“I smile. Even though I hurt, see I smile.
I know God is working so I smile.
Even though I been here for a while, I smile, smile.
It’s so hard to look up when you been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.” – Kirk Franklin
JUSTICE FOR ALL?
This past weekend’s Verzuz battle with Kirk Franklin going up against Fred Hammond was much needed during a time like this. No matter what I’m going through in life, I can play Smile by Kirk, and my spirits are immediately uplifted. I think the world needed to hear it. The black community needed to hear it. Hell, ALL Americans needed to hear it. We are all mentally and physically exhausted having to deal with police brutality, discrimination, constant judgement and prejudice. For those of you who have never had to experience it, you may not even understand, but we’re just asking for it to be heard and acknowledged. It’s been WAY too long that we have had to deal these same issues, and most of the time that we voice our opinions, we’re met with opposition and defensiveness. Our mission is not to offend, instead it’s for CHANGE, LOVE, PEACE, JUSTICE and HAPPINESS for ALL Americans. I hear so often about the rights of American citizens, but as a Black woman, I always feel that there is a clause to the rights that I possess.
MOTHERING WHILE BLACK
I had the absolute privilege and honor of attending the protest in Houston, Tx that took place on Tuesday, June 2nd. Although we are still dealing with Covid and my concerns are still there, I felt it was my responsibility as a Black mother to be in attendance. There was so much love and unity on McKinney street that day. There were individuals of all races, religions, and backgrounds all there to unite for justice and change in America. At one point during the protest, I found myself getting very emotional and couldn’t help the tears that were coming from my face. All I could picture was my son. The same son that I see so innocently. The same son that is so loved by all of his family. The same son that could one day grow up and this very situation can happen to him. It doesn’t matter how educated, well-spoken, or well-to-do that he may grow up to be in life. At the end of the day, he’s a Black man (in the making). When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was hoping for a boy, and when I found out that I was actually having one, I was so excited! However, I immediately thought about how I have to raise Black son in this cruel world. I thought what if he’s really tall like my dad or stocky like my brother? Would he be seen as a threat? I immediately thought of the many ways that I can teach him how to deal with police, if ever in that situation. I immediately thought of how he would have to navigate in this world, and it broke my heart. Before my son took his first breath in this world, I’m fearing the potential of his life as a Black man in America. For all of my White brothers and sisters, is this something that you thought about when you were pregnant with your first son? Just please take a moment to understand.
PREJUDICE IN CORPORATE AMERICA
Our experiences in school, public establishments, and unfortunately in the workplace are NOT the same. I’ve dealt with so much prejudice at the last company I worked for that it doesn’t make sense! I know so many Black women who have worked there who have either filed or were in the process of filing a discrimination lawsuit against that company. Just to give you a little insight, on my first day at this company, my supervisor felt that she had to say, “You know, you can wear your hair any way that you’d like over here! I don’t have a problem!” I’ve heard the N-word, have been called “brown girl,” one person referred to a group of Black women as the “B-L-K’ people, and I’ve been disrespected on numerous occasions. However, as a Black woman in white spaces you often get labeled as angry or “playing the race card,” whatever that means. When I finally decided that enough was enough, I went to the HR manger to tell her what had been going on during the last year. Do you know what she told me? She was a Hispanic woman, by the way. She told me in her own words that as a minority, we often “feel” uncomfortable with occurrences that aren’t really what they seem. Needless to say, I never went back to her again. I could feel that they were ready to let me go, however, I got pregnant! I don’t think they wanted to fire a pregnant lady because of all of the rights that we possess, so they waited until I got back from maternity leave to do so. I was all too happy to go! I decided that I will NEVER again work for a company that does not respect the rights or presence of Black people, so to PRINCE I say, BYYYYYYYE!!!!!!! And until you do right by Black people, everything you think about is going to crumble. – shoutout to Ms. Celie from The Color Purple
My experience at work was ONLY ONE of the many that myself, my husband, as well as my friends have had. Seriously though for my White, Asian and Hispanic brothers and sisters with common sense, because there are those of you who aren’t even worth going back and forth with, I’m not talking to you! So for those of you with common sense, you can’t actually believe that a man losing his life over a fake $20 bill is just (George Floyd). You can’t believe that a woman losing her life in her sleep after police broke into her home and started blasting clips, then her boyfriend going to prison for retaliating against what he thought were burglars is just (Breonna Taylor). You can’t think that a man who was jogging around the neighborhood, followed and then killed by regular citizens for no reason is just (Ahmaud Arbery). You CAN NOT think that a boy walking back home, followed, harassed, and killed for wearing a hoodie and being black in a predominately White neighborhood is just (TRAYVON MARTIN). You can not actually believe that our system is just. Yes, there are Black criminals, but there are White, Asian, and Hispanic criminals as well. There are bad people in EVERY RACE, no doubt about it. They deserved to be locked up, NOT murdered in the street and disregarded. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. All my mothers out there, if someone killed your son over an artificial $20 bill such as George Floyd was, would you still be screaming ALL LIVES MATTER or BLUE LIVES MATTER. Yes, all lives do matter and I thank the GOOD cops for what they do, however this life and the many others that were lost unjustly is what we are talking about here. For those of you who think that Black on Black crime is more worthy of discussing then the injustices of Black lives, just remember that those Back people who kill Black people GET THE BOOK THROWN AT THEM. The cops who kill us GET PAID LEAVE. Do you see the difference here? By the way, ALL races kill their race more than they kill any other so please don’t bring up Black on Black crime unless you also bring up White on White crime, Hispanic on Hispanic crime and ect. We want JUSTICE FOR ALL!!! Isn’t that something that most of you STAND for in the pledge of allegiance? We just want that for Black lives. I pray that these protests truly bring about change, and to my brothers and sisters of other races, “hear us, understand us, and help us bring that CHANGE!” I truly LOVE you all!
– Asia B.