Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Eyes Open

On November 24th I peacefully protested the systematic devaluing of black and brown bodies.  I saw so much anger and frustration.  Inside my soul was crushed at the institutionalized racism that perpetuates society.  I have written my experience down.  I share my firsthand experience because it is so very different than what the news outlets are telling you.  I am sharing my truth in hopes that it will inspire you to find the whole truth.  Don’t believe those who profit off the villianization of blackness.  Listen to those who were there.  Those whose eyes were opened.


Walking towards the Ferguson Police Department building my eyes were open.

I was in the street with a sign. 

#FERGUSON

Doing what my parents have always told me to do.

Stand up for what you believe in.

I was standing.  My eyes were open.

I saw the policemen dressed in bulletproof vests, helmets and shields.  I saw them maintain formation.

How absurd I thought to myself.

They stood masked, plastic soldiers. Was their expression fear?

But they are the ones who have weapons to kill. 

And there we were, masked in disappointment and dressed in bullet non-proof anger and rage.

Angered because no one has the right to place greater value on a life because of the color of the skin it is encased in.

I walked away from the scene.  Stood by a light post and cried because his bloody body stained the street.


I heard
Fuck the Police

I yelled                                                           Fuck the police*

*(just the racist, homophobic, misogynist ones)

I’ve always been wary of absolutes.

 - - but our society is in black and white.  Right?

I held tight to my friends’ peacoat.

Squeezing my other friends hand             tight.

I was scared. 

Standing there.  I watched

My eyes were open.

I was right next to a reporter  (middle aged, white male, gray hair)

When the tear gas started I was frozen.

I looked at him (because I still look at middle aged white males with gray hair as if they will always have the answer)

He kept talking to the camera as the camera man shouted

                                    Steve get in the van!

Steve stayed right where he was.  He looked through me.  Another black girl.

Sometimes I forget

I am just

black

girl.

Another body filled to the brim with stereotypes. 

Skin the color of sin.

I hear a pop and I was engulfed in smoke.  I ran to our meeting point  - the auto shop.

For one second I was alone.  Then

Fabian
Natasha
Sam

Where is Dan?

Where is Dan?

                        “Dan!!!”

I am coughing.  My eyes are watering.  My throat begins to throb.

I try to climb up a large ledge and I can’t.

A man helps me.  He says I need to leave now.

Black and White hands pull me up. 

Pulling my stone body.

Now smoke is rising on my right

I try to climb a short black fence.

Hop the fence

It seems to be simple enough.  I can’t.  I am stuck.

Straddling the fence.  My body won’t do

 what I’m telling it to do.

I stare at a reporter (middle aged white male, brown hair) a mask over his face and eyes.

I know he sees me.

My eyes were open.

But sometimes I forget.  I am just

 black

 girl.

I yell

I can’t do it!

    and then Sam’s palm is in my palm
and then I am over the fence.

Running coughing

Another pop and a cloud of smoke.

I can’t see
now I am crying, coughing.

Then hands guiding me.

Water in my eyes.

I am sobbing into someone’s shirt.

I don’t understand.

So much pain in the world.

I am empty.

My eyes are open and all I see is the black of night reflecting like a mirror the color of disappointment and rage.


That night must not be characterized by burning stores and looting.  There is so much more and that’s the shit that didn’t make it to CNN.

I am still very shaken.  Though I theoretically understood about the militarization of the police, that night changed me forever.  It was like a war-zone and not because of the protestors.  We all need to wake up.  Wipe your eyes. 

Educate yourself.  Educate others.  Recognize privilege.  Have empathy.  Realize we are all a part of the change.

Dismantle these oppressions in your daily life.  Be an ally.

It’s all connected.  To break one we must destroy them all. 

Police brutality

Racial profiling

Patriarchy

Classism

               Sexism

               Racism

                 Homophobia

                                                                                                               


Fuck the system.  Fuck the norm.

With opened eyes change can be achieved.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Breakdowns and Hipsters


Last night I had my first real college breakdown.  I was in my dorm room clutching my pillow, crying into the receiver while my Nana and mommy attempted to mollify my incoherent words.

I miss home.  Like, I really miss home.  

The Mimi I am supposed to be shouldn’t be homesick.  That girl is too much of a badass to be missing her mommy and daddy.

But I am no badass.

If its not blurry...is it even a family picture?


College is fun don’t get me wrong.  It’s full of interesting people and new experiences. I’m taking incredible classes…

In my History class on Black Women (fuck yeah!!) we get to do a research paper (paperzzz 4 lyfe).  I am writing about black female sexuality during the Harlem Renaissance.  Did you know that their was a Jazz singer named Gladys Bentley who perfomed in a tuxedo and sang songs about “women loving women” and that was the 1920’s.  And more than 80 years later we praise Mackelmore for giving a voice to the LGBTQIA+ community… 

A part of me is happy to be away from home. 

Freedom is pretty incredible.

For example, this morning I was feeling very overwhelmed.

In the process of recovering from the events of last night I physically couldn’t look at the walls of my dorm room for one more minute. So, I rode my bike to this breakfast place and had some French toast and over-priced apricot tea.

After, many failed attempts at reading Their Eyes Were Watching God (Ebonics are hard to read tho), I went outside and watched the hipsters pass me by in a stream of Doc Marten’s and thrift-store jeans. 

Being my typical eavesdropping self, I listened in on a women discuss how her “FOX obsessed mother is addicted to religion” and her “shitty father is still fucking that 20 year old name Kim”.

Obviously, I driven to create this elaborate image of Kim in my mind, which led to tracing the next 50 years of her life.  She will soon become a nun, eventually leaving the convent to follow her dreams of being a country western star and finally find God again after her D-list celebrity status can’t get her a spot on the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars.

But as [nameless hipster-ish 20 something] continued to talk about her shitty parents I found myself calling my dad. 

Before I knew it I was awkwardly crying in public, trying to hold my shit together as much as possible.

“Change is good”.  God I hate that saying.

Change is hard.  Change is beautiful yet terrifying.

I feel like a ball of yarn with all my emotions intertwined.

I just need to unravel.

Even as I write this I am still trying to hold it together.


But aren’t we all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Leaving the Suburbs


At the end of the last episode of Freaks and Geeks Lindsey gets on a hippie bus to follow the Grateful Dead instead of going to that weird achievement math camp at The University of Michigan.

She lies and goes against her parent’s wishes, finally taking ownership for her life.





Thats how I feel about going to college.

Like the future is this big, unknown, beautiful scary thing. Like I'm finally getting to choose my life, just like Lindsey Weir.

I have been waiting my whole life to go to college.  To go to a place full of open minded, free thinkers.

Up to this point, I have partially defined myself by my surroundings.

That’s where this blog came from.


It was birthed out of my utter frustration concerning my life.  The town I was “stuck” in, the mindset of the people I was “stuck” with…

The genesis was my desire to fly from the jail bars disguised as picket fences

^^^(…I definitely just exceeded my teen angst limit for the day).

Throughout this whole experience I have developed my sense of self, based on what I am not.

But that is a flawed understanding of self-awareness.

Tomorrow I leave for college.

I have finally escaped the suburbs...

But the truth is, you can never escape who you are.

You can never run away from yourself. 

Maybe that’s what I was trying to do all along. 

Instead of accepting my true self, quirks included I blamed my own denial on my environment.

The truth is I’m not fundamentally changing and the world isn’t either.

But college is a time for introspective thought and regretful Friday night behavior.

I’ll have more than enough time to discover the authentic me and do some pretty rad shit at the same time.

I hope you guys join me because this feminist ain't in suburbia no more...