I started Black History Month on a high note believing that Black people would spend the next 28 days celebrating and rejoicing in all things Black. Indeed, Black people are magnificent, and I was looking forward to seeing Black Excellence on full display on my social media feed. Yet what I envisioned and what is actually taking place are two different things. I watched Black people celebrate Liam Neeson, a White man that spoke about harming a “Black bastard” because a Black man had raped his friend. I watched Black people defend Gucci and their Minstrel Show Sweater with even one of the richest Black athletes in the world, Floyd Mayweather, rejecting the call to #BoycottGucci and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a shopping spree picking up Gucci items and other brands. (You know, because NOTHING says let me take a stand against racism like giving White people your money.) I watched Black people support J. Lo performing a Motown Tribute at the Grammy’s which made about as much sense as Donald Trump bringing the greens to the cookout. I have watched a Black NFL player sip drinks and toast with his White partner, joyfully asking for the birth of more “light skin babies.” Every day that I have woken up in February, I feel I must be in the Matrix. SURELY, Black people are not this lost. This cannot be my reality. I must have taken the blue pill. This is all fake, an illusion. This is some alternate universe where Black people co-sign White bullshit. Has Black Mirror made an episode out of this yet?
And just when I think I cannot be stunned anymore, Presidential hopeful Cory Booker had the audacity to say, “Put yourself in a white person’s position that might have questions,” when asked about blackface. The issue of blackface has plagued this nation and was recently brought into the headlines with Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (and other prominent politicians) donning blackface in his medical school days. (You know, because nothing says I am on my way to exemplifying health equity and fighting against medical mistrust like a future doctor adding a little black shoe polish to their face.)
Did a Black man really ask Black people to put ourselves into the shoes of a White person? Are you KIDDING ME, Cory? WHAT SHOES? Shoes of privilege? Shoes of cognitive dissonance? Shoes of denying racism exist? Shoes of “just get over it?” Shoes of Make America Great Again? I don’t need to step into the shoes of White America. White America needs to step into the shoes (and by that I mean try to understand on some level) Black America and the atrocities that have been inflicted on a people that simply wanted the right to be. (Let me be clear, White people send me messages every single day. They ask me questions, and if they are asked in a manner of wanting to truly learn, I will dialogue with them. I am not a person that tries to shut people out. I believe in bringing people in, and if someone has a question, I will have the conversation or point them to resources to answer their question. (Google is a beautiful friend.) Having said that, I am NEVER going to put myself in a White person’s shoes.)
This is the problem with Cory Booker and many Black politicians. Cory wants to win so desperately that he is trying to appeal to everyone yet is speaking to no one. Black politicians are trying to figure out how they can be “Black enough” to satisfy Black people without being “too Black” that White people are uncomfortable. If you are not ready to make White America uncomfortable, this isn’t the job for you. Donald Trump and his loyal followers have SHOWN YOU they do not care about your level of comfort in America so much so, the slogan they don on hats and t-shirts lets you know their goal is to make America a place where White people are superior, and men that look like Cory are shining their shoes and fetching their water. I cannot stand in good conscience with someone that is trying to toe the line so much that you disregard some foundational and fundamental truths of being Black in America. How dare you as a Black man tell me to put myself in a White person’s shoes! Shameful!
If you were going to do ANYTHING have the COURAGE to ask White people to try to understand on any level how it must feel for your skin to be your sentence. They will NEVER truly understand but can start on the road to acknowledging, empathizing and correcting past and present injustices. What Cory Booker has failed to acknowledge is that EVERY DAY a Black person wakes up in America they have placed themselves in a White person’s shoes. Every day we wonder, is our hair acceptable? Are we being too loud? Will White people perceive our tone too aggressive? Is our skin too dark that we will be perceived as a threat? Can we drive in this neighborhood? Do I look like I am stealing in this store? Is my clothing the proper attire? Should I wear my Malcolm X shirt to work on casual Fridays? If I bring the food I love to work for lunch will the smell of it offend White people? The list endless of how we have placed ourselves in a White person’s shoes but you challenge us. How dare you!
