Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Dear America

Dear America:

Hey girl. It is your favorite caramel colored girlfriend. Originally, I was going to wish you a belated birthday, but honey, we have some things that we need to talk about. I am feeling some type of way about you. I mean, you just turned 240 years old on Monday and you are not adulting well. I mean, I really think that you are too old for these ongoing problems that you have. These last few years, our relationship has been strained and so now, here I am, with an ultimatum.

Listen. You gotta stop lying to yourself and others. America, you keep telling folks that everyone is welcome and that you are friendly. Ma'am, nothing is farther from the truth. We all know that everyone isn't welcome. Why do you keep touting that line of thought? History tells us that it isn't true... What you allow in your house shows us, every day, that you don't want diversity here. Within your borders, people (of color) are ROUTINELY marginalized, CONSISTENTLY demonized, REGULARLY disenfranchised and HABITUALLY murdered for simply being. You don't have love for us, girl. And when one of us stands up to tell you just how unfair the treatment that we are receiving is, the clap back is swift. You aren't nice, chick. You allow our children to be murdered; our husbands to be taken. You don't blink when our elderly die in poverty, unable to afford the drugs that could keep them alive. It doesn't bother you that our neighborhoods are falling apart or that we are overlooked for jobs and promotions. You are not surprised and often find excuses for police who brutalize your citizenry. I mean, why do you keep inviting folks to your house if you don't want to straighten up first? You know what I mean? I just don't understand. Why invite family over, only to spit in their faces? That is what you are doing. You are spitting in our faces-- and we have had enough.  

You pretend to love us, but that love is only good if we stay in the boxes that you have picked out for us. You want us to make you look good. You want us to entertain you-- on tv, at the movie theater, through sports and at concerts. But, you don't want us to ever think that we are more than that. We are here to entertain you and the moment we stop, you turn on us like an inebriated spouse. Often you use us for entertainment then for target practice. We are targets for your abuse-- in which you want us to suffer silently. Stay in our place, save face (for you) and do it all quietly. America, girl, that is not how this works. That is not how any of this works.

Look, I want to take this time to let you know that you wouldn't have your house without us. We have been here from the beginning. Actually, darling, now would be the time to remind you that you brought many of us here against our will. And now you are systematically, emotionally and physically, killing the same folks you enslaved all those years ago. America, girl, you are too old for this! Since we just celebrated your birthday, I feel the need to remind you what happened 240+ years ago that brought about your birth. America, YOU are the result of the ultimate protest. Your founders were tired of being shit upon, so they left the game and started YOU. Now, darling, let's use some common sense here... If you have spent all of your years shitting on some folks, what, exactly can you foresee them doing? Are you trying to get history to repeat itself? Are you trying to make an uprising happen? Do you think that we will allow an extermination of certain folks just happen?

America, I am writing this letter because I love you. I love the idea of you. I love being a part of you. Now I want you to love me back. I want you to respect me and other Brown and Black folks. I want to be able to be proud of you when I leave your shores for vacation or business. I want folks to be able to look to you for guidance... not just military or monetary help. I want to be able to tell my daughter that her life will be respected because she is considered a gem in her own country. A gem... not a burden. In short America, I need you to get your shit together, sis. I mean I can't keep writing you warnings about this fucked up behavior. If you keep disrespecting your citizens they will rise up-- it is inevitable. We are not expendable. Our children are not to be used as kindling in the streets, America. Our fathers and breadwinners are not to be brutalized as examples, America. Our mothers and daughters are not here to be assaulted by you, America. We are not expendable. Saying that doesn't make us ungrateful, or selfish or racist. It makes us citizens and it makes you accountable. Stop murdering us. Stop excusing our murders. Just stop it.

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