Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta Give the People What they Want

Peace Y’all.

I am convinced of a great many things. You notice I use the word “convinced” rather than “know” or “sure” There is a big difference. But the thing I am convinced of now a days is that people need to categorize other people.

I live here in Allah’s Garden… right in the middle of the Bible belt. Everybody here will tell you what church they are members of. Whether they go regularly or not. My sister claims some church she hasn’t been to in over 5 years. My uncle went to the famous “NewBirth” before it got big. He attended so infrequently, that one Sunday he decided to go to church at the location that he remembered, and the church had moved locations. So he decided to join the new church at the old location. Come on son. You know that New Birth didn’t just up and decide to move to their current big assed location. You know there was a bunch of pomp and circumstance accompanied with the move. I say all this to demonstrate how folks here feel about “dey chuch!”

At home (NJ) it was a completely different vibe. Folks would look at me strange for going to church the way I did. Twice during the week and all day on Sunday. Also people at home were/are familiar with the Gods and Earths. Not that I was righteous when I lived in NJ. But I knew who they were and what they stand for. It’s a different story here.

Here in GA, these 85ers cannot wrap their heads around another option for Original people other than Christianity. They can slightly accept Islam, but it ain’t easy for them either. I used to build with an old NOI Muslim. And whereas people Knew what a Muslim was, they didn’t really Understand what the duty of a Muslim is or how NOI differs from traditional Islam.

I have been righteous for over 3 years now. Before that I was a church going Christian. There is a man who patronizes my office who happened to visit the church I used to go to. I want to say he’s slightly retarded. I want to say that. He gets mad passes in the office and if he’s sane, he has us beat. Anywho… When I recognized the man I went over and spoke to him as is the duty of a good Christian. He now associates me with said church. He asked me last year if I still went there. I said, no. He asked me what church I go to now. I said I don’t go to any church because I am no longer a Christian. That knocked something loose inside him. It was inconceivable that I could no longer be a Christian. He said I had to be joking because I’m such a nice person. I asked him if the only “nice” people were Christians and he said yes. SMH. What are you going to do?

Another patient with whom I had NEVER had a religious conversation outside of answering a question as to regard of my previous denomination lost her mind when I told her I don’t go to church anymore. For real. When she calls the office, she refuses to speak to me because I’m a heathen. Okay.

Even my mother, who lived in NJ for 40 years hasn’t quite wrapped her head around the FACT that I’m an Earth in Allah’s 5% Nation of Gods and Earths. She tells folks I’m a Muslim because my head is covered. Seriously, she doesn’t want people to see me. I embarrass her. I tell her to forward people to me directly, since I am the best knower of my own self. But no….. She has to go running her mouth to people who call me with bullshit. And when I try to build with them, they hang up. I’m just the worst daughter for upsetting my mother so. Easily lead in the wrong direction but hard to be lead in the right direction. The older I get, the more I see and experience that these degrees don’t lie. You can say what you want about THEM but he knew his shit.

Fast forward to about 2 years ago. I go on a job interview with a headwrap. Not a Muslim hijab but an Earth headwrap. Now for those of y’all that don’t know me in the physical, I ‘bout it when it come to my head being wrapped. I know other Earths don’t feel like I do about it, but I just don’t leave the house with my head uncovered. I just don’t. But…. The whole time I was interviewed I catch the entire office staff checking me out in confusion. I walked in there with my good Jones New York black suit on and a black headwrap. Nothing crazy. I know they were looking at my head but I assumed that folks would take the best part. Well they didn’t. I didn’t get the job for which I was ridiculously qualified. This morning in the elevator, a chick who was working there when I interviewed recognized me and decided to get chatty. She works here now. She asked me about my headwrap, since that’s what made her recognize me. I asked her if she knew why I didn’t get the job. She said they had a big discussion about my headwrap. They were confused with why I was wearing it. Some thought I was too lazy to do my hair (too lazy to do my hair for an interview?) and others thought I might be a Muslim. She said they would have been cool with hiring me as a Muslim, but since they didn’t KNOW they opted for someone else. Really? Bitches!

I have decided, since I have to live in this wilderness…. I am going to give people what they think they want. Employers cannot ask you about your religion. But they can chose to not employ you based on what they assume. So, I will let them assume that I am a Muslim. Some employer would pat themselves on the back thinking that they are open minded and are promoting diversity in their facilities. They have heard of Muslims. But not so much 5%ers. Let’s be real. If they won’t hire a Muslim, they won’t hire a 5%er. I get to maintain my 3/4ths and they get to categorize me, though inaccurately. I will have time to correct their misconceptions later.