Thursday, April 12, 2012

Small Deaths


This should have really been yesterday’s Supreme Mathematics: Knowledge Knowedge abbt Wisdom; but you know. Stuff gets old. I suppose I could back date it or set it to display next month…. But I am not going through all of that. Just bear with me…

Have you ever really considered what doing the Knowledge to Knowledge entails? It means question what you know or what you think you know. Because there will always be some ways and actions that come because of it. Is it Wisdom or just some bullshit. That’s on you.

Since this whole Martin vs. Zimmerman case, has brought out all kinds of memories and thoughts in folks. Devils are just that; weak and wicked. They never take responsibility for their own actions. They blame it on other folks. Black folks are scary so they have the right to kill us before we kill them…. Even if that wasn’t out intention. It’s what we get. I have never been convicted of a crime, I don’t have illegitimate children, never been on assistance, I have 2 degrees, I’ve been married, my parents were married and college educated, etc. I beat all the stereotypes. BUT… It doesn’t matter I’m Black. And because of that, it is allowed to treat me anyway that a white person sees fit. And should I complain, I am told, “Well it’s not our fault. You Black people – insert bullshit assed statistic---.” Not cool.

The Martin vs. Zimmerman thing is extreme but not uncommon. him/devils do this everyday and sleep very well afterwards. And yes Trayvon physically died on February 26, 2012; but Original people die little deaths every day. And my question is do white people die these same little deaths?

I was 7 years old and in the 2nd grade at a white private religious school. The teacher was giving a presentation on the importance of eating breakfast. She decided to go around the room and ask every one what they ate for breakfast. I was one of 2 Black children in the class…. And parents stop assuming that your child will get a superior education at white schools. Mental death i.e. “white indoctrination” begins there… The teacher got to me first because of the position of my desk. She asked me, “Did you have breakfast?” Now why would she ask that? I was 7 and in a private school. I wasn’t there on a voucher or financial aid. If my mother could afford to send me there she could afford to feed me. I was the only student, other than the other Black student that was first asked if we ate breakfast. I said, “Yes.” She then asked, “What did you eat?” I said, “Grits.” Yes grits. Because that’s what I had for breakfast. I grew up in NJ, but my parents were from SC. We ate grits. Most of my Black friend’s parents were from somewhere in the south and they ate grits. The friends that weren’t directly tied to the south at least knew what grits was. The teacher asked my 7 year old ass, “What are grits?” How the fuck am I supposed to know that at 7? I came along in the era where you ate what was put in front of you no questions asked. I had no clue and told her as much. I offered, “It’s hot and creamy. Mommie putts butter and cheese in them.” But that wasn’t enough for the teacher. Some white child raises his hand and says, “I know what grits are. It’s what you feed to horses and pigs.” Everyone in the class screamed… except the other Black child… and started to make fun of me. The teacher didn’t stop them. But she did ask me if that was true. Again…. I am 7, and I never had any horses or pigs. I said, “I don’t know.” Which was my honest answer. At recess the other Black child came to me and told me that he had had grits for breakfast too, but when he saw how they clowned me, he omitted them when asked and just said bacon and eggs.

Later that evening, after dinner had been eaten, my brother and I were upstairs cutting a fool in our play clothes. BECAUSE…. The first thing any Black child is told to do when they come home from school, church, anywhere significant is to, “Put your play clothes on.” And you are aware play clothes aren’t meant to be seen by outsiders. I heard the doorbell ring. And of course like children we were screaming. “Mommie the door!” as she was walking to it. She looks through the curtain and curses a bit… Back then Mommie cursed like a sailor. She wasn’t the good evangelist she is now. And now that she’s old, she’s trying to get into heaven…. She opens the door to my teacher and principal are standing there with groceries. I recognize the voices, but I know not to come downstairs until summoned. So my brother and I sit at the top of the stairs listening to what’s going on.

“We brought groceries because your daughter told us that you couldn’t afford to eat properly and was eating animal food.” Did I fucking say that? Mommie took a deep breath and called for me to come downstairs. By this time I looked like a hobo… I had on play clothes and had been rough housing with my big brother, my hair was crazy!… which only fueled these people’s suspicions. Mommie brought us all in the kitchen and I explained what I had said. She looked at the white people and asked for confirmation. And they said yes. Mommie, in a calm manner that I was unfamiliar with opened our full cabinets and refrigerator to show them our food. Then she pulled down the container of grits with the Quaker on it to show them. She explained it was corn and then she cooked some for them to try. As far as the horses and pig thing goes, I learned that my mother had some familiarity with porcine and equine diets and made that knowledge born to these devils. She also asked them in her sneaky way if they lived in a house as large as ours. They admitted that they rented. She asked if they had college degrees. The principal did, but the teacher did not. Oh, Mommie gave it to them in a fine mist. They left with new information and the groceries they brought.

When they were gone, I got one of many speeches I have gotten through the years on how to navigate the world abroad… The white world. She told me to be ever vigilant. That white folks had to think of themselves as better than us; and it wasn’t the case. Everyone was equal, but people fell into different socioeconomic categories. And to remember that white folks would always think they were better than Black folks, simply because they were white. That I had to live in a way to show them that I was just as good if not better. That is a LOT for a 7 year old to take in. I asked her why white folks felt superior just because of skin. They could have easily been born Black and we white. Mommie smiled and admitted that she didn’t have an answer to that question. Another shocker. Mommie has all the answers. She could be a seer or an oracle.

Here are the lessons I learned that evening…. (1) White folks consider themselves the default. Anything you do that they don’t seems exotic and somehow wrong. (2) Folks will make up shit to fill in the blanks. The white boy and Black boy did this to me. So that is a universal rule. (3) Your own people will sell you out. Had the other Black person in the class admitted that he had the same breakfast then the white folks may have thought that this was a “Black” thing and not that I was in need of assistance. (4) I learned about the concept “white privilege” and “Black tax”. (5) I learned that there were multiple worlds and that non-white people live in all of them, while white people only live in their own world. (6) I learned that my crazy, hot tempered mother could negotiate the world of white folks. (7) I learned that I had to behave differently around white folks. (8) I learned that my mother already knew this because she had done it before. (9) And I learned that white people will insult you in the name of helping you.

I encourage y’all to post your stories no matter how long. I will also be posting more small deaths. And if there are white people reading this, don’t feel insulted. This is one Black woman’s experiences. Y’all can post your experiences too.