So last Thursday, I finally gave in and downloaded Time Hop. After looking at all my friend’s Instagram pictures, I was like
WHAT THE HELL WAS *I* DOING ON THIS DATE THROUGH THE YEARS?
WELL. FUNNY I SHOULD ASK.
One year ago: Selfie o’clock. I had braids. Same as I do now. Same color and er’thang.
Two years ago: I shared a hilarious story about this girl who punched a guy in the face as an example of victim blaming.
(“if you weren’t just standing there when i decided to start swinging wildly, you wouldn’t have gotten hit. it’s your own fault”)
Three years ago: I was complaining about it being OCTOBER 15th and 84 FUCKING DEGREES. SAME AS I DID THEN.
Four years ago: I went to a Foo Fighter concert. Same as I did Sunday. (The Love Ride was a blast. Same as last time)
Five years ago: I learned that music lyrics make excellent status updates on FaceBook.
Six years ago: Nesto surprised me with a pirate birthday party!
I was completely oblivious to all of his scheming, so I was TOTALLY SURPRISED when we got there and everyone was there! There was food! And drinks! And piratey cupcakes!
I don’t remember all the details (see: drinks!)
But I DO REMEMBER that we almost got into a fight ‘cause some random white dude called somebody a nigger.
And that we left before we needed bail.
Escorted by Security. Through a side door so that nobody would punch him in the face on the way out.
Because God forbid you throw out the white guy using racial slurs.
What a terrible way to end a perfectly wonderful evening.
I had completely forgotten about that. Until Time Hop.
ANYWAYS. So many things have happened since then.
Like my cousin and I got called niggers at a USC football game about a month ago.
Oh. My bad. Did you think I was gonna say things have gotten so much better?
The hows and whys don’t matter. Because really? .
We were at a Football game. In 2015.
This wasn’t no Remember the Titans.
THERE WERE THREE OF US. AND ONE OF US WAS WHITE.
But from the minute he opened his mouth, EVERY comment was directed toward the two black women.
And what better way to put some uppity black women in their place by calling them niggers?
My friend, who is white, called him out on it. Because WHO DOES THAT?
(A: Rhetorical Question. We ALL know who does this. Welcome to being Black 101.)
She was horrified. And the only thing that she found more horrifying was that we were not horrified*(or really all that surprised) as well.
It was in every word he had said to us. “Rude”. “Disrespectful”.
(We were also fantastically drunk, by the way, because tiny shots are still shots)
Because he had been dismissed.
Because we weren’t scared.
Because when he said “what he oughta do” and we turned around to give him the hairy eyeball, he fell back.
Because we did not bow to his authority. And probably ‘cause we scared him a little.
You know black people being black is a frightening experience for some
(No. I’m not.)
Here’s what does matter:
I’m not less than you because I’m black.
I’m not any more (choose your own adjective) because I’m black.
I’m not obligated to make you comfortable/less fearful because I’m black.
I’m not willing to MAKE myself less than you because I’m black.
I’m not always gonna walk away from people who call me nigger because I’m black.
(Shout Out to friends/family who woulda had my bail ready)
(Also! shout out to white allies who DO come for their people when shit happens.)
(I appreciate her having our back. A LOT)
IT HAS BEEN 33 DAYS SINCE I HAVE BEEN CALLED A NIGGER.
I suppose, though a lot of things HAVE changed.
I have definitely changed.
I’ve gained some new friends, lost some old ones.
I’ve grown. I’ve learned things about myself that I didn’t know 6 years ago.
I’m stronger. I’m more adventurous (YES, JACKASSES, IT’S POSSIBLE)
I’m more willing to try. More willing to fail.
More open to trying to understand.
More willing to fight for the things that I believe in.
But some things haven’t changed at all.
Racism is the same today as it was yesterday as it was six years ago.
*F.Y.I. – Things that ACTUALLY horrify me:
Needing to get my eyebrows done on picture day.
BBQ when I’m wearing white.
Wearing dresses that flair on windy days.