Monday, September 16, 2013

Trying Not to Lose My Happy

Somehow Mondays always manage to suck. I'm not sure why, for me personally, at least.  I spent the weekend painting my apartment, which was totally exhausting, and I didn't quite finish everything I wanted to do, but I ended up laid out on my couch by 8pm, so that should have given me plenty of rest to be ready for today. Somehow, not so.  Then, as I slowly get around to actually doing work, I read about the racist reactions to the new Indian American Miss America (racist and ridiculously dumb - she's a every brown skinned person with straight hair is a terrorist, and every brown skinned man with curly hair should be shot - got it!), and I happen to read this blog about Black folks and dating that says what every other post, article, book, comic strip says about Black folks dating, and now my Monday sucks even more.

I have to admit something - I believe in The Man. If you're not sure, The Man is the body of White folks that run the world and uses every opportunity to oppress Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people.  Let me be clear: when I say the body of White folks, I mean ALL White folks. Let me be clearer: I do NOT think that all White folks are bad or oppressive on purpose. I do believe that all White folks enjoy White privilege at some point or other, which is the counterpoint to oppression. And I do believe ALL people are racist.  I do. At some point we've all had a racist thought. What makes some of us better than bad people is that we don't let those stray thoughts inform our actions. Anyway, I've said all that to say that I sometimes wonder if there is some group of White, mostly men, somewhere who have a hand in or at least revel in the hardships of non-White folks. I wonder this when the minimum wage is not a living wage. I wonder this when Black men and boys get shot for nothing, repeatedly. I wonder this when the punishment for crack possession is harsher than the punishment for cocaine possession, and I even wonder this when a well-to-do Black man insists that an equally deserving Black woman should treat him like a king because she's a dime a dozen.

And it's depressing.  Generally, right now, I'm happy. My apartment looks really awesome - it's been my project for the last couple of weeks. I've been going to church, which has been really great. I've been working out like a fiend, which is so much fun. I do a lot of dance workouts, so now I find myself dancing around the house to do everything - take laundry to the washer, make dinner, pick up things off the floor - which I find makes mundane chores kinda hilarious. But, probably, most importantly, I have great relationships with so many wonderful family and friends.  So, I'm happy. But, one look at my Facebook wall and it's so easy for all of that to come crashing down.  Even as I do my thing day in and day out and find some happiness in it, I don't feel like what I'm seeing in the world is removed from me.  Racism is thrown my direction just about every single day; I try my best not to see it (at least not all of it).  The evidence of a lack of a living wage in my area is in the faces of people I see on my way to work everyday; I'm not sure what to do other than feel guilty.  Every time a man is shot, I think of my nephew and his future.  Even while I wait for a text from what could be that special someone, I wonder if he's waiting for me to text him because he's the shit and I should know and appreciate that.  In the mist of my everyday routine - a job that's pretty comfy, a workout that leaves me feeling accomplished, cooking a healthy meal, straightening up an awesome apartment, and talking/texting/skyping with someone I love, a routine that makes me so happy, I am bombarded with the ways in which the world is so depressing. So, I wonder if there are some old White guys on high pulling some strings, pushing some buttons, stirring some pots to steal my happy. I wonder if there are some old White guys who understand that to make me feel small is to make me small. I wonder if there are some old White guys who know the key to my downfall is to steal my happy. I wonder if I'm just one target out of billions and if all this unhappy is a way to keep things just the (horrible) way they are. I wonder if all of this unhappy is a way to ensure that the ones on top stay on top while the ones on bottom keep pulling each other down. 

I don't know. I wouldn't argue too hard if you told me I was crazy, or way more racist than I think I am.  I wouldn't argue too hard if you told me I was paranoid. I wouldn't argue too hard if you told me my imagination has gotten the best of me.  So, all I can do is try my best to not lose my happy and try my best to help others find theirs.

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