I prayed for the officers murdered in Dallas. I prayed.

In times of trouble there is not much I can do but write, protest and pray.

I can use my words to talk about the things that black parents feelbut you know.

I can talk to you about how I’m afraid for our black men dying at the hands of policebut you know.

I can talk to you about how I feel about our black girls dying too – but you know.  

I can tell you how it feels to be the mother of a black boy – but you can probably guess.

So, what is the purpose of this post? To simply ask you to look through a different lens. A lens outside of your own. Take me for example…Let’s see, you know that I love my son more than life itself. That he is the reason that I truly understand God’s love because he gifted him to me. You know that. You know that I spoil him, chastise him, kiss him, run him back and forth to the many activities and I record every moment of his life. Afraid to miss anything.

He is valuable.

He was wonderfully created and made by God.

Just like each of you.

But, I can’t understand why in this country we wear blinders and act like racism doesn’t exist. Let me break it down for you…It does. I’ve experienced it first-hand.

Do I believe that every white person is a racist or that every situation is about race? No, I don’t. Many black people don’t believe that either. But, I need you to understand this…we have to stop acting like we can’t talk about race or that racism doesn’t exist. 

When you can justify the killing of two black men as “they were probably doing something wrong” you’re part of the problem.  When you can write about someone’s past as fact and they are the victim,  you’re part of the problem. We have a problem people. Let’s own the problem and find a solution. 

Will you ever understand what it feels like to be black? No. No more than I can imagine what it’s like to be white, gay, Jewish or Muslim but that doesn’t mean that I don’t empathize with other human beings when things happen in communities outside my own.

We’re all human.

We all matter.

We were all created by God!

A righteous and just God that I have faith will heal this hurting nation.

Can you understand that?

I, like most black parents, fear for my son. I fear that he will be presumed guilty if he ever encounters a police officer. Judged on the streets and not the courtroom. He will be judged not by a righteous and just man. But, by someone who will see his beautiful skin color as a threat. It won’t matter that he’s a child or that he has no criminal background. He will be assumed guilty because he is black.

So, I want to know that the public servants (law enforcements) who may encounter my son treat him fairly. The way that they treat others who look like them. If they do shoot my son unjustly, I want the person to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It’s that simple.

Do you know what it’s like to not let your son play with certain toys because you don’t want him to get gunned down like Tamir Rice? No toy guns. No real guns. Even though you have a right to bear arms in this country, the second amendment wasn’t designed to protect you Munch!

That’s what I have to explain to him. That’s what I have to tell my son someday. Our dirty laundry that the history books leave out. Do you tell your children the truth about our country’s history or do you omit it hoping and praying for better days?

The whole “if you don’t know your history you’re bound to repeat it” rings in my head. Are we repeating history? Silently. This thumping with the songs from my ancestors playing lowly in the background…We Shall Overcome!

We shall overcome.

When we stand united.

When we stand as one loving people knowing that we won’t allow the bad apples of our society to taint our generation.

To stain the fabric of our humanity.

We shall overcome.