25 November 2014

[25] and also to live as a person of color

I can hear the helicopters hovering over the city, watching over the protests downtown. 

I should write some impassioned post about racism and justice, but it's too much. On top of everything else, it's too much. 

Then I try to imagine what it would be like to have everything else, all the pain and heartache and stress in this life, and also live in this country as a person of color.

I worry about my clients. 

So many people in this country worry about their children. Their children, who are the kid I saw today staring up in wonder at a living statue who was juggling balls. Their children, who are the teenagers jostling each other good-naturedly on the train. Their children, who are the student coming home and demanding that his mom buy bottled water because he doesn't trust the tap water after what he learned in one of his college classes.

None of that matters if they slip up for one split second. There is no room for error if you are a young black man in this country. There is no room for one second of making a stupid teenage mistake. There is no room for being in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time.

It's no wonder people of color are less healthy than white people in this country: to live with the weight of that additional fear and stress, on top of everything else life can throw at you? It can only wear away at your soul and body, when it doesn't kill you outright. 

Jon Stewart said it, months ago, to the Fox-type pundits: 

“Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people? I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity, from the ridiculous, to the grotesque, to the sometimes fatal, at some point in their … I’m gonna say last couple of hours, because of their skin color.” 

“Race is there and it is a constant. You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”

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