It's been a minute since I have written as I have been using my other platforms for social justice and awareness on the daily.
SO MUCH has been happening EVERY DAY since the beginning of the year as well as late last year, that I've been sharing insights on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
I'm not one to delete my page because someone disagrees with me or I'm seeing too much of this or that. A lot of people have, which is your choice, but it's very clear that this is the first time for many in America, particularly White America, to be uncomfortable far more than they are used to.
Imagine being White in America right now...
I couldn't even begin to know what processes they are going through; many just now learning of the 400 years of injustice in our country. That everyday, People of Color are treated unfairly by their race at work, stores, banks, schools, on the street jogging, in their apartments sleeping, walking down the street in a hoodie from the store, coming home from getting tea at the store and having a ski mask on because you are cold, only to die from all of that.
All because of the color of our skin.
I couldn't imagine what it's like for White America to realize, fully realize that no matter what your political affiliation, worldview, or whatever, they get to walk out of the house with a natural VIP card.
I've been enlightening some of my White friends on this. Until they saw what happened on January 6th at the Capitol, they really didn't see how great they have it, no matter what class they are in.
They are VIP because of their skin.
An example and question for my White readers.
You are going out to a gathering (pre-pandemic) one evening. It's a pot luck.
How do you get ready for it?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you most likely, make a potluck dish, get ready and go to the dinner, yes?
If you are Black or another person of color, if goes a little something like this...
"Okay, there's going to be a mixed crowd there tonight, mostly White (in my town) and I won't know everyone. I need to dress nicely and make something that is tasty and White people friendly. Tacos? Truffle Fries? No, Saja, just make something good, girl, you know you can cook!"
"Ugh, I HATE walking into these things and ALWAYS being one of the only Black people here. The guys mostly talk AT me and the girls are mostly scared. More often than not, I have to be the first person to talk to them. God, I should just stay home. I'm so sick of this shit."
"Why the hell did I move here?!?"
And down the rabbit hole I go...
This is my scenario for parties, I have one for going to the store, clothes shopping ("Talk as White as possible so they don't think you're a thief."), concerts, you name it.
It's not just me. This script runs through every person of color. They may have a different take on it, but the plans are very similar.
I wish we could just hang out at a party, go clothes shopping without being watched, not get pulled over for nothing, denied housing due to the neighborhood, etc.
I shop mostly online now and not just because of the pandemic.
So, White America, I couldn't imagine what you are seeing for the first time in your privilege, but as you can see you probably haven't ever had these conversations outside of being nervous on a date, first meeting or potluck. Once you are there, it probably goes a way a little bit.
For most of us people of color, it's our other "special party guest" all night; our other friend at the store, or in the car in a new part of town.
We carry this anxiety of exclusion and suspicion like it's a part of our bodies.
It's never not been there.
America has made sure of that.
January 6th showed a side of White America we people of color have always seen, but many of you are seeing for the first time.
It's not pretty is it?
You are facing yourselves now. The mirror has been cast.
Look within. Look at each other.
Imagine being treated, like the Capitol was that day, for 400 years.
Have the conversations with your family.
Have the conversations with us.
I'll be excited to go to a party without my "special party guest" one day soon.
We all will.
Much love and light,
You can follow me on Twitter @ButlerSaja
Saja Butler has been playing the banjo for 22 years. She loves Music, authentic connection, Life on Earth. and our Grand Universal connection.