Kendrick Lamar summed up what I believe about Corey Booker in his hit song DNA:
Problem is, all that sucker shit inside your DNA
Daddy prolly snitched, heritage inside your DNA
Backbone don’t exist, born outside a jellyfish, I gauge
I challenge Cory Booker to TAKE A STAND! Be hot or be cold, pick one, but do not be lukewarm when it comes to speaking truth to power! Do not challenge us, have the COURAGE to challenge White people to try to understand on some level how it is to be Black in America. Stop being afraid and even if you are afraid, that is fine, SPEAK THE TRUTH AFRAID! Even if your knees are knocking and your voice is quivering, HAVE THE COURAGE TAKE A STAND! And THAT, Cory, has NOTHING to do with The Oval, but everything to do with your character as a Black man.
Categories: Current Events, Politics, Race Relations, Thoughts, Musings and Reflections
Yes Hannah! Thank you!
✊🏿❤️ You’re welcome, Kelly.
I believe that people of all races, color, creed and religious beliefs are just not interested in your racist tirades. You are truly a minority. The majority, the rest of us, live happily in a colorblind world. You might want to find a new profession. The days of profit by fueling hate are behind us.
Have a great day!
This entire nation is fueled by hate as profit. You are delusional if you think otherwise. You are also delusional if you believe anyone actually thinks this is a colorblind world. You think you are saying something progressive when in fact you are saying something that is ignorant. You see color. Trust me. You saw it enough to come on my blog and comment how you did. Believe me, you see Black just fine. You are lying to yourself. Period.
Now you have a good day.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this – as I had hoped you would do. As a white person, I was dumbstruck by Booker’s words and so really appreciate your insight as a black woman into just how affronting those words are. To suggest black people need to step into a white perspective as a means to overcoming anything is just mind-boggling to me. It’s crass. White people owned all the shoes and trod all the paths and used those shoes to tread on a hell of a lot of people in doing so. They need to step out of those shoes, share the damn shoes, let other people forge some paths and not get in their way. As white people, we need to make serious efforts to step into the shoes of other people. We need to look beyond our own positions of privilege and really listen to and absorb what the experiences of non-white people are in this country. How about we make an effort to put on their shoes? How about really challenging ourselves to do that? I think that would be a much more appropriate and effective way to break down barriers and make some progress with regard to equity and equality. Booker’s words also feed into one of my pet peeves about the media in the era of Trump urging us to try and understand the people who voted for Trump, to try and adopt their perspective as people who are disaffected and feel disenfranchised and neglected or whatever. Nope. How about instead those people who voted for Trump try to adopt the perspective of all the people who have been adversely impacted by their decision to place that mark on that ballot. But I digress. Thank you once again for sharing your insight and your incisive analysis.
Thank you Hannah, I am having a great day. I hope you are too. It is sunny and 82 degrees here in Florida. Of the utmost importance, let me say that I like you. Secondly, Our Nation is not “fueled by hate as profit”. I do not know where you get that idea from but it is a fallacy. All delusions aside, I do not see color. I was raised to judge a person on the content of their character and not on the color of their skin. Not sure where you would get the idea that I came to your blog because you are of a certain color. Honestly, I do not know what color or race you are. Perhaps I should do some research. You are assuming that I know you are black. I simply have no idea. Again, I should probably know what race you are but I’m not so sure I care. I know that you are of the human race. That is the race that is important. I do not see any need to know more than that.
John, unless you are blind and even then by my writing you can CLEARLY tell, I am Black. Do not come on my blog playing games. Either you want to have a real conversation or you don’t. I don’t have time for games. You knew what this blog was about when you came to it. PERIOD! Now you want to gaslight all of us by saying I don’t know if Hannah is Black. Save that for someone that can’t see through your bovine spillage. It is old, tired and pathetic at this point. Also you liking or not liking me means nothing to me. What does matter to me is the truth and facing issues so that we can live in a better society. And trust me your “I don’t see color” is not helping anyone but if that helps you sleep better at night, so be it. Unless you have ANYTHING else to say that is going to add ANYTHING of importance to this conversation, that isn’t trying to gaslight all my readers, you go and enjoy the fun and sun in Florida.
