I am guilty of prejudice too. I have been in Walmart and scoffed at young black American men walking through the aisles with their trousers hanging beneath the waist of their boxers, entire top row of his teeth overlayed with gold, and the matching gold necklace big enough to hang himself dangling around his neck. “Smt! Why they have to do that? That looks so freakin’ stupid! They look so ignorant man!!!” Voicing my total disdain and annoyance. Ofcourse not for them to hear me because, “He looks like a thug who would probably try to kill me if he…”
I have looked at my young black sisters with their eccentric clothing and their bright colored hair extensions and think to myself “Lawd she look ghetto! Why my people gotta bring so much attention to themselves?!” BUT ofcourse I would never say that out loud because “she would probably wanna fight me if she…”
The question now is “why did what those people look like and how they chose to express themselves ignite such a NEGATIVE response in me?”
An even more chilling question, “If I had the AUTHORITY to do something about it how far would I go to do it?”
Had it been a light colored brother of a different ethnicity, would my response be different? Would I even stop to care? I look at full body tatooed white people with punk rock hair and think “interesting” …but not “ghetto”…🤔
Had I been in Nigeria or some other part of Africa and see a native woman clothed in colorful Ankara or one of their men walking around in a skirt, my response would be “well thats just their culture”
Today, I question “WHO was it, that defined what is considered “tasteful” or “socially acceptable” in western world society?”
I too was a victim of prejudice. Yep! Right here in The Bahamas, believe it or not, prejudice still exist, particularily in the corporate arena. It is VERY SUBTLE but its grasps are far reaching.
…Funny thing is, most of the prejudice I encountered didnt come from my European or Canadian employers. In most instances, they were actually the “nice” ones.
The prejudice came from my own black people.
In one work environment I was often criticized by some of my black female coworkers for wearing braids and natural (unpermed) hair. In their opinion it looked “tacky” and “unrefined” for that line of business.
I wont even get started with some of me and my husband’s local dining experiences. How black waiters and waitresses nearly break their necks to serve the table of the party that walked in after us. Meanwhile we’re still waiting for someone to come over and take our food order. Needless to say the arriving party were white people.
WE want THEM to accept us for who we are, but we have not accepted ourselves yet. WE still see in color.
We, as a race suffer from an inferiority complex.
There, I said it!
Until we start reaching in to heal the scars of generational mental damage that we have allowed to fester, we cannot expect anyone else to hear us crying out.
We keep putting a bandaid over a wound that is deeper than the surface, it requires surgery.
The change has to first start in us and then transcend to our children…all of us. Not just the white people!
Then and only then…MAYBE with the next generation, a CHANGE will come.