If you think this is some anti-white anti-establishment rant then think twice!
This is a subject that I have touched on lightly and in passing in the past and I want to go into it a little more deeper and stimulate some feedback from all who read this.
I don’t think that if you as a Black woman or man in this place called America would give me a fight if I said that for the most part we as a people have learned to live in two very different worlds at the same time and must master the subtleties of those worlds like a circus stuntman who has to master walking across the tightrope with no safety net below him on a very windy day.
There are so many reasons for this and I wouldn’t call everyone a sellout who does.
There are some who have totally shut their natural selves down in order to “fit” into a world that oftentimes looks for every little reason to delete you from their system. And when I say “system”, I mean not only places of employment but just about every sphere of life from those rare employment/dwelling/entrepreneurial opportunities down to the basic amenities that most here take for granted.
Why is it like this?
Well, history dictates (And when I say history, that could be as recent as a few moments ago all the way back to when we arrived on these stolen shores against our will) that as a people who possessed no real power for the most part in this system, we had to do whatever it was to fit in and not anger those who controlled and owned that same very system.
As we advanced in stature financially, scholastically and demanded fair treatment in every possible category that any human being would expect in a democratic society because of certain laws that forced pathways to be unblocked that were formerly shut down, we knew that many doors were opened for us against the will of those who were/are sick with a racist mind.
We also knew that there were many ways to work around those laws to get back at us if we didn’t follow every letter to the law every minute of our lives even more so in the workplace. Things have improved on the surface but as I like to say, you can smear some delicious chocolate icing on a pile of dog-shit but please don’t ever believe that it is chocolate cake! If you were so stupid to ever believe so, you will quickly find out during that first huge bite!
So while on paper we “gained” civil rights in a place where the majority never ever wanted to treat us in a civil manner, we still had to fight the attempts of these bosses who were hellbent on finding a way to get you fired from the job in order to affect your ability to provide for your family because many -and this is still in full effect today with so much more “mainstream” citizens than you will ever imagine – do not like it at all when they see a Black person living out the American Dream that they felt was reserved for them and them alone!
I guess I have broken many hearts when they see how well LanceScurv himself lives – not extravagant – but very comfortable because of my ability to live below my means and make a dollar out of fifteen sense! LOL! Eat your heart out! You know who you are!
But this is a serious thing that runs even deeper than we can really comprehend because it has become such a way of life for many of us that it has become the norm. It is almost like that woman who wears a pair of stunningly attractive heels to a wedding ceremony that is two sizes too small, she looks good in them but the pain is unbearable to the point of turning her smile into a grimace.
Everyone around her thinks she is having a good time and is okay but she isn’t really enjoying herself in the moment at all because she is going through the motions to merely look good and refuses to be real and take the shoes off admitting that she is just not comfortable at all!
How many of us speak differently when we are on the job when our normal verbal inflection and accent is fine as it is?
How many of our women are sick and tired of the time spent at the beauty salon or kitchen sink (Got to do it yourself when the money is lean y’all! I understand! LOL!) because they are afraid of going natural at the job and how it might be misconstrued as some pro-black fashion statement that might threaten her chance at an upcoming promotional opportunity at the company because of the recent retirements that left a few spots open?
How many of us merely take the slights and over the borderline racist statements just to not make waves in order to keep that paycheck coming in because of the perception that there is not that many opportunities out there for truly gainful employment in this hungry job market?
How many of us don’t even strive to be better and climb the corporate ladder like everyone else of a different hue from our particular positions as to not be misunderstood and thought to be too aggressive and a threat to those “superiors” who feel that we are as effective as we’ll ever be right where we are and don’t need to “reach for something” that we could never possibly get?
This list goes on and on and while others who are considered the mainstream population don’t even have a clue as to the constant stresses of walking the tightrope between two worlds!
This is the type of low burning stress that will give us high blood pressure and a subsequent stroke, diabetes and mental health issues. No one more than the Black people in corporate America understand the joy and release of saying “Thank God It’s Friday” more than us because we can then drop our guards when we get back home to our neighborhoods and inner circle of friends.
Maybe this is why we are known to party so hard…….could be a factor wouldn’t you think?
