On a lovely Friday evening, I read someone’s opinion on Beyonce’s “Formation” video and Super Bowl performance. Then I submitted myself to Instagram on Sunday when the Grammys occurred and watched the world explode over Kendrick Lamar’s performance. Now, we can all have opinions and I respect a person’s opinion but when you’re being vocal about something you will never understand that is where I draw the line – I’m not going to listen to you. People aren’t going to ever understand African-American culture especially when you perceive it as ghetto or use it to try to be unique but would never support the culture. Race will always be a subject to talk about when there isn’t equity when it comes to equality. Yes, we’re considered equal but by all means, we’re not. We might have the same rights as you but we really don’t – our lives can be taken at any moment with one wrong move.
You can not try to tell African-American people how they should feel about what is going on in this country. You can’t say they’re being overdramatic or making a big deal out of little things. These aren’t little things. You can not understand the rage that people are feeling at the loss of another African-American life. That’s where people aren’t understanding. They defend the actions by proclaiming these victims are “thugs” and shouldn’t have done whatever it was that got them killed. Don’t defend that. Black Lives Matter wasn’t made to take away the value of other lives, it was created to point out that our lives matter as well. We aren’t your targets, you can’t defend taking our lives for a robbery while detaining a Caucasian male who is running around with a knife. There’s no equality there.
I am biracial; African-American father and Caucasian mother. I’m perceived as African-American and I always have been. I have been discriminated and it’s taught. For me to be in the second grade and told I couldn’t play with my friend by her older sister because I didn’t look like them and that’s just the start. People teased me about my hair and that made me want to straighten it. The appearance of African-American girls is torn down. Look at Blue Ivy who is African-American. People constantly bring down the fact that she looks like her father, why wouldn’t she look like her father?! “Her hair is nappy, why doesn’t Beyonce do it?” One, don’t ever call someone’s hair nappy. Two, Beyonce can do whatever she wants with her child. The North West and Blue Ivy comparisons need to stop – why are two children being pitted against each other in looks? What is wrong with society? Why are we stuck in a world that is infatuated with African American culture but some don’t want to understand it?
I read a post where someone used an analogy of colored blocks to describe the races and their idea of being taught that everyone is equal and then set against each other by our teachers which blew my mind. How is this possible? Both blocks are being told they are more superior than the other. That’s not true in my opinion. My block of color isn’t learning anything in school that makes me feel superior. Black History Month is ONCE a year and that’s the one month that you learn about Black History but of course, it’s edited to fit society’s ideals.
Kendrick Lamar isn’t setting fire to tension that is already there – he is sharing a message. Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar are both using their platforms to inform people and not everyone has to like it. For people to run around and spat “n***er” with everything they disapprove of, that’s racism but it’s valid because you didn’t like the message you heard. Beyonce isn’t here to protest law enforcement, she’s shouting that she’s proud of her heritage and she’s woke. Not all messages are meant for everyone – Beyonce set out to show her pride and Kendrick Lamar gave a message about modern day experience as an African-American. These are lessons and artists are using their platform, that shouldn’t be a problem. All cops aren’t bad but all African-Americans aren’t bad either but if our race is going to be in a pool where “we deserve what we got” or “maybe he/she shouldn’t have resisted” then authority is going to fall into a category associate with the bad guys. You can’t pick and choose with stereotypes. If you’re going to stereotype an entire race, don’t get mad when you’re stereotyped.
As a woman of color, I’m already at a disadvantage. It’s a disadvantage that if I decide to speak my mind, I’m going to be perceived as an “angry black woman” – No, I’m angry woman who fears for the African-American males in her life especially my brother, I’m an angry woman who thinks gun control needs to happen, I’m an angry woman who wants to see change and a reevaluation of the justice system. The biggest thing I’m angry about is the fact that urban students are doubted and no one believes they’re going to go anywhere. I will always have to be twice as good, heck more than that. Olivia Pope’s father gave a great message on this. I have no shame in pulling in a fictional television show that is woke.
Rowan: Did I not raise you for better? How many times have I told you? You have to be what?
Olivia: Twice as good.
Rowan: You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.
There is no solution to a problem that people own’t try to understand. If you shout that you’re “colorblind”, you are part of the problem. If you defend the actions of officers who chose to take lives rather than get the situation under control, you’re part of the problem. So if you don’t understand Beyonce’s message and think she’s protesting law enforcement, ask an minority their take on the message. If you don’t think Kendrick Lamar is furthering racial tension, ask an minority about their experience and fears. Wake up. Stay woke.