I Am Still Truly Scared For My Black Husband
“To acquiesce means to consent by silence.” –Pastor Michael R. Jordan, New Era Baptist Church, Alabama
Today my Black husband was almost run down in a parking lot. He was walking to his car when he heard an engine revving behind him and suddenly a car whizzed right next to him almost knocking him off his feet. There were other shoppers present and they all stood back in shock. This is the second time in the past two months that he was almost hit in a store parking lot. However, this time there were witnesses. The first time it was just us. A white male fitting the same description from the first close call was behind the wheel. He raced away from the scene so fast my husband could not get his license number and neither could the other shoppers. They all asked, to nobody in particular, “why would he do something like that?”
My husband is wondering if he is being targeted because of his black skin. We are very worried and anxious about this situation especially in light of the events surrounding the acquittal of’ George Zimmerman. Think about what I just said. What is wrong with that sentence? Why should my husband be worried when the man who shot Trayvon Martin was just let go? Well, for those who might not know it, this is the “twilight zone-ish” world that most black men inhabit in America. They are constantly worried about being black men. Over the last few days my husband did not go on his morning stroll because he was anxious about standing out in our mostly white neighborhood. After today’s events we have decided to walk as a family. We hope there will be safety in numbers.
I wrote an article a few years ago titled, “I Am Truly Scared For My Black Husband” and it was first posted at RaceTalk.org in February 2010. It is now 2013 and I am still scared for my Black husband. I have not written for a long time because I have dealt with my own racial struggles as a Caribbean Black woman living in the white suburbs in the northeast. It has been difficult to write about this mess. We elected a Black President but we have a lot of work to do when it comes to issues of race. Many in the black community, on and offline, were sounding the alarm, as well as those from other races and groups who saw a decline. Yet, the media kept putting out false memes about the true state of race. I got fed up and decided to just take care of my pond.
Recently our Black president told the country what it means to be Black in America. There are many who are crediting him for what he said and there are many who are using divisive language to demean his efforts. I have noticed that if you are truthful about your experience as a Black person in this country you will be Blacklisted: even by other black people. I truly never understood what it meant to be “Black” until I was immersed in the everyday life of the African-American experience. It has not been easy living as a Caribbean Black in an African-American family. The learning curve is long, steep, and continuous. My life as a Caribbean Black, although traumatic and dysfunctional, did not prepare me for what it means to be Black or African-American in America. I have learned, through trial and error, that it is extremely difficult to speak about the prejudice, intolerance, and racism one experiences as a Black/African-American in a mostly white community in America. There are Black/African-Americans who laugh at racial jokes told by insensitive whites or other ethnic groups to fit in or to make their lives less stressful.
What is a Black/African-American person who refuses to accept things as they are supposed to do with that?
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