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Posts Tagged ‘minority affliction condition’

Whenever I see a black person in a negative news story, (which by media studies deconstruction definition will be 99.9999% of the time that a black person actually ever appears in the news!), my heart sinks.  I feel an uncontrollable mixture emotions ranging from sadness, anger, depression, paranoia and vulnerability.   When I become self-aware of my feelings at the time, I wonder if feeling like this is solely an ethnic minority condition.  Is it also felt by minority whites who live amongst majority blacks, when a white person does a crime, or are non-white people the only ones to feel this sense of collective responsibility of our ethnic connections? I know Muslims feel this condition also.

Back to watching the news…. 

My heart sinks at the knowledge of a person who has chosen to do wrong instead of right. 

I feel sadness for any victims at their hands, and sadness of another life wasted in the gutter of a jail cell. 

I feel anger at the stupidity of a person who has thrown away their life in a moment of madness, deviating away from the right decision and choosing a destructive path. 

I feel depression in the knowledge that the struggle of all black people has just got harder in the face of many non-blacks who will watch the news and see negative myths & stereotypes about black people validated as accurate negative facts. 

I feel paranoia in the sensation that all non-black eyes are on me, waiting to see if I am the next “one” to do something bad. 

I feel vulnerability in…..feeling vulnerable.   

And the frustration!  I didn’t mention feeling the frustration. 

Marcus Garvey told us that the black man doesn’t know himself until his back is against the wall.  Like the Biblical (morally dubious) test of Job, I feel it as a personal affliction each time I see one of my brothers or sisters fall, and I know I am not the only one.  Minority Affliction Condition. 

On a universal humanity level I also feel sad anytime I see any tragic news story regardless of the perpetrator’s ethnicity, but I admit I can’t deny feeling an added sting if the perpetrator looks more like me.  I can’t help being my brother’s keeper, but I also know I shouldn’t have to be. 

UPDATE:

I’m fully aware that you can love something so much that you can smother it to death, but as with all things that you love, you wish for the best and pray for perfection.  This maybe an unfair pressure, but without settings our sights high, how will we ever move from the bottom of the league tables of everything?  (There was even a story in the news the other day saying black children were below average in their ability to swim at a certain school age.  Good grief!!)

I know if you watch anyone closley enough they will eventually do something not to your liking, and I am no one to judge as I am not perfect.  But as my brother/sister’s keeper, I shed a tear each time I see them fall, and each time I see them do something I know that deviates away from the family values of knowing right from wrong. I also know that if I ever devaited from right and wrong, there will be keepers out there who will shed a tear from me, and be angry at me, and all the other emotions I described.

This is isn’t about self hatred and this isn’t about striving for acceptance of the white gaze. 

This is about self love and the strive for better days for all of us.  A prayer. 

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