I try to dig into social issues with grace and grit. After the latest scandal to distract America, Kanye has become the most quoted person in a while. Making sure to keep my pulse on the reasons we are currently being distracted (Thanks Childish Gambino) I continued to think through the multiple responses to Kanye. In my expertise in over analyzing everything, the only thing I came up with, is that perhaps Kanye hasn’t considered the psychology of slavery and oppression on all of the players involved. Like any great game, everyone has a role, whether they know it or not.
Imagine being in a strange land. Sounds fun, right? 2018: I can’t wait to travel the world with my closest friends…or maybe even strangers, so that I can fully immerse myself in the culture. During slavery: We’ve been stolen from our homes, raped, killed, practically starved and living next to bodily wastes and dead people on the way here. When we got here, we were sold away from our family to people we don’t know, to do work in a strange land we’ve never experienced. We don’t know what we did to deserve this, but whenever someone gets out of line, they cut off parts of their body, whip them or even kill them and display their bodies for us to see. Sometimes for days.
Starting a family in 2018: I mean, I don’t know if I want to marry and have kids or just live my life. Do I want to be tied down like that? I rock mommy status better than anyone I know. I even have a blog about it to go with my vlog on Youtube. During slavery: After being raped, I bore my third child in 4 years from the master. This one is lighter, but she’s a girl. Will she be sold and raped as well, or will she work tirelessly in the fields? Which is the better life? If only I could raise her instead of the kids of the ones who own us. What I’d give to be able to nurse my own child, care for my own child, live with my own child…protect them. What is a mother without her child?
Dating in 2018: Man, I don’t know if I like him “like that” or if he’s just a friend. Race doesn’t matter, I just hope I don’t get raped or killed. Girl, I’ma shoot you a text with his info just to be sure. I’ll also post on social media so you know what he looks like and judge how much fun I’m having. During slavery: I was captured with my husband, but someone else bought him. I was told he died a few years back. Right around the time he found out I gave birth to the master’s second child. I hope he knows it was rape. Maybe he’s better off dead.
Religion in 2018: I was raised Christian/Catholic/Witness/Muslim/Seventh Day/ but now I’m finding my own way. The more I learn, the more my views change. I’m exploring literature and customs of different religions. Man, I wonder how my African ancestors served before colonialism although my family tells me only the way I’ve been raised is the right way. Something in my soul disagrees. During slavery: We can’t praise in the ways we did before, yet they are telling us that according to their religion, we are supposed to be their slaves. They teach us their religion, but they won’t teach us how to read. We can’t hold a service without them. They tell us, we aren’t allowed to be saved either. We aren’t human enough for salvation. This is the only religion my children will grow up knowing.
Colorism in 2018: Girl, you out here sunbathing, knowing good and well the guy you are trying to talk to only likes light skin girls. My melanin is popping, don’t come to me with the foolishness. I bet she thinks she is cute because she is light. What are you mixed with? You look so exotic. I’m black. During slavery: If you’re dark, you’ll be working in the filed, but at least you are less likely to get raped. Less likely, but still highly likely. You’re more likely to get killed, though. I’m mulatto, and it’s the worse of both worlds. I’m hated by the slaves outside and the whites inside. How could my own father sell me? He knew what would happen to me. If only I could pass for white and escape. Where would I go?
Protesting in 2018: They out here being fake woke and complaining about everything like America owes them something. Serves them right they got shot. They should have done this, that and then third and maybe they wouldn’t. But they weren’t doing anything wrong. They just wanted their choices like every other people. They were exercising their constitutional rights. It was never written for them; nor was the police made to protect them. Do your research and you would know that. The second amendment must be defended at all costs, especially in the hands of the police. Dead if you do and dead if you don’t unless you reach a certain celebrity status. Then they tell you not to protest because those are no longer your realities. During slavery: If any slave escapes, bring them back or kill them. Where would we go? We don’t know the area. We don’t know anyone. We’ve seen the bodies of the ones who have escaped. I hear some have made it out, though. Do I attempt to live and die trying, or do I just live dying daily?
Same outcome on some despite the change in times. There was no choice. There is just 400 years of fighting. Each sacrifice is hopefully one step closer to equality. Although this may not be every person of color’s reality, then and now, don’t misunderstand the psychology of the institution.