But it’s probably true because of the perception of having to constantly measure up behind the strained plastic Colgate smiles of those same anal retentive sharks who will be giving you your quarterly work evaluations and also who will determine who will stay and who will be terminated as the terrifying rumors of corporate downsizing fly like bees out of a nest disturbed by mischievous kids throwing rocks at it.
You push yourself to dress better, speak better, smile under duress and wash yourself of all indications of your proud Black soul even though it makes you ill when you have to restrain yourself at the comments of how Michelle Obama is such an ugly woman when you know deep down inside that she is a beautiful Queen to the highest order!
Living in these two worlds can surely take it’s toll and I have to admit that from such a young age I was taught that while I should always be respectful of those in my midst, I should NEVER allow anyone to bring me the subtle stresses that they use as those undetectable attacks on my psyche designed to make me lose it in the near future when a straw from another confrontation elsewhere breaks my back in some type of meltdown!
No! Not me! never!
My parents taught me better…….
I will never leave my Blackness at the door and if you believe that I will be uncomfortable walking down the fashion runway of this life with all of the great attributes that my God has given me then think twice!
I wish my people would learn to not constrain and bind themselves in the tight uncomfortable standards, rules and regulations of their oppressive workplaces but to focus more in shining brilliantly the higher standard that we all carry within us to set the bar higher to make THEM uncomfortable with the sick racist mind that they possess. If they were all about being true team players then they would not mind WHO shines the brightest as long as the win is for the team.
But for those of us who have lived a little bit of life here in America, we know all to well that what was projected to us upon hiring is not the reality that we uncovered at the overheard conversations by the water cooler that always seemed to cease and desist when we arrived only but a few feet away.
It’s the reality of walking the tightrope between two worlds in corporate America…….the most frightening realization is that everyday when we made it through yet another day we’ve realized that if we were to look down while tip-toeing the tightrope that there were no safety nets to catch us except for the will to survive these hostile environments as we always have throughout our enslavement from the slave plantation to the corporate plantation.
While the perks have improved from the occasional day off from the whip on our backs along with some of the garbage bound scrapings from Master’s now rejected plate to the modern day amenities of taking a company paid chauffeur driven Black Lincoln Town Car home after sacrificing your family time for a few hours of overtime you realize it is all the same. Because YOU have to give up your essence to fit in a world where the emotional/spiritual accommodations were never made for you there letting you know that your comfort and adjustment was never really on their mind anyway. But then again, you smile along and act as though it is not a problem and put on as though you are really glad to be there.
Our only comfort is the escape that we have with each other for those few brief stolen moments that can seem like an eternity when we really want to go home to our world. we have learned to become a sort of “home” to each other while in each others presence when the stresses of the environment come down on us from a smart ass comment from the office pet or a veiled threat from that untouchable upstart to whom everyone know that you have been chosen to teach them everything that you know so that they will eventually become YOUR boss with your knowledge in their head or even replace you when you have been extracted of all of your expertise.
Same play. Different actors. You know the ending. You’ve seen it a million times all your life.
Our mamas told us it would be this way and they were right on point so why be surprised?
Like those wet umbrellas that we don’t dare bring into the dryer parts of the office at work, we all know to leave our Blackness at the door but not me, I am fed up with it and will always walk in their cross-threads waiting for the bullet to hit my skull in the form of a pink-slip. But when you really think about it how could anyone be fearful in their workplace when that is really all they can do…….fire you!
Gain all the knowledge and side hustles that you can and make all of the money OUTSIDE of their little narrow world and laugh in their faces because you and they know that you are now untouchable because of your financial preparedness.
Refuse to walk that tightrope once and for all to do for self and create your OWN empire and legacy that only the God above can take the credit for!
Never shortchange your talents and abilities for mere pennies on the dollar when you can cut out the middleman who can’t stand your presence but will take your money for his advancement!
Deal direct in all of your offering to the world with your talents and abilities and walk like the Queens and Kings that God made you to be!
To hell with walking the tightrope today because only yesterday it was that same noose that was around your neck!
I did it again y’all! Let me hear from you!
Peace & Righteous Love Always!
Your Fearless Outspoken Brother Who Loves You ALL Unconditionally!