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War & Racism: Tired Of The Mess
Published:
11/18/2015 5:02:01 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 
   

Last week, we witnessed the murders of some 123 persons in the Paris shootings and bombings of persons simply enjoying the evening. The week before, Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 mysteriously crashed killing all 224 persons on board. According to CNN, United States intelligence said the crash was most likely caused by a bomb planted on board by ISIS or their affiliate. I don’t know about you but I am still asking myself, why? Why must the innocent die? There is turmoil on every shore.

War is present on every hand. And, racism continues to deny its existence. Dylan Roof murdered nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church because in his twisted mind blacks were responsible for “raping our women and taking over the country”. If Roof’s statement is believable and the basis for the murders then in my sane mind I would be justified, or would I, in killing a whole bunch of white people for raping, lynching, hanging, burning, branding, auctioning, castrating, torturing, trading, destroying families, working black people for petty wages and all other unimaginable insidious acts.

Of course, I would not! In my spirit I will always feel the suffering and humiliation of slavery. I will never understand why black people were good enough to build America but not good enough to live in it and enjoy all of the rights and privileges afforded others including immigrants.

Although conditions in this country have been less than equitable for minorities, there is still hope for a better America. And, even if hope is marginalized during our lifetime, changes are inevitable. Whatever my feelings of discrimination may be, I must work within the confines of the laws of the land to reform unjust laws. Roof’s distorted views or insanity overpowered his sanity. When staring racism in the eyes, my sanity overpowers my insanity. It is easy to allow yourself to be brainwashed into thinking something is real when it is not or true when it is false. If you are fed the same garbage over and over again, it becomes palatable; it becomes real.

Racial profiling and discrimination are real. Racial discrimination takes place every minute of the day and everywhere. It’s in our schools, car dealerships, banking institutions hotels and restaurants. I am no different than most black folk who wake up every morning having to deal with “mess”. My days are pre-planned for me. I wake up with my guard up wondering what “mess” I am going to have to deal with today. I wonder why I can’t get a new roof since my roof took a beating during the recent flooding.

My A-1 insurance company offered to patch my roof and advised me to contact the Small Business Administration if I did not agree with the settlement. I refuse to call the paltry check a settlement. It’s just another form of “mess” that I have to deal with. Now, that I have challenged the settlement, my A-1 insurance company would rather cast me into the SBA debt pool to take out a loan to replace my roof that is covered under my homeowner’s policy. How many other folks have had this same experience? So, that’s a fight.

Have you ever tried to return merchandise to a store without a receipt? After about ten questions in front of curious onlookers, you are advised that they can only refund you on a gift card the sale price since the garment has been marked down 50% of what you originally paid. I would accept that as the rule of fairness if I had not witnessed a white woman return a “worn garment” without a receipt or price tag for a full refund with only one question asked, “What seems to be the problem?” And, the woman’s response was “it did not wear well.” That’s a fight!

Every day the average black American struggles with whether someone will “mess” with them on their job. Y’all know what I am talking about. Ms. Supervisor comes around just looking for something to get rid of you so she can bring her friend on in your position. In the first place, you are already out performing her and receiving subordinate pay. Yet, you are constantly being picked out to be picked on. You are knee deep in debt and your job is the only means of survival for your family. That’s a fight!

Someone steals your car. You report the theft to the police and the insurance company takes two months to resolve the claim. You live in a black community and the car was stolen from your yard. You, the owner, is already suspect. First question, Did someone steal and destroy the car so you can collect the insurance? Your car is your only means of transportation. The adjuster tells you your rental was approved for one month but it takes him two months to settle your case. What are you to do, walk? That’s “mess” and that’s a fight!

You are a small black business owner but you really are not supposed to own anything. You put in over 100 hours a week just to make ends meet. Why is it that when a white person visits your job site and sees you working alongside a white person, they immediately approach the white worker thinking he/she is the person in charge? That’s a fight!

If I were citing the top ten acts of discrimination this one stands out as the most ridiculous. You live basically in an all-white or overwhelmingly white neighborhood and a white sales person rings the doorbell and asks for the owner. Who the hamsandwich do you think you are talking to? Dah! That’s a problem Mr. Salesman? And, that’s a fight.

The list goes on but the point of this article is to stir your conscience towards acceptance and stop talking about I don’t understand what “those folk” want. “Those folk” are black folk and black folk want the same things that other folks want. And, contrary to public opinion, “those folk” are here to stay.
 

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