So last week I was speaking on the phone, to someone I had formed a friendship with over the past four years. He’s a Caucasian male, someone I met in university, someone who also said that my post #Makethemfeeluncomfortable2017 offended him and that I should stick to taking photos (The sticking to taking photos part was a joke, to which I found the humour in).
The rolling theme through our conversations recently have been black women do not have it harder, Caucasian males work just as hard as us, we simply need to ‘chill’, why do I keep making posts like this because it’s causing division instead of unity, us black females need to stop being so angry and we simply need to work harder! I responded in the best, ‘the love of Christ constraineth me’ way I knew possible and said I think we should stop talking about this topic for the sake of our friendship and from there we both parted ways. (You should probably take a break right now and go listen to Solange’s Mad).
What I do not understand is how you can tell us how we should feel. How you can undermine not just my life experience in navigating through this world, but my dad’s, my mum’s, my sister’s, my extended families’ and my black best friends’. Why you think that you have the right to tell us that we don’t have to work harder, when we have felt that we have had to work harder at certain points in our life, when we have faced racism or colourism? Have felt our culture appropriated and are completely bombarded by the media saying that we are less beautiful and somewhat less deserving. That our features look better on paler skin. That our cornrows are ghetto, but boxer braids are high fashion. Why do you believe that you should be able to dictate what counts as racism and what doesn’t? When I’m the one at the receiving end.
I’m really sorry, but I’ve had enough. I cannot be that black female friend who makes you feel better about what you say. This post is not written out of anger, I am actually fully ‘chilled’, lying on my sofa, writing this post. So please, the next time you want to tell me how it feels to walk in a black women’s shoes, my shoes, think again and maybe choose a different melainated sister to share your thoughts with.
P.S. Me saying #blacklivesmatter is not me saying that every life is not of equal importance and all lives do not matter. It’s me saying people overlook the equal importance of black lives, compared to Caucasian lives and that’s why the hashtag even exists. And I know you’re a scientist, so I’ve listed a few articles below with which you can read, if you want to be able to remotely understand what it’s like from a black woman’s perspective.
NB This is not a hate post and this is not me saying I no longer care about your existence. Even though I’m offended, I still care.
Washington Post Here are some stats!
Lupita The black girl growing up beauty complex
Huffington Post ‘Black women are leaning in and getting nowhere’
The Guardian ‘Why does a black butt only look good in white skin?’