Monday, January 19, 2009


Today is MLK Jr day. As I watched the twitter tweets early this morning it was mainly the black people on my twitter that was celebrating MLK and his speech. Yes I too grew up with that little blurb about MLK his highlights that were espoused every week before we had the day off in school and if the teacher was really proactive we would get more than that, we would get two weeks. Maybe a book some pictures, maybe even a video that is if we had the resources.

Today I woke up early around 6:15am and I didn't feel any different, I didn't feel changed, and my perspective is still jaded and just a little angry. So yea I feel like my regular self. I know that many who happen across this blog think that I am a complainer, a person who perhaps doesn't like other races. I will leave you to your own opinions on that. But I will tell you that I have lived 30yrs in America, in southern California and I have watched and observed many things.

I lived in the hood, I walked past yellow caution tape blowing in the breeze, as the blood of somebodies child dried and seeped into the ground, I have watched as a body covered by a sheet was left stiff and cold on the ground until the coroner was able to come pick it up. I have even been standing in a drive-way and watched a gun man get out his car run up the street with his gun visible, do whatever he needed to do then come back, give me a grin as he jumped back into his car that was still sitting in traffic at the light and go on with his business. All while my little brothers played in the front yard, later when I told my mother she looked at me incredulously and asked me why I didn't take my brothers in the house I had no answer for her. How can you explain to your mother that fear locked your thoughts, and rendered you temporarily stupid. How do you explain to your mother that the gunman wasn't that much older than you, and even though he held a gun it just didn't seem real. More like some urban movie playing out in real time.

The hood either molds your or it breaks you, I was on the verge of being broken before we moved. Everything happens for a reason, like a domino effect my great-grandmother died leaving just enough for a decent down payment on a house far outside the hood, we moved to the burbs and I wished that I could say that life became easier. It sure became quieter, my parents got more bang for their buck as far as house and yard wise, peace of mind, but we left behind all the good things about the hood. Church which used to be a huge part of my life and it isn't anymore, my parents left behind friends, memories, and only the cultural gatherings and happenings, restaurants, experiences, and people that the hood could offer.

Sure we commuted for awhile until that got old, and eventually we became isolated in this not so familiar place where there were maybe a handful of others who had the same skin tone. It was the first time my brother had been called a nigger, it was the first time that I was told by a Jewish classmate that the holocaust was bigger than the middle passage and slavery, it was the first time that a fellow black classmate told me she doesn't identify with the word African-American she just preferred to be called black. It was the first time I got too see how white people really lived up close and personal. Needless to say I don't have any friends from high school since most of the people here had grown up with each other and went to the same batch of schools their whole lives, the groups were already formed and friendships were already forged. I was just an outsider and I felt like one I hated everything about this city when I moved here what should have been a haven turned out to be a lonely hell.

Now I am disconnected from peers and its hard for me to make lasting friends, I know of people, I associate with folks but I am not a friend keeper. I have never cultivated that skill being a loner is a skill I know well. I guess that's why I like social networks because you can meet a lot of people from different places all at once might even make some lasting connections it is what it is, and what it's going to be.

I said all this too say that often they refer to America as a melting pot, and to me that is an ugly thing. When you melt something down you break it down to its base element you strip it of its original shape and you can mix it with anything leaving the new shape up to the molder and maker. I don't want to be melted down, watered down mixed with something else and lose my fragile cultural existence. I would much rather be a tossed salad where you can add anything and it will become a unique flavorful enjoyable dish because each food while working together is still an individual bringing its own unique flavor to the party. While I acknowledge the legacy that MLK has brought into this world and I am grateful for it let us not forget that we still live in America and racism is not eradicated it's just better dressed and has a press agent now.

I know many black people want badly to finally think that they are finally woven into the tapestry that is America and that we matter on a grander scale, when it just isn't so. We still have an uphill battle, we still need more doctors, teachers, scientist, mathematicians, writers, and thinkers, then we do b-boys, video hoes, baby mommas/daddies, pimps players and hustlers. So pardon me if I still am not on that mountain top yet, if I still can't pledge allegiance to this country, and if I am still a little bitter and jaded. I was touched like every other African-American on the planet when we learned that the president elect was a black man. But it seems like for every piece of ground we gain we lose something else. Barack Obama is one man if he inspires black people to gain a better perspective of self, a better outlook of self, and aspire those around him to become something they never thought possible before then wonderful. Right now change hasn't trickled down to me because I am still struggling trying to find gainful employment, and get back on my feet financially. Until change comes my way color me jaded and a nonbeliever...