“I’m an open book that no one is reading.”
That has been and probably will be my favorite line to younger people. I’m sure at some point, my elders felt the need to whisper that into my ear, as well.
My love of politics, black people and supporters of our issues often bundle themselves in my mind as one. I can’t fit my way into a two-party political system nor can I easily adapt to the culture of another race or class in which I don’t appear to belong. I can’t fake friendships. I’m ok with being followed around a store because the manager may think I’m stealing because of the color of my skin. I’m used to it. Maybe, I’m just weird like that and I’ve accepted the ways of society. I’d rather work hard and smart, make miracles happen on the job than to pretend to be the CEO’s bestie. If somewhere along the way, I find a friend, I’m happy to adopt him. But, like so many, that’s not my starting point if work and passion is involved.
Our elders often say it’s not about what you know but who you know. That mindset is changing as our tides change in the digital age with how we meet one another. My personality will always come second to my job and passion and I’m confident in that. I can be paid, but not bought and I’m often afraid that I’m so unafraid of other people. I wear my attitude, good or bad, on my sleeve. When it comes to choosing a Republican over a Democrat, I’ll stop you in your tracks.
I am just like so many others with an agenda to change this country. I don’t care if people of other races love black people. I just care that if people harm us, or force us to be what history has proven, that you suffer the consequences of those actions under the law.
I don’t believe our elders are fighting for that same kind of change.
I’ve been cursed out for supporting Governor Rick Scott. My attitude and response was, “so.” I happen to like him and his work. Should I be afraid to say so because I’m black?
I’ve been called the same for supporting a white candidate over a black candidate. My response and attitude is “so, squared.”
I lean toward people who have supported us with jobs, education and even the criminal justice system over anyone that has not, regardless of the color of their skin. That’s embedded in me. I can’t change it, nor do I want to. Don’t ask me to choose a party before I see proof of performance of a candidate and if you do, and your candidate wins without the proper vetting, you’ll regret it every single time. For the party has more power than the candidate. Which is why Republicans have gotten on board to support Donald Trump.
Black people are the only group of people expected to side with Democrats. That’s the reason Democrats don’t side with Black people.
Many, many older Black leaders have been around long enough to have lost their passion for the protest and would rather get something out of politics for themselves. They believe it’s a game. Wait…matter of fact, they know it’s a game. In every era, it’s the younger generation that believes so passionately that our leaders will do the right thing. In this open book of mine, which is me, the power lies fiercely in the appointed, not the elected.
The elected is already appointed.
We simply get to choose from the ones our elders have picked out for us. For example, my Aunt and my Mother, who are sisters, shop for me as much as they can. Don’t ask me why, but I can be their dress-up doll all day long and they’d be happy as unicorns and rainbows. I’ll usually wear whatever they give me. I couldn’t care less what’s on my body most of the time because I’m too busy with a million and one other things.
But, if I’m with them in the shopping mall, I get to choose from the 2 of 5 pieces of clothing they’ve put before me. Stay with me. I’m stating this for a reason. See, they’ve already sorted through hundreds of pieces of clothes, then they call me over. I then get to “elect” two pieces and then “appoint” the final piece in a quick draw between 2 to 5 narrowed down pieces.
And, here I am confused about which one to pick when I probably would have loved the very first item they picked up 4 hours before.
I’m ok with them doing that because it makes them happy and I don’t care what I wear. However, when it comes to politics and Black lives, a two party system is the same as Aunt Allie and Mama in the shopping mall. Analyze this. The brakes should get beat off of someone who tries to force a pair of red boots on me when the black ones are built to save my life and protect my people. Yet, they were in the pile that Mom pushed to the side at the start of the selection process.
This is the age when no one truly cares about the murders of unarmed black men. Some take bullets to the head while they lay on the ground, others are murdered in cold blood while running away and clearly not being a threat to anyone.
Where are our Black leaders?
Why aren’t they pushing for laws that change these kinds of things instead of fighting to have us choose between the final 2 pieces of clothing that we really care nothing about? What Black leaders have done and will likely continue to do, is bash my way of thinking because I think differently and I speak it loudly.
But, it’s because I so deeply care.
I want to see change and I can’t think of any better way to be more vocal than to just say it. I hope for an outcome of equality, not superiority.
Critically thinking Black people, are considered less Black than many who have experienced marching with Dr. King for our civil rights and that’s not ok. We are still just as Black as anyone else. Today, our elders have left you and me. So, we’re on our own, kids. I looked for help with Black caucuses in Florida. I sought help with Black women congress groups. I even accepted friendships so that I could be mentored by Black women who I thought wanted equality for Black people. I was wrong. I was called everything under the sun and it made my stomach turn watching them sell out and lie to our people in churches and town halls across the City of Orlando.
We see the lack of action in the NAACP and the complaints by old school leaders that young people aren’t involved enough. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Young people aren’t agreeing with them enough. That’s the old folks’ problem and not a problem for the youth. That’s an excellent problem to give them and they should gift wrap it for the old. What many of our elders won’t do is tell you they want it done their way or the highway. They marched in the civil rights era. Yet, it wasn’t until Black people returned the actions of the oppressor that government got involved.
Some Black elders readily allow history books to preach and teach that Martin did it without Malcolm.
Some old Black leaders won’t tell you, people of all skin colors, races and demographics helped pave our way. We’d all love to say we did it ourselves. I believe we absolutely could have. But, we didn’t.
Nothing they can say can change history. Much of what happened at the polls that has led us into a race between the current two candidates is the fault of the old way of thinking and if anyone tells you millennials are hurting Democrats at the polls, know this, that’s a lie. Young people helped elect the first Black President and will do the same for Hillary Clinton but with significant reluctance.
Young people helped establish a progressive platform unlike anything in the past. Whether that platform gets implemented or not is a different story. And, young people are forcing the hands of their elders to change the course of voting in this country, even if it means casting a sacrificial vote. Gag. That sounds dangerous.
But, if their two-party system is as good as they say, why should we fear Donald Trump? If it’s their way or the highway, they are now sitting on the byway and underpass because young people are in charge. Just the threat of youth not going to the polls, leaves those who love the status quo, up at night. Change, has the tendency to do that.
To those young people who are fighting for real change, don’t quit. Don’t sell out. Don’t give up. You’ll be the reason why this planet is safer, an herb intended to be used for healing can and will be legally used and war will be no more. I am not just a dreamer. My position on an old way of thinking may sound harsh and it may be filled with words and an attitude that seems disrespectful to our elders, but it’s warranted. This generation is fired up. In order to ultimately see change, we have to be it.