Let’s Call It What It Is… Being Black In America Is Being Ignored (When Not Oppressed)
The grand ole strategy put into practice centuries ago is to either keep a foot on the neck of the Black community or to dismiss our existence entirely.
I’m 6'4", Black, and last I checked… male. Blending into the background is virtually impossible, especially in this country. I know, I’ve tried. This is beyond my control. When you are my height and, ahem… girth, you tend to stand out like an ogre about to devour little white children. At least this is how I’m often perceived.
I don’t typically enjoy being front and center so the thought of suspicious eyes glued to my every move is something I can do without. The mere thought of being shunned due to indifference or calculated ostracism, however, doesn’t appeal to me either but this too, is beyond my control.
It goes without saying that, if you are one of the 47.5M Black people in America, your presence isn’t always accepted (or welcomed).
Not everyone is concerned about keeping us in the background but many are, and those who feel this way will do whatever they can to make it happen.
The dichotomy of how Black people are treated is what I find odd. Either we are the targets of “red-eye” disgust, or we are dismissed and forgotten as if we wronged a former lover. Only there was never any love to begin with, just a history of oppression that has defined generations of Black people in America.
There’s a disturbance in the force
It is no wonder my presence troubles those who bathe in fear and hate. I am the quintessential walking stereotype of the large foreboding Black male who keeps many in the white community on high alert. My size (which I can do nothing about) has been a curse and an advantage at the same time. There should be no reason that this would keep me from receiving the same treatment as anyone else. But it does.
A behavior often aimed in my direction is being completely ignored by those around me. As if I were a nonexistent mass moving…