CATCHING HELL

CATCHING HELL
Cut by: Davita Cuttita

At work the other day my Branch Manager and I had a two hour conversation on race.

To give some slight back-drop, it was a slow day. The people I work with are some of the most tolerant, easy-going, funniest people one can ever meet, and I’d seen everyone’s family photos.

One day as I was doing some French homework on my (personal) laptop at lunch, I showed some of mine. Long story short, my family looks like a UN meeting as a whole but most of the members are Biracial, Black or White. No, no one is adopted.

So as we were dying of boredom, he asked me what it was like to grow up in that kind of atmosphere (which I did not, I didn’t even know I had White family members until 3 years ago when my Dad located his father after being separated from him for over 30 years. My Dad didn’t know either! This shit should be on Maury). The chit-chat regarding my origins started from there until we got around to watching the following clip on “The View” as the ladies talked about the N-word:

We had some quite enriching conversation afterwards and although I disagreed with him on some things, agreed on a few and agreed to disagree on others; I’d say it was pretty reminiscent of all other conversations I’ve had with White people. We’ve highlighted a vast majority of them on the site already and we do have some homies, Black and White; who aren’t afraid to take responsibility and say shit is fucked up for People of Colour. Who aren’t afraid to resist racism.

One of the biggest arguments we had was the way by which Elisabeth and Whoopi presented their points. In my opinion, Elisabeth is a prime example of why Black people don’t talk to White people about the racial discrimination we face:

1.) 1.) They don’t listen (some don’t even care). Now: there is a difference between listening and hearing; if you don’t know what that is you probably come off as a gigantic asshole during racially based conversation.

2.) 2.) They turn racial arguments on themselves. Being ½ Polish and ½ Italian is NOT the same as being Black. We’re not talking about you—we’re talking about a Coloured issue, so shut up and listen because YOU ARE NOT COLOURED so you won’t ever understand. Let us talk and give you a 10% understanding of what it means to be Coloured and what racial issues mean to us (because that’s all we can manage since YOU AREN’T COLOURED). Instead of crying like a baby because you don’t understand, maybe you should be an adult–educate yourself and LISTEN (#1 kinda repeats itself here)

My branch manager had the argument that “Everyone has been treated badly, so what makes Black people so special?” NOW this is where Davita ran up the walls and started pounding things with her fist as she talked (did I mention I’m still being paid well for all this?).

Firstly, Black people are not a “special” circumstance and YES, many people have been treated badly. The Natives are still living in a world of extremely murky shit compared to everyone else. But if you’re expecting us to let over 500 years of prejudice go, the loss of relatives, history—you’re sadly mistaken.

Just as WWII veterans line up a few times of the year to remember all those who were lost, all those moments taken away, all that terror, blood, pain and suffering—just as they are joined by their families and their grandchildren in these remembrances that will continue long after they are gone; so do we as a Black community gather mentally, emotionally and spiritually; every day of our lives.

Our war started 500 years ago and continues today, a war for freedom and equality that (for the most part) snuck through the bushes, into our homes and dragged our ancestors away on ships. Some of them did not make it and life was hell for those who did.

No one war is more “special” than another and there have been thousands in the history of mankind, but they gather and reminisce not only to remember those who’ve been lost but to see what can be done for tomorrow to ensure these things do not repeat themselves and changes are made.

Another thing I had a major problem with was the fact that the BM felt as though Whoopi should’ve taken the Opera or Bill Cosby route and made the issue more “palatable” for the White audience and Elisabeth (who we both agreed was an absolute idiot and sounded like a small dog barking).

They say you can catch more flies with honey and I agree with that in certain circumstances, it is appropriate for us to “spoon feed” these things to the public at large but in this case?

NO. HELL TO-DA-NIZZIGGA-NO.

I stand by my man Malcolm X on this one:

“Let them know the kind of hell you’ve been catching…”

Thank you, Whoopi Goldberg, for letting the world know that we, as Black people have been catching hell for over five hundred fucking years and counting. You are my hero.

Why should racism be “palatable”? What kind of message are we sending not only as a society but to future generations when something as serious and devastating as racism should be something easy to swallow and “dumbed” down not for the masses to understand, but for WHITE PEOPLE to understand?

This sounds like house nigger rhetoric to me; this sounds racist to me.

If it’s not easy for Black people; or any other race to swallow, why should we be obligated to make it easy or even easier for anyone else?

Why do we have to swallow blood, shit and vinegar but have to translate that into milk and honey for anyone else?

Want to know about racism? I can tell you about racism.

My older brother being told, to his face; that “Niggers shouldn’t be dating white girls!” while shopping for baby clothes with his (very pregnant) Portuguese girlfriend.

Me being called a nigger as a child by White adults.

My mixed father being beat half to death for NO REASON by two police officers when I was eight years old. He went to the corner store to get milk for my sister and I’s breakfast the next morning and was walking home alone when POLICE BRUTALITY happened.

When my father took them to court, THEY won.

My mother being kicked in the ribs and spat on by a patient that called her a nigger.

My mother’s friend (who is a grandmother) was driving home last week at the speed limit from her night shift at the hospital (in her nurse’s uniform!) until she was asked to pull over. The White female officer walked up to her vehicle then PULLED HER GUN on the poor woman before asking to see her license and registration.

My mother’s co-worker depressed at work because his Black daughter was beat up so badly by two Police officers last month that she is still in the hospital and her face is now disfigured. When they took her to the hospital they told the doctors “she fell”.

THIS IS THE KIND OF HELL WE’VE BEEN CATCHING.

Look me in the face and tell me racism is not a problem.

Look me in the face and tell me Eurocentric schooling is not devastating to Coloured Children.

Look me in the face and tell me that internalized racism is not a problem.

Look me in the face and LIE.

The part that gets me as well is the fact that when I, as a Coloured person express that YES many advancements have happened but WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO before The Dream of Dr. King can be realized, that White people (the BM in particular) have the fucking audacity to DISAGREE!!

WHAT!?!?!

Just because I can sit wherever I want on a bus, see some Blacks on TV in roles other than maids or racist comic relief, go to a non-segregated school and have a better chance of doing A LOT of things compared to as recent as 50 years ago does NOT mean that everything is OK! Of course, I am absolutely grateful for all of this but the way White people talk about it it’s as if they did us a fucking favour! They threw us a bone! How dare we complain and ask for improvements when I can sit at the front of the bus! We’re living in the same world now!!

No. We are not living in the same world and over 500 years and counting of inequality, slavery, segregation, dsicrimination, racial profiling, racism and outright genocide is NOT going to change in 60 years.

It’s just common sense—if you’ve been sick and paralyzed most of your life; you are not going to be cured in five minutes. You will have to re-learn how to walk, talk, FIGHT, feed yourself, clothe yourself, medicate yourself, educate yourself and take responsibility to ensure this sickness will never, ever hurt you again the way it did.

Let us remember that the revolution will not be televised. Let us remember that yes, there are still White people (and even other Coloured people) educating themselves on racism and how to be better people. Let us remember the millions who have fallen.

My brothers and sisters, of all colours, cultures, creeds, beliefs and sizes, let us pick up the swords of knowledge and shields of compassion and empathy; let us hold hands and going into battle, crying out against injustice and dreaming together.
Let us RISE let us FIGHT as one people out of many.

We’re “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore!”

But to those White people who are against us, who remain safe within the racist priveledge they were awarded at birth; I’ve only this to say:

White People, we Coloured People have been catching YOUR HELL.

THAT IS WHY YOUR HOUSE IS GOING TO BURN DOWN.

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~ by davitacuttita on July 26, 2008.

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