Also you commented on my blog a few weeks ago, so you know who I am. The information of you coming to my blog before is below. Stop playing games.
21 days ago
Dear White People, Before You Post Dr. King Quotes To Make Yourself Feel Good…
In response to: Dear White People, Before You Post Dr. King Quotes To Make Yourself Feel Good…
BY HANNAHDRAKE628 ON JANUARY 13, 2018 • ( 83 COMMENTS )”
It just started to rain here so I have a few minutes. Don’t be offended because the conversation does not go the way you want it to. You have much to say and I find your thought processes intriguing. All conversations are real yet not all is understood. Stick to your beliefs. So you are black? OK. Again, it matters not to me. So let’s engage in an intellectually stimulating conversation. I’ll start. What are the issues that will allow us to live in a better society? The rain just quit so I have to make this put. Wish me luck…
You come on my page and basically lie about not knowing I am Black and now you are back with your games. Stop. I am not the one. My conversation with you ends now. It is a waste of time.
Typical. So typical. Your beliefs are challenged and you run and cower. You cannot stand behind your writings or back them up with conversation and you transfer blame and hate on others. So typical on many points. Here are a couple; 1. Someone else is the problem, 2. Verbally attack the other person, 3. You don’t like what they are saying so you don’t want to hear it. 4. They are invading your space and privacy by being on your page or blog. I’m dropping the mike. I thought for sure there was going to be an intellectually stimulating exchange of ideas and philosophies here. I guess not. But, as I said, typical.
John Pollard you are a troll. My advice to you is to stay off this woman’s page. Don’t ever comment on here again. You are a vile disgusting product of white supremacy so blind you have NO CLUE what you are talking about or you are a troll which is my bet. Don’t ever in your life ever again ask a black or brown person to explain anything to you. Maybe instead of blogs you should read a book that is not white washed history.
Thank you, Kelly.
Kelly, Why would you say such hateful things? To quote you “Don’t ever in your life ever again ask a black or brown person to explain anything to you.” How can we advance with this kind of hatred that you spew?
John I’ve had enough. You aren’t going to harass me or people on this blog with your gaslighting. It is insulting and you are banned.
Kelly, clearly John came here with an agenda. I am not above a conversation and if anyone scrolls through some of the comments on any blog on my site people can say pretty much say anything they want short of the n-word and other hate speech. However John isn’t doing anything to want to have a conversation. He wants to gaslight through a conversation and then play the imaginary victim so he is banned. No one has time for that in the year 2019. 🙂
As it stands I have no real confidence in any of the Black candidates who have stepped forward. I’m kinda scared of Harris, and Booker is too lukewarm a candidate for me to be enthused by him. Both of them are too middle of the road, and trying too hard to get us to like them (but maybe that’s normal.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll vote for whoever is left standing, but just like in all previous elections, except Obama’s, Imma hold my nose, and suck it up while doing so.
Will you be voting against Trump? Just curious. Or, if no opposition candidate that has a chance rises to the top, will you just not vote?
If Trump is the only choice I won’t vote, I cannot in good conscience vote for that vile human being who stands for everything I hate in person, on both a political and persona level.
I suppose whoever I’m voting for whether I like them or not, I’ll be voting against Trump. They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be better than “him”, and unfortunately that’s a very low bar. And I may not vote anyway because I have absolutely NO CONFIDENCE that White people won’t find a way to fuck this election up!
… with a great degree of civility and without malice or prejudice, in due time and with regular frequency, that 620,000 US Citizens gave their lives for freedom in one war so that all may be free, we must discuss all things regarding history, race, equality and the advancement of all mankind.
Ike, the above comment was in response to Hannah’s earlier comment. To your post, it is an Interesting viewpoint. I have confidence that white or black, someone will screw it up.