Maybe I shouldn’t share this with any of you, but I have grown so very tired of crying in the dark. All of my pains and sorrows have been poured out there in that cold and complete darkness. I covered my windows and covered my head with blankets. I only emerge from time to time to walk silently among you and your kind, pretending as you do that all is well and that there is nothing wrong. Pretending as one might to be strong and fearless, competitive and confident. You have destroyed me and now I am none of those things, though I once was.
Whenever I am around you I shake inside so terribly that I want to wet myself and the bile wells up inside of me, choking me on my own vomit. I only want to escape back into my comfortable dark and shrouded existence where I am safe from your corrupt and vile world of contemptible behaviors. There I can cry undetected. There in my pitch black self-imposed prison, I, in form, can become the invisible man.
Alone I grieve sometimes when I remember what we used to be as a people, and I remember that time when my talents and abilities transcended color. A time when I was allowed to display my compassion and knowledge, and that humanity brought me power, and I was in demand. Now, in this time, my talents and abilities gain only fear from the masses because of my color. Then, as I remember, there was no conflict when it came to right or wrong. Nor was it personal. It was simply right or wrong. Now I am conflicted. Right is wrong and wrong is right, and it has without a doubt become personal.
To get ahead I had to distinguish myself from the negative stereotypes of inner city Negro men. I am not one of those Negros; I never have been one of those Negros. One of those demanding special treatment, one of those safe uncle Tom, grinning, tap dancing shake your booty jigger boo’s perceived by whites as one of those safe one’s. I was and am one of those smart ass, non- bowing, kiss my ass if you don’t dig where I am coming from, dangerous one’s.
Their self-consciousness over race limits their ability to have any direct, honest conversation with me. For them race permeates so much of their thinking in this society, and subtly colors so many of their action. They live in ambiguous shades of gray, and try as they may to convince me of otherwise, I don’t trust them. When I ask, the answer I receive with jarring vehemence is, “You are the man.” You are not like them and we need you, someone who is a credit to his race.” As if I were truly so naive enough to think that because of my race, which they have no idea what my race is, they would not use or hurt me because of it. When it comes to them, you people, my distrust and resentments are rife. And still they, you, have the audacity to think that I don’t see a striking consistency in your racist behaviors.
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