Defining the intersection between listening and living

Assumption/Alright: a race discussion

So I read and commented on a post the other day, “What It’s Like Not Being White” the author Laila was insightful, charming and personal about her experience not being white.

Thinking about her tone, her response, the biases she faced and the assumptions that people made about Laila based on her appearance resonated with me. I considered the state of America with the various out-pours to be more socially accepting, #livesmatter, #Blacklivesmatter. These occurrences have run rampant and frankly are not a call to action only a call to make things more transparent.  Do not misunderstand I believe that people face many injustices; however, that is not and should not be an excuse for bad behavior. It made me want to put Kendrick Lamar’s new single on rotate for a while and take it all in.

Alls my life I has to fight, nigga
Alls my life I…

Hard times like, “God!”
Bad trips like, “Yea!”
Nazareth, I’m fucked up
Homie you fucked up
But if God got us
Then we gon’ be alright

[Chorus: Pharrell Williams]
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Huh? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

I had to let the song play, my consciousness to speak and understand my story. Like Laila I am not White, however the issues that I face concerning race and identity is different. I live knowing that there is an assumption that I am up to no good. I should never where a hoodie and should not be allowed some of the same liberties as my white colleagues.  While I strive to surmount most of these obstacles everyday this is an assumption that is made every time someone meets me. I must strive to break the stereotype of the black male. While this is not an easy path it is not something I would ever change it is apart of me. While there are some things that I have not faced, I am fortunate that my parents were sensible to give me an older name instead of something more unique. I at least do not have to face the apprehension from reading my name on a page. These are just some of the thoughts that sprang from my coniousness after reading Lalia’s post. I am glad that I had the opportunity to ready her story and feel as if I experienced a part of her struggle.

We are not white, but  there is something special in our identities and in accepting that. It means to define a piece of a whole. Not all but a piece that helps to contribute to the person shaping the experience and enriching the content. I wanted to say that everything is going to be all right every time I see more article sn post about the rising social climate of race and gender discrimination and injustice. I know that it will only be alright once everyone can accept themselves and start with self. So like Kendrick and the track,

Alls my life I has to fight, nigga

       We gon’ be alright.

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