Racism is everywhere!
I say this because any POC will tell you that you just never know when you will encounter overt or covert racism specifically because we have learned how to deal with institutionalized and systemic racism and we have almost become “accustomed” to it but sometimes naively racism still shocks us. Even though logic says it shouldn’t.
POC’s are battle-weary because every day is a battle or struggle.
A struggle to be heard!
A struggle to be judged on capabilities!
A struggle to survive in a world that embraces being white!
We wear our blackness with wariness when we are in white spaces unless those white spaces have been deemed safe spaces.
Which one of you willingly goes out every day knowing you have to slay as yet unknown dragons?
Which one of you knows that you will be “attacked,” spoken down to, insulted, etc yet there is nothing you can do but force yourself to face the “monster” and often the “monster” cries that you are hurting it because you stepped on its toe while it’s breathing fire at you?
It’s exhausting and mind numbing and quite frankly I’m astounded that we are still standing.
Which person has to deal with a people that have so much hate in their heart that as they are brushing their teeth and lovingly kissing their children, looks forward to how much they can harm someone out there?
Which person willingly steps into a boxing arena, with no gloves or expertise and challenges the reigning world champion to a boxing match?
We have no choice but to because there is no quick exit for us, no opt-out button we can press when things are overwhelming us!
The opt-out button is there not for POC’s but for white people, to use when they are tired of fighting and dealing with racism.
The opt-out button is used when you don’t wish to engage and rather have a lie in or a coffee with your friends or family.
Unfortunately, while you are pressing the opt-out button we are advancing towards as yet unknown danger. Because the danger we encounter is never the same as yesterday.
New day! New rules! It’s that simple and we have to adapt or die!
So we have to start afresh every day. Every day brings different challenges based on our skin colour. Someone will do something to hurt us whether it’s shouted out, “delicately put,” or our very existence being ignored or overlooked as if that simple act renders us invisible.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired and unfortunately people like Beyers Naude and Ruth First pop up once in a lifetime and they don’t easily push the opt-out button when it finally dawns on them just how much hate, contempt and disdain white people have when dealing with POC’s.
I live in hope that someday there would be no need for any opt-out button but life carrying on the same way for us as it does for most of you.