This month the theme was to celebrate men. Honestly, why shouldn’t we? Especially with everything going on, celebrating the men in this world is more prevalent than ever! I am going to be honest with you guys: it was a struggle writing this one. I have so much that I feel, so many things that I want to say, that I fear that I can’t properly convey them on paper.
When my job told us that they wanted to have a meeting about the things that is going on in our world, I couldn’t believe it! Most places of employment sweep things under the rug and act as if nothing is going on. They had a meeting with us and soon after, I had an emergency meeting with my team.
Initially, I was focused on being a good leader. I wanted to make sure they were okay. Then, I had a meeting with other managers. The feelings that everyone had were so raw and transparent. Everyone (as a collective) knew what is going on in the Black community is wrong and unjust.
Except for one.
Short of the long story is this:
A manager called and expressed how one of his Caucasian associates felt that she was being attacked by the Black associates and wanted to see if a woman could take to her. I introduced myself and the first thing she said was:
“Look, before we start, I want you to know that I have a black boyfriend and a few black friends. I am in no way racist!”
I politely interjected and explained to her that it was inappropriate to start a conversation with anyone, African-American, or not, with that sentence. I also tried to explain how it could imply that she is fetishizing Black men and she possibly had a few “token” negroes for appearance purposes only (You know the ones that are racist and try to have black people around them so they can appear to be an ally.)!
She went off!
She was crying and saying that she was a victim. Let’s be clear, you don’t have to state that you know Black people in order to make me feel safe. Black people don’t care that have you have Black friends—it doesn’t matter. Do you guys know how many people will “date” black, but are just as racist and the ones who calls us the N-word to our faces?! If you think about it, they are worse.
You can date and have all the Black friends you want—it still won’t mean a thing. You dating our people, trying to befriend us means nothing if you do nothing!
You can still be racist, prejudices and just as complicit as the three officers, who stood by and watched their fellow officer brutally murder George Floyd! As my Momma taught me, “A snake will always be a snake, and rear all its heads!” Your privilege and racism will still be seen, and it won’t mean a damn thing.
Knowing us and dating us will not save you when the time comes for you to step up—and you don’t.