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Race and Racism In My World. Most of the time my skin allows me to walk through the days very much unnoticed, very much like Ralph Ellison's the invisible Man, more observer than observed. And when I put on a suit even more so. Posture and conduct become shields. Almost unconsciously we do mental check-offs-- here yes here no, conduct your business, pay, smile, say thank you, leave. My age further insulates me now, as most people will be kinder to an older man than a younger man. Young Black men and women will get up and offer me their seats on the train. Most of the time I decline the offer, unless I feel really tired. It's an act of respect and I accept it that way. Human solidarity. We build these lives inhabiting certain safe places and safe relationships further insulating ourselves from the more vicious attacks. When I dress casually the world reacts differently. My goatee, a Cangol hat, sneakers, shorts give me away. I'm consciously exposed. Of course, a Free Oscar t shirt definitely creates a different response. defines me as a radical Puerto Rican. I don't wear or post a flag, well, cause I need to feel I'm doing something more substantively patriotic than buying clothing. lace sleeved wedding items
Althoug if thats what you can do that's fine with me. We need to support our merchandisers. That builds economic self sufficiency But when racism comes at me, when I'm caught Fuera de base and a racist attacks me, not with the daily petty, diminishing, demeaning, droning kinda bullshit I put up with, but with that hate that seizes every opportunity to destroy. -I'm shocked back into my personal reality. Only me in my skin. No clothes no networks no standing. exposed. naked, I am, a Puerto Rican man in America. Yesterday it happened twice in two separate instances. By evening I was in pain, my back hurt, pressure sky high thumping through my forehead, neck muscles twitching, headache, the pressure wrapped around my chest. Anger anger anger surging through my veins. I was desperately trying to grab on to the thought that I'm a product of good will across the board. The main thing I got out of psychiatric therapy was- replace three negative thoughts with three positive ones. And I use that technique. I think. Chris Lanier. Ann Yeamans, Marcy Doyle, Bob Wolper . On and on and on. The list of wonderful people who changed the course of my life... Gratitude starts to seep into the emotional pit. By night I'm just able to keep my eyes open for the Trump speech. and I run back into the safety of my FB family and friends. Baby pictures, policy debates. We're still rejoicing about the wedding. My family and friends from the southside, Puerto Rico, I read Neva Shillingford-King 's words. Boy did I need that love! At some point I've prayed and reflected on god being with me. The fear starts to leave my body. i'm exhausted and I crash into bed with the thought, today they won but tomorrow I'm gonna organize.