A week of revealing some massive buried wounds, throughout the pandemic. All events presenting mixed emotions of racial trauma. Old wounds with various emotions come up for me on how I dealt with racism in America. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., I Have Dream Speech, “One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.”
A video shows armed forces using excessive force by kneeling on a black man’s neck. Geroge Floyd was pleading for his life for 8 minutes, “I can’t breathe.” Amy Cooper (Central Park Karen) was walking with an unleashed dog knowing it was against the rules. Mr. Cooper (birdwatcher)was advising her to place a leash on her dog, according to the park rules. Amy Cooper was not having it and advised the birdwatcher to stop recording. Central Park Karen thought that her position of authority at Franklin Templeton gave ammunition to call the police feel threatening by the birdwatcher. Mr. Cooper starts filming quarantine Karen reactions as she is pleading and crying for the cops to save her and the dog. The two reported incidents received their punishments for their shameful conditions.
As I watched the devasted news events, it unveils some emotional wounds of past events. The white privilege of people I have come across growing up. I live in a neighborhood that had people who look like me. My parents sent me to Catholic School, which was predominately white folks with a few diverse groups. One black, a few Spanish, and one Asian. I did not understand why I was not around people that look like me at school. Where I lived, I was around people who look like me.
My parents educated me about racism. Remember Sandy; you have two things about you that people are not going to like about you. You’re black and a woman with a working-class immigrant family. At the time, I did not understand his concept. As I got older, whoa did I learn about white privilege.
Humiliated By Others
In high school, I came across a white female student who used the term nigger right in front of me to see my reaction. I did not fear her at all as I had a look of disgust. I replied “at night before you go to bed. Do you happen to strip the sheets off your mattress and punch holes? Place the luxurious linen sheets over your head and create chaos in the project with a burning cross.” She went crying to the principal, making it look like I murder her pride. I said to Sister Helen; she calls me the n-word which violated my rights as an American citizen.
The woman kept crying for her pleas for help, yet, I received punishment. I had to spend a day in detention for one day satisfied quartine Karen insecurities. I never bother to attack her as she lacks the education from her family about racism. The catholic school protects her ass as I can’t speak up. For that matter, I could not record the incident. I am a woman of color raised by working-class immigrant families.
Cruel Police Power To Create Fear
I was driving as a woman of color raised by lovely working-class immigrants parents. If I was ever approached by cop, my father instructed me to keep hands at 10 to 2 on the steering wheel. It’s the summer of 2009, another vision of emotional discomfort reappear. My car was at the dealership for repairs. The dealer provided a loaner from a rental company. Pick up the vehicle and drove off for a smooth ride on the road to work
I glanced at my rearview mirror and took notice of a cop car following me. The emergency lights and sirens activated for me to stop. I slowly stop at an intersection and place hands the steering wheel at 10 to 2. Two white officers got out of their car, gradually walking up to my vehicle. I establish common ground free of looking unnatural. I smile and speak in a quiet voice as I say, “Good morning, officers.” They greeted back and asked for licenses and registration. “Do I have permission to go into my wallet to present to you the documents?” Yes. As I gather my documents, one examing me, and the other take an intense look at the car.
At the moment, I realize I am in a rental car. My car registration and insurance not aligned with what’s on the vehicle. The officer says “do you know why I stop you?” I said, “No officers.” They have stated that the vehicle is coming up as stolen. I had a rental agreement with the dealership. As I present the material, the officers asked to step away from the vehicle. Ma’am is formal procedures to perform a thorough search as our records are showing up as stolen.
A woman of color raised by working-class immigrant parents…..
OMG! My appropriate attire. I wore my red summer slip-on dress with a v-neckline that exudes boldness and confidence. Pair with medium classy heels that show those creamy brown smooth legs. As I got out of the car, one of the officers was not at eye level anymore. He was at shoulder length with me and felt it is not necessary to search for you. They had a keen interest in the car, which cause a delay in arriving to work. They started to phone in other police patrols involved. As I stand outside, waiting for clearance, my mind had my father’s speech. “I am a woman of color raised by working-class immigrants.” The officers could not find anything wrong as they are aware it’s a rental. They informed me it was procedures to protect their safety. Not my safety.
I am standing alone at the corner intersection as cars are breezing by to catcall me or rubbernecking those damn heads. As I presented evidence with a clean driving record, I get a penalty as my parents describe me for being black and a woman. My parents filling up with rage yet calm that was not hurt. Those memories pop up for me as the dramatization of shameful conditions produces racial traumas. I felt the time has come in unveiling my emotional wounds.
Build Trust and Save Lives
Please support your local communities and businesses and raise awareness of racial trauma. Don’t let fear stop you from having an open, honest, and emotionally vulnerable discussion. Ask the beautiful colorful people, “How are you feeling? Let start the healing process and by allowing us to acknowledge our past hurts. Start the healing process as you establish trust and save lives.
Here are some resources to expand your mind into what can you do to support and get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations:
https://www.naminycmetro.org/ – Please donate, volunteer, or be an advocate for mental health