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Thoughts and memories: night

 

I couldn't sleep last night because I had a lot on my mind. With this Zimmerman verdict a lot of hidden pain in America as usually most racial subjects do. Racism is the drunken uncle of America everyone knows he is there and instead of bringing up rehab, no one talks about him hoping he'll go away. Even though he just keeps getting louder and more drunk. I consider myself very blessed to have such a diverse group of family and friends. Sometimes I think it spoils me to the realities of society. The black experience in America is unlike anything in the history if the world. The only thing I think could top it is the experience of American Indian. Anyway I started writing earlier about some experiences I had as a child and some things my father taught me. It's kinda long and after writing it I started remembering more stuff I might post later. Anyway here it is just some thoughts and memories. I am kind of surprised by the outrage over this verdict. I guess it's sad that maybe I and most black men were expecting this to happen. When I was a young kid my dad would prepare me for the world and part of that preparation included talks about racism. After my parents’ divorce I would hear my dad cast in a horrible light almost daily as is the case with most young black men in similar situations, but my dad would come to my school at least once a week to see how I was doing. He would correct me in some of my behaviors when interacting with the other children, especially the white children. I used to get so mad at him because at that age my idea of racism was almost nonexistent. We would celebrate Martin Luther King day I would always bring the VHS of his biography no matter what grade I was in, because I was the only one who had it. It was a watered down biography, but Mississippi Burning might have been too much for second grade. My idea of racism was not being allowed to sit in the front of the bus. I felt I understood this because as a kid being in front was important. You'd get the best pick of toys, you'd get to choose the best spot for nap time etc. after we would finish doing an activities we would have to clean up. Our teacher would give us brooms and dust pans to clean up the floor with. Some kids would hold the dust pans while the other kids would sweep. My dad would tell me to grab a broom from one of the other kids instead of holding a dust pan and I would get mad because the teacher gave me a dust pan. Later he would tell me that all the black kids were holding dustpans and kneeling while all the white kids were sweeping dust in there faces from swing the brooms like Barry Bonds, like most young children do. I didn't pay him any attention until one day I tried to grab a broom and one of the kids told me I was SUPPOSED to be holding a dustpan. Even then that was just kids following the example of their teacher. I think my first truly racist moment against myself happened when my dad first moved to Sacramento not far from where I live today. I loved the area because there were plenty of kids and they would all play outside. Our next door neighbors were white and had two sons named Ted and Johnny. Ted was like the neighborhood king which was good for me because being the new kid I didn't know anyone. Me and Ted became friends almost instantly. He would always invite me over to play video games and his parents were very nice. Ted introduced me to the neighborhood kids and we would all play football in me and teds front yards, because they were connected and had about 20 yards of space in between them. After playing this one kid suggested everyone go to his house. The only other black kid named LJ said he had to go home. So we go to this kids house and his mom opens the door and smiles and looks at us then pulls the kid aside and talks to him. Next thing I know he comes up to me saying his mom doesn't allow black kids in the house. Now again I was young and still couldn't recognize racism. So I was just confused especially because this kids dad was black. I remember trying to think of the reasons she wouldn't allow black kids in her house. It made me mad and it also made me want to go into the house even more. Of course I beat that kid's ass the next day, but I still didn’t feel any better.

 

©michaelbrewerII2013

 
 
   

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