Maybe I’m Crazy…
Just got off the phone with my mom. I’m now trying to convince myself that I’m not crazy. She “warns” me about getting too deep in building awareness in the Black community. She says we’re our own enemy. I try to explain the institution of racism, try to explain the white supremacist construct that many policies still uphold. She thinks I’m fighting against white people. That’s not true. I understand that this isn’t an individual thing & that unity and shared power from all people is needed to eradicate the current system. She says the system isn’t the problem. She says the problem is Black people just don’t want to live a better life. Deep down, I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. But when I talk to my peers from undergrad or read tweets by black men degrading black women, I start to think my mom’s statement holds some truth. So then, why am I making my entire career around community awareness and upbuilding. Why do I spend my time researching the racial disparities in the criminal justice system? Are my heroes whom the government has labeled as terrorists really worthy of my admiration? I could easily be in medical school right now making my family. The holidays always consist of everyone telling me my B.S. in Biochemistry is such a waste. If I’m really trying to fix nonexistent problems, wouldn’t it be better for me to pursue a career that leads to more money? One day, I’m going to stop caring, or at least that’s what I tell myself. But I would much rather someone just tell me that I’m not doing this in vain, that I’m not crazy. That they’re proud of me.
As Omowale Akintunde states,
“Racism is a systemic, societal, institutional, omnipresent, and epistemologically embedded phenomenon that pervades every vestige of our reality. For most whites, however, racism is like murder: the concept exists but someone has to commit it in order for it to happen. This limited view of such a multilayered syndrome cultivates the sinister nature of racism and, in fact, perpetuates racist phenomena rather than eradicates them. Further, this view of racism disguises its true essence, thus allowing its tenets to proliferate.”
This is what I’m fighting against. This is what makes me crazy.