The Day After
I’m sure there are going to be several think pieces to come out in the following days analyzing the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election. Unfortunately I’m not that enlightened, thoughtful, or self-reflective…. so this post isn’t that.
Despite everything going on I think I’m working through the stages of grief pretty quickly. I’m somewhere between “acceptance” and “ready to pop off on the first person who insists that I address that man as President Elect.
I know it may feel like the world is unraveling, and if you are a minority you have probably lost what little faith you have in our country and fellow man. Because I have a big heart, I’ll let you in on how I’ve managed to cope and prepare for the pending end of days.
I feel that as minorities, especially minorities in corporate America, we have a tendency avoid awkward cultural exchanges. Like when you come to work with a new hair style and someone asks you if your hair is “weaved.” Or when your co-workers ask if you voted for Obama because he’s Black. Typically we take the high road and try to have a polite, surface level exchange, knowing full well that regardless of what you say, you are now the voice of the ENTIRETY of Black America…. So don’t fuck it up!
You change the subject and act like you have no idea what they are talking about.
Obviously this polite shuck-and-jive has gotten us nothing…. Actually I take that that back. It’s gotten us Trump.
The time for social niceties is over.
*Please cue the pending deluge of White Tears*
From now on I’m starting my work day with the most hood-trappiest of trap music, and I’m NOT turning it down when I pull in to the corporate parking lot. It’s about to be all bass, allllll day! I typically try not to play music like that when I pull up work. Before, I didn’t want people to get the wrong impression of me. You see, I thought respectability politics were the expectation in this world, and I didn’t want to violate that social mores. Clearly I was wrong. If the future leader of the Free World can talk aabout grabbing folks by the pussy, I can listen to Killer Mike in the parking lot.
On November 9th I declared my Independence. 2017 is about to be the year that Zero Fucks Were Given. I’m starting my marathon of Unapologetic Blackness tah-day….and y’all are just gonna have to be mad. I pray… I hope… I WANT someone to come at me with some dumb shit!
“Can I touch your hair” *as you reach your little grubby hands towards my fro*
Do I look like a dog to you?
“Your name is so unique! Where did it come from?”
“You’re so articulate and well spoken!”
I’m a college educated American… are the majority of your friends stupid?
Now I know the more moderate people out there are pleading with us to let go of our anger so we can all come together like one big happy country and move forward. That the time for divisiveness is over and at the end of the day we are all Americans……
Well I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t the fucking Brady Bunch.
I’m all for unity, togetherness and understanding…to a point. You lose me when its promised that we’re going to “make America great again.” You see, again is a funny little word. That two syllable, five letter word means so much. Specifically it’s defined as “returning to a previous position or condition.” So what previous “position or condition” have people in my country longed to turn back to? Back to a time when Blacks couldn’t vote, share the same space.. live free? Or a time when women were expected to be housewives or secretaries or didn’t the ability to make choices regarding their own bodies? Back to a time when it wasn’t safe to openly love and marry a person of your choosing?
I once had a coworker ask me if I could pick a different era to live in what would it be. Clearly it escaped her that anything pre-1990 was a tossup on which one of my basic civil liberties would be violated. And HELL NO I didn’t want to live in the 1920s. Yeah, flappers were cool, but who wants to be fashionable and lynched on the same day?
So, no, I’m not ready to kumbaya into the eve of a Trump presidency. Instead I’m going to put all of my Blackness on display – in full force. Maybe, just maybe my open expression of militancy will be enough normalize the act of simply living life in Black skin, and indirectly educate others of their ignorance. At the very least I won’t have to bite my tongue any longer, I can fully embrace my petty… but I may wind up having to look for a new job. . . on the plus side my drive to work playlist is about to be lit!
Sorry, still no think pieces on “how to push forward and breakdown the barriers that still clearly divide us in the 21st century.” Personally, that point has already been made several different ways. For me, most notably by Langston Hughes in his classic poem, Let America Be America Again. Nearly 80 years later and it’s still relevant because at the end of the day, your America and my America still aren’t the same place. Maybe they will be one day… but probably not in the next 4 years.