Time to Get Real: My Experience Being a Black American Abroad and At Home

For the last few years I have been able to travel the world with basically NO issues whatsoever...what makes me sad is times are a changing. I only hope I am ready for the mental energy that seems to be zapped from me on a daily basis.

I now live in world where hate is not only tolerated but embraced as "Trump America Now" where Muslims are being profiled, women are losing their rights over their productive system with no real discourse for the MEN, who more often than not leave the women. They don't have the shame or stigma of an abortion. I guess only the female part is needed to conceive?  I'm perceived a "bad" person due to the color of my skin, so whenever I left the states I always had a wave of relief come over me because in most countries the president of the United States (Barack Obama at the time) was a highly revered man. People who couldn't speak English knew the words "Obama" or "Barack Obama" and would just give me a smile as to say "hello and welcome".

Under the Trump regime which has been less than 2 weeks. I get the usual questions "Why do you stay" "Is he really that bad" or my favorite "we didn't think the US would be as stupid as the Brexit" (no offense just citing what I've actually had said to me) Now with a Muslim ban it makes America come across as racist and elitist. Therefore, no one has blamed me abroad as they see by the color of my skin I am one of the persecuted people. However then someone usually asked me the dreaded "what are you question" and I reply "American"..then it's the "I know but what are your roots? Where did you come from?" THIS question breaks my heart EVERY SINGLE TIME...as I am a black/negro/colored/nigger American...a descendant of slaves on one side and a freedman on the other but since most (and my people) were brought over as slaves the slaveowners (the white men) destroyed ANY AND ALL paper trails of my people. So much so we will NEVER find out exactly where we are from. Granted with AncestryDNA and AncestryandMe123 I have a general guide of what more than likely is my home area....but the region I'm given is so extreme that is will cost me literally thousands of dollars as well as numerous hours. Where most people can just go ask their grandparents. Is it fair? Is it right? Is it just? NOPE...it just is.

There is so much more to say, and even more to write but I just can't because the overwhelming weight of it all. The daily fear of death or retribution for speaking my mind, for daring to want equality, to have the audacity to ask for the same amount of pay as my white co-workers. I literally found out that another female in my department at one of my jobs (who is no longer at the company) had less experience than me but was making $10 more an hour so 80-100$ more per day. That made me angry and sad..because I have to be happy with what I'm given or I just might not get that. This is my reality.

At least in Europe (especially the UK, Barcelona, Amsterdam) as well in the bigger cities I was treated with respect. Something that was so foreign to me that at first I didn't even know what to call it , except I knew folks were nicer to me there than in my own country.

I really didn't want to ever bring politics to LOLA but in these days and times it is a part of my life, A HUGE part as is LOLA. So in the end ...It just will be this way, because this is my "normal"

When they go low...

WOW...I have no words. Currently I'm sitting in a Paris hotel having breakfast and a version of "Bridge over Troubled Water was playing in the back, and I took a moment to hear the words then instead of just hearing I decided to listen. These lyrics seem so prevalent in today's precarious times in my country...the good old U.S.of A now referred to as AmeriKKKa.

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

The lyric that made me cry and broke my heart was the "and friends just can't be found". And I think of all the "friends" I have lost over this election. As to me it not just about money, republican vs democrat but about human decency, fairness and equality. I did not believe in EITHER candidate but I voted my conscious as I knew I had to do what was best for the greater good. It was also the time I had to make my choice: do I keep facebook friends with people from my childhood, people I have worked with over the years, even a former lover? And my answer was NO...this is too important. Now the election is over and we have a new president-elect I am still deleting people as I can't have that type of distrust and hate in my life.

While sadden, I am also proud of so many of my friends and allies in this...mainly all from college and beyond but without them I would be a broken crying mess on the floor. I have been very fortunate to have a supportive sister, friends and family that makes losing the others not as bad, but it's still painful.

To those I am no longer friends with...I wish them well and the best in life. I also hope that one day they will have to face their own fears, bigotry and racism and see it for what it is, perhaps then they too will be able to go high, when others go low.

 

 

The less than half the population that voted in America made it painfully clear that I am nothing more than less of a person due to the color of my skin. My people are seen as lazy but no acknowledgment of the fact that it was due to our UNPAID labor that many of the bridges, railroads and buildings were built by us, hell even the furniture was stuffed using our HUMAN HAIR. Don't believe, then check this out: The Chair.