I felt the sting of threatening tears as I read tweet after tweet, largely authored by black faces. Individual, collective virtual protests over the acquittal of the police officer who killed Rekia Boyd. Rekia, a 22-year old, black Chicago resident was unarmed when off-duty officer, Dante Servin, shot her in the back of the head, killing her.
Lately, my dad is prone to falling into reflective reveries during which he shares stories from the past with a forthrightness that is surprising given how miserly he’s been with details previously. He’ll affect what my sisters and I call his “Professor [Our last name]” voice and begin his oration: “You know, Keisha, our family…”
When I created this blog, I never expected to write about race & ethnicity as much as I have. But like I say in my blog summary, being a black person in America, my “race” has an undeniable impact on my life. I’m not going to wake up one magical morning and discover that I can hide my blackness when I walk out in the world. Cloak myself in a different skin color, so I can experience what it’s like to walk through this world free from all the invisible pressures of the expectations of blackness.
I’ve been glued to Twitter the past few days. Twitter is how I first heard of the shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black, 18-year old, Ferguson, Missouri resident, shot multiple times and killed by a police officer. Yet another “shoot first, ask questions and apologize later” incident. Yet another unarmed black American killed. Another life taken too soon, a child snatched from his devastated parents who surely didn’t expect to have to bury their own son, the people whom…
Earlier this year I was lounging at Starbuck’s with my friend V, who is Chinese-American. A friend of hers, also Chinese-American, was getting married to a half-white/half Japanese-American man.
She told me, with some sheepishness, “You’re going to kill me, but I bought a card for ___ and ____ with white people on it.”
“Why would I kill you? It’s not like I’m some militant “black power” chick. ‘You must only buy cards with people of color on them!'”
She chuckled and nodded.
“But, let me ask you this,” I continued, “would you give one of your white friends a wedding card with a happy Asian couple depicted?”
Racists really need to update their stereotype references. When it comes to black people at least, they seem stuck on…well they’re stuck on stupid, as we all know, but also stuck in the old days. Music evolves, the amount of clothing women wear (or don’t wear) evolves, our language evolves, yet racist Americans don’t appear to take pride in their racism enough to keep up with the times.
For example, Jennifer Olsen, chairwoman of Yellowstone County’s Republican committee in Montana, allegedly shared the following “hilarious” image with her Facebook followers: