Have you ever been to a baby shower when a guest brought a gift wrapped in “Let’s Make America Great Again “wrapping paper? I attended one last year and it bothered me so much that I just did not speak, write, or think about it. I knew that if I allowed myself even a morsel of time to see this problem, I would have to consolidate other truths attached to this issue. I am aware that we tiptoe around and not address fully a moment at the time we should address it. The truth is though that closing our eyes to this I am only contributing to the problem. Racism is real, even in subtle expression. The crazy thing about that whole experience is that I had a suspicion about whom in the room may have been the woman who wrapped the gift, however, my insides confirmed it when the young lady gave me a strange look almost daring me to say something. I did not. It was someone else’s very special day and I was not in the mood to put on my “Mama hat” that day. I did not even intend for this to become a blog, but it has clearly been wearing on me. I live near these groups of people obviously seem okay with it.
A few things that come to mind when I saw the wrapping paper, here is my short list, I’d love to hear your thoughts. -Make America great again. Define that for me please. Usually, there is silence after this or random rambling that do not address the question. - Make America great again. Do you know who started that rant? I racist, chauvinist narcissist. -Make America great again for who again? Why is there nothing being said at all addressing this ignorance in a way that make a clear and precise difference?
I am completely disappointment in those I did not expect would welcome this behavior. To be honest it put me in mind of a Trump rally. Essentially to welcome this behavior at your function is to not address it. Trump may not have been doing the chanting but he never takes action to stop the none-sense either. Make American great again for who? I am old enough to remember being in the middle of racially motivated act of harassment. I grew up in a nice neighborhood. Dad had just received a big deal promotion and we were getting hang up calls and toilet papered yard and house. Dad told me about his experiences in high school when vocations like wood work shop, mechanic and any skills to set him up for a blue-collar job were pushed on him. Nothing wrong with blue-collar skills, it’s just that there were a multitude of assumptions that that was all he was capable of doing. Dad went in a clear and deliberate opposite direction. It was in the 70’s when I attended elementary school. I remember clearly those talks dad would have with me about the need to over achieve what any questioning tone. It was my mission not to give any reason to make my life harder. I remember shopping and a high-end store in my younger years and being followed relentlessly. There are easily at least a dozen people that I know personally who have experienced this scenario.
There was an active duty male cousin of mine being harassed while walking during his free time. Ultimately, he was murdered in the street by a group of people who had a problem with his skin color. I don’t have the energy to recount my black male friends and family members in various professions like, pastor, corporate man student or soldier who have been a victim of driving while black. Yes, it is a real thing.
Do I really have to explain how demeaning it if to ask if you can touch my hair? I am a black woman, not an animal to be observed in a zoo. Do I ask you if that blonde you are wearing is natural? No. I do not because it is not professional to do so, I don’t know you like that and quite frankly, it is none of my business? When you see me in a nice car and have already made assumptions about my life and you ask, “ Is that your car?”No, I'm just renting this out for a few years! Really! Stop it!
Not long ago an African American woman shared with me that a telemarketer called her home and when she answered as per the norm, they asked to speak to the owner of the house. She explained that she was the owner of the house. The callers bold and ignorant reply was that oh, you sound black. Really people, we have to do better. Well, she was black and yes she did live in the city that perhaps the caller assumed a black woman did not or could not live in.
Did that young lady mean that America was so great back when my daughter and husband would not have been able to marry legally because she is black and he is white. Boy George, I think I’ve got it. I suggest that we love one another and do our part in reminding each other how great we are collectively.
Sincerely love you all.