Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-
Well.. it’s Wednesday, and it seems like today has been one of those weird days when you are exposed to the hearts of individuals. So, I’m in this class where probably less than 10% of the students look like me or have walked through similar life experiences. Literally, there is only one other African American female in this class with me. There is only 6 African Americans in my law section and only 20 African Americans in my graduate class which consists of approximately 209 students. This breakdown is very important because today we discussed a government provision being used (stretched beyond) its initial purpose to create a moral avenue in eliminating discrimination for African Americans to utilize public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and etc…
For a moment I would like for you to imagine yourself as an African American female (me) sitting in a room of your peers and hearing all of these arguments on how the government abused their power and should have went to the legislature to rid of those discriminatory concerns… I sat and I thought about the same legislature that for a period of time did nothing to rid the lynching of Black Americans, or the same legislature that for a period of time turned a blind eye to Japanese intermittent camps, or the same legislature that for a period of time disregarded the concerns of equality for women’s rights. Maybe I am being a cynic, a skeptic, or a very pessimistic person and if that’s the case – oh well, but at the end of the day: history has demonstrated to us that if we leave it up to various individuals to make decisions for the minority group, those in the position of minority remain in their position. It is always the voice of the majority that becomes loudly concerned with the rights of the minority, this pseudo-concern with the “abuse” of power to help those who are on the bottom of the totem pole.
So what can we do? We can rise above it! I realized a long time ago that there is a stigma in society betting on my failure, gambling on me becoming a statistic, an example of what’s been seen before. However, I refuse to allow the notions of this corrupt world to dictate how I should live my life and whether I will succeed or not.
When I decided I truly wanted to be a lawyer, I knew I would be an oddity: a female in a male -dominated profession, a black girl in a white world. I prepared myself to be the one that stood out, I prepped for the “black” jokes, the comments on my level of sassiness, and the questions of whether if angry I would beat someone’s behind. I prepared for the notion that some would perceive me to be an angry black woman, that many would deem themselves more privileged and deserving of their position than I. I prepped to wear my hair straight for interviews because at the end of the day, an employer is looking for a reason not to hire me and I knew that if I was the only African American in the office I would be judged harshly for the actions of the firm’s previous attempt at diversity. I knew all eyes would be on me and I prepped for the smiles and nods and the shocked faces when those who wanted “Simone” from the resume instead got “Simone” a beautiful chocolate girl in real life. I knew that our society was not as progressive as we prized ourselves to be but I chose to rise above it. Even now, I am rising above implicit racism- I’m rising above the barriers of society. I am rising above it and no one nor nothing can stop me from succeeding in who God has created me to be.
Lastly, as a Christian, I believe that we are to be the bridges between communities, we are to love people as people and not deal with individuals in any type of fashion based upon race or ethnicity. Additionally, I believe in the gospel of a multi-racial, diverse heaven: that when we go home to be with the Lord there is not going to be any segregation- we will have to worship, live, and explore our awaited paradise together! Being that we were all created in the image of God- I believe that I as a black female am just as well crafted and beautiful in the sight of God as my Caucasian brothers and sisters. SO… I choose to take the high road, I choose to rise above it and become more than I even imagined for myself.
If this post is too much or if this offends you, it’s okay. The truth is supposed to offend, it’s supposed to convict so that we can produce the change that we desire. I want you to face your barrier (whatever that barrier may be) and RISE ABOVE IT! In the face of adversity, rise above it! In the face of danger and oppression, rises above it! In the face of uncertainty, rise above it! In a world paralyzed by fear, rise above it! In a society controlled by hate, rise above it! My challenge to you all today is to change what you don’t like around you- no longer must we wait for someone to invite us to participate in change: it’s time for us to create the change we seek! Brothers and sisters, let’s rise above it!!!
Until next time,