Black Love: How I Kept Up While Doing It Alone (AKA: The Traffic Jam of Life)

Let colonizers tell it; we humans are all equal, we are at peace, we are a post-racial society.

Let me tell it, however, and them same folk will come running to me like:

tenor

It’s 5PM on a Friday and we’re just trying to go home, right?  Well, traffic is backed up until forever, but it’s cool, I have YouTube Red.  Where my intersections are, it’s on the corners of Black and Queer.  When I get there, however, the streets are somewhat empty compared to the intersections that were forced upon as a child.  It’s more lively, that is for sure, but the fire bomb markings and slurs spray painted on the walls of my neighborhood from cis people, white people and other Black folk.

I found my little area called home on the internet.  And everyday, I feel safe there, talking with friends about being bald or being Black or seasoning food.  Back in my lane of traffic, in the real world, I’m surrounded by 96% of white people.  That same percentage has been my life since I was 6.  I am 29 now.

When Black people who start caping for white people out of survival, I feel for them; but I do not extend a hand out to save those who are too far sunken.  I’ve had to navigate Blackness and trying to understand my own queerness by myself after emerging myself in arguments about my humanity.  Not just from white people but from Black people who don’t approve of me.  The numbers are small, sure.  But they are loud and this post is to call them out as well as their white counterparts.

Growing up in all white traffic is shit.  I’m the child of military parents, so even though I was used to seeing white people, there was never more than 10 at a time.  Memories of my kindergarten class in Würzburg, Germany tell me that it was most Black and brown students with some white kids here and there.  When I moved back to the states, the culture shock of being surrounded by white children with no discipline was very off-putting.  What was also off putting was being told that I had to act a certain way, lest these white teachers had a problem with me.

Aside from an older Black student grades ahead of me, I had no other Black peer until about 7th grade.  One student was named Q, who became fast friends with me before she moved away a few months later.  Another student saw fit to terrorize me even though I just wanted him to leave me alone.  The last student didn’t seem to like me much, saying my lips were in need of a lip reduction.  I don’t fault the last student; trying to fit into the molds of white supremacy while Black works only if there’s only you.  It wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I actually had class with more than 1 Black person and I was so fucking thrilled.  Since I was so far behind in Blackness (at the time, Chappelle Show was popular; I ain’t have cable), they could clown me, but I didn’t mind.  It felt fucking right and I could laugh right along with them.  In our work release class, one of the Black students got into it with a white pretty boy.  Nigger was said, faces were punched, that wheely TV was broken.  The Black student didn’t get into trouble, if I’m remembering correctly, but it’s been 11 years since I graduated high school.

In all of my 29 years, I’ve had people just decimate my name to the point if someone’s eyes glaze over when I even start to say my name, I just say “Just call me T”.  Which is a shame, because people don’t know how beautiful my name is when it’s said correctly and the history behind it.  And when said with my middle name?

d96

As I sit in real world traffic, I’m getting caught up to speed with Black people, my people.  At the intersections of Black St. and MLK Dr., I would be considered a Becky; just a regular ole basic bitch.  And I’m okay with that!  In society, that is where I stand and I’m not gonna be mad about it.  Traffic is jammed and getting out my lane would be goofy as hell.   I sit in my car from the Black lane, watching the white folk in their lane with their EZ Passes drive their cars all reckless, only getting out during their 3 second red light to walk their pale asses into the Black lane to tell Black folk they just need to put gas in their cars to go.

I had a big culture shock when Tamir Rice died.  I took the internet, trying to find some sort of safe space for me to talk about my frustration with white people blaming Tamir while they have Black children at home.  The culture shock was more or less that I had no one to turn to when faced with this sort of giant racial aggression.  I had found a group that was sprinkled with Black non-men just in time for me to open my home to them when another Black person was gunned down by the police.

When I get home from this congested traffic jam that still won’t leave my body and mind, I tend to my garden that has been tilled, weeded and even torn apart to remove toxic friends and family from my home.  I replace broken fence posts, fill in holes in my yard, paint over the slurs the walls on my home.  I do it alone, however.  Because that’s all I know.

Because of growing up in all white spaces and not so helpful parents, I’ve learned to suffer in silence.  I ask for help sometimes, placing a sign on my car in traffic, in front of my mailbox at my house, but they go ignored, so I take them down and smile because I should have known better than to ask for help.

Asking for help would require me bugging people, so I just don’t.  I suffer and struggle, crying in frustration because there’s only so many queer Black people here.  We’re all poor, sharing the same $10 between us every two weeks.  Our own folk, the cis Black folk, don’t help, because we are abominations to them.  There are ones who preform allyship only to lead a hoard of TERFs and violent men past the broken gates and into our community.  The Black cis folk who try to fight back are outnumbered as well.

Asking white people for help would be like ripping off my own arm and give them a song and dance as to why I’m deserving of the $5 they dangle above me.

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I know that I’m not alone, but because of intergenrational trauma from my parents and peers and white supremacy doing it’s best to sink me.  While I’m on the quest for Black love of self, I will always stop to help my siblings when I can, shooing off trolls and wolves from their posts.  To those Black folk I have distanced myself from because y’all are toxic, I hope y’all do better and get well.  To those Black and non-Black folk with colonizer minds and actual colonizers, I just want you to do one thing when you come across me:

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I’m harsh to people who can’t keep up.  I’ve had to keep up by myself in this slow ass traffic jam.  With the invention of the internet and google and mobile phones, there really should not be any need for me to have to explain why I’m fucking frustrated with people.

“Well, it’s all they know,” you say, wringing your hands together.

All I know is that I can open up Google with just a whisper into my phone and ask it, or Siri or even fucking Cortona about why giving teachers guns is silly, why Black people are frustrated with their mistreatment as American citizens, why why why why why.

All know is that Google and our local libraries are free to access all sorts of information about why the oppressed are sick of the oppressors shit.

“Well, I just wanna hear it from a real person,” you say, like a condescending asshole.

Well, in the time your annoying ass typed out that question, you could have easily typed it into Google, AskJeeves, your Netscape browser.  The information could have pointed you to blogs written by real people who stand at the intersections you are asking.

“Why are you so hostile all the time?  You should be helping our people.  You’re not gonna get people to help you acting like that,” you pontificate.

First of all, fuck you.  Second of all, if I have to be nice while trying to fight off people trying to harm me, you can get a boot to the face, too.  Thirdly,

 

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