Truth is never neat and tidy and certainly doesn’t seek to please those that have to hear it.
The truth can be gentle or ugly depending on whom the bearer of the truth is. But I often find it seems easier for white people to dish out the truth like a foul tasting medicine almost with a touch of resentment and definitely with a dollop of malice while they force it down the throats of people of colour.
Their truth about being the persecuted lot, the bullied lot, the innocent lot brings a well of pity to the fore while words of solace rush to the forefront of minds in order to offer reassurance that they and their forefathers aren’t the tyrants we know in our hearts we have experienced.
So persuasive are they of their persecution and imaginary genocide that people of colour rush forward to wipe their tears of distress away while chained by the shackles of inequality, racism and general lack of understanding and as we momentarily forget the chains that binds us in slavery and subjugation, the overwhelming feeling of compassion for human suffering bursts forth from every pore in our body as we hug white people tight, dry their tears and promise to be better victims, to not be so vocal in our hurt, to not demand what is rightfully ours and to open up wider spaces in which the white person can comfortably travel through life along with fragility as a close companion.
The ugly truth then stares us straight in the eyes as we wonder what just happened here?
Because though the person of colour came with a mission to unburden themselves to their captor, we’ve been captured by feelings of guilt, of goodness long before we have the opportunity to utter one syllable let alone days, months and years of all the grief, hurt, anger, frustration that suddenly has no outlet like a dripping tap that can’t be turned off but is instead abruptly corked in the hope that it doesn’t overflow.
The cork serving as a means to silence anything from slipping out.
So we play games of let’s pretend all is well as we hold the captor to our weary bosom, rubbing their backs in a reassuring manner and words that were meant to be truth, to be ugly are swallowed back down and instead we utter “its ok, don’t worry,” whilst years of anguish, suffering and despair are forced back down to fester inside us eventually burning holes through our stomach linings.
The fragile nature of white people can’t be shattered by hearing the truth so we place ourselves like shields in front of them and guard the captors with our deep sense of humanity, of ubuntu, which someday will lead us, the victims to early graves with the ugly truth buried alongside us.