tupac and mis-education…

Yes, I realize I am a white female, formerly of upper-middle class means. Yes, I realize some of you may dismiss my words because of the aforementioned niche I find myself in. But I have eyes and ears, I have used that past money to travel and volunteer, and I have seen and heard things that made my blood boil, and made me fear for those of you not protected by the insulating layer of white privilege I have spent much of my life under, until I stood alongside those of you of richer colors, fighting for change, and your glorious shades began to bleed over onto my embarrassingly pale flesh…

He was by no means a saint, but he was not all sinner either. Tupac was a man of complex ideals, a poet and a provider, an activist yet also someone who spent more than a few nights behind bars, often admitting to the 9 kinds of wrong he had been up to, and often not, as the case may be. But do the negative aspects of his life necessarily negate the man’s entire existence? I think not, and hope for my own sake that I am correct, or we all will be in for a world of hurt in the afterlife…

I re-read Woodson’s “The mis-education of The Negro” recently, and the words seeped into my soul as they did dozens of years ago, in becoming aware that what African American children were being taught later “crystalized into deep-seated insecurities, intra-racial cleavages, and interracial antagonisms.” How can a book written in 1933 be so relevant today, heartbreakingly correct STILL in the admonishment that we are literally forcing a sub-par life onto some of our nation’s best and brightest?! How can race STILL be an issue, in the year 2016CE??!!

So while I finished up another paper detailing another painting of white people by even more white people, I am listening to Mary J and Tupac and Erykah and thinking how different my life would be were I born in Color… I am wondering why we insist on white-washing our history, our nation, our children, and yet, millions are spent at tanning salons every year in the good ol’ US of A, presumably to make us white ones darker… anyone else see the fucked-upped-ness of that situation, folks?! This still feels dangerous to me, this intolerance that has not for one second let up. Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Dubois and Washington and Haley and Hurston and Hughes and Ellison… all dead and gone, and everything they stood for and stood against, namely the uplifting of the African American and the defeat of bigotry, people, is still a struggle here and now, today, right this second on our collective experience. Isn’t it about damned time we let all this hatred and fear go, and embrace the possibility that we can be great together? She sighs and heads into the kitchen to make popcorn and coffee, too upset to eat a real dinner, and realizes she will not let her child relax with friend this evening, but will lecture them and get them to embrace their inner activist, in the hopes of a brighter and more colorful future… exit stage left, cue curtain.



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