Ideally, you’d think the American dream is all about having a big job on Wall Street, a huge house in Beverly Hills, a yacht or an entire island state to yourself. But it hit me recently that I have been going about this the wrong way for a while now.
What I’m about to talk about is very controversial. I know but, it’s about time.
I see these famous people doing the most. Being extra, topping headlines and I see the things that are being done. In my head, I’m thinking they are just trying to stay relevant but I’m missing the entire damn point and it has been in my face this whole time.
I’d say at this point we as a black race has proven that we are talented. We might not be smart at all this tech stuff but we sure as hell know how to put a beat on a rhyme. We can throw a ball so far it gets lost in the universe. So, we might not be so good at some things but we are so creative it blows my mind every day.
So, I have also come to realise that we shall never be considered as equal with some other races no matter how hard we. We will never be equally accepted.
I’ve grown up and lived my entire life in Africa and I have never been to a white man’s country so, I bet one would wonder what the hell I’d know about racism. Fact is, I read a lot. A lot more than I should because I have all this school work at my feet calling for my attention.
Many are still stuck with chasing the American dream
I watch a lot of movies and everything that I see or read makes a whole lot of sense to me. I spend nights trying to comprehend and sometimes I’ll watch the same movie over and over again until I am sure I understand it.
When it calls for it, I go an extra mile sometimes to find the book on which the movie is based on because books tend to have more details. So, if you ask me I don’t have to necessarily leave my country to know what racism looks like.
You’d think since it’s the 21st-century black people are doing just fine. But no my friend, we don’t even know the half of it. And I’m sure these books and movies aren’t made to just make a quick buck because not more than 20 people can tell almost the same story over a span of 100 years unless there is some truth to it.
A black man is idle but he has got to feed and make ends meet. So, of course bad choices are bound to be made when one is desperate.
When you clearly can’t land a job in the bank or for that matter get into a good school, one is forced to take drastic choices. But as I said, a black man has got to feed! What’s the quickest way to make money? Well, that’s where the drugs, robbery and all the other options come in. And of course, it’s not that easy to deal them and not hit them!
So, there you are. High on drugs all day, paranoid because you could get caught by the law at any moment since its illegal. In such a state, one is bound to make some terrible decisions like shooting at a cop. Before you know it, you are lying in a pool of your own blood wondering where it all went wrong while you were trying to survive. And that’s called the HUSTLE!
That’s when the stereotype nonsense based on the color of your skin and race kicks in. So, the white man is thinking, ‘this is my country and I am going to tame that a$$ of yours! I will throw you in jail until that sinks in or even better take your life because no one will care’.
Growing up and always having to watch over your shoulder will exhaust the hell out of you knowing that you’re probably tied up in some nasty mess like drugs or shady business. Your fellow black man will take you out without even thinking twice!
“I’ll be damned if the white man kills me because of you! So, I’ll kill you first’’. So, there are two people now trying to kill you and trust me, no one is trying to live like that.
After years of being told to put your hands where the officer can see them without any hesitation, to always be polite or early for everything. You eventually realise you being caged in your own head. So, you are forced to make a decision. ‘If that’s what’s going to keep me alive, I’ll just do it’. Because you don’t want to imagine tears rolling down your mom’s cheeks if God forbid you ever got shot.
But with all this, you still don’t have that Wall Street job and chances that you will ever get one are so slim because you are in a public wreck of a school. None the less, a black man has to make ends meet. So you get creative.
It’s time to get creative
This brings me to my point. You get so damn creative and turns out the world recognises you for it. The white man finds it so entertaining that they want to see more. You get back to the drawing board and work at it so damn hard that you discover things you didn’t even know you had in you. And just like that, you blow up!
You finally get that posh house in Beverly hills, join a country club and find yourself sitting at the same table as a white man. But deep down or even on the surface you know you’ll never be half as good as they’re.
Even when you get a black president you think to yourself things are finally better but eight years later you are right back where you started out. But no! You have come too far to give up. You go back to the drawing board and get 100 times more creative.
But at the end of the day, when you go back to your huge mansion you still tell your 16-year old black son to always look over his shoulder. To always put his hands where the officer can see them. And it breaks your heart that even after all you have been through to get to where you are now, your son has to do the exact things you worked hard not to do ever again. Then it hits you. You are a black man in a white man’s world. Tragic, I know.
Being black with our thick skin and resilience instilled in us by our ancestors, we work even harder each day that passes. WE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES! We never sleep at night and try our level best to STAY RELEVANT. Some have mastered the art; others have lost themselves in it while some have died trying to perfect it. That thing we black people keep trying to fight for is called, “THE AMERICAN DREAM.”
Before the ink runs out of my pen, I would like to echo this out to all the black people out there. It’s important to remember where we come from. We need hold onto the pride within ourselves as a race and not let the rest of the world bring us down.
Let’s no case after empty dreams in a pursuit to try and validate ourselves to others. Let’s celebrate life and each other. Let’s look over our shoulders and see the fellow black man that’s trying to do good because BLACK LIVES DON’T JUST MATTER. BLACK LIVES ARE THE DREAM THAT OUR ANCESTORS FOUGHT FOR.
Author: Vanessa Kunihira
Vanessa loves writing about life experiences and bringing different tough opinions to light with her sense of humor. She is a guest writer for Newslibre and also has own blog @ [whatvahnthinks.wordpress.com]