Racial Colorblindness: The Anti-Diversity Ideology

“Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity.” – Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D.

I was 11-years-old when I started school in South Florida. I had moved there from Virginia Beach, which had two military bases and families from all different backgrounds. I had friends who were Black, White, Biracial, Asian, Hispanic, etc. If you asked me if I treated them all the same, I would have said a resounding yes before now, but that’s not the truth. It would’ve been a resounding yes because the difference in atmosphere between the racial diversity there versus in my elementary school in South Florida, was tension. And ultimately division, and that was not something I had experienced in my hometown of the “Big VA” – to quote Timbaland.

I am guilty of having stated, “I did not see color until I moved to Florida.” And for that ignorant remark, I am sorry. I understand my regret and apology for saying that does not negate me from having said it, but I want to be completely honest and share what I have learned and how I am willing to learn and even re-learn.

With all of my friends, I have always shared music. It was the 90’s and in my opinion one of the best times in music for my lifetime. I can appreciate music prior to my existence, but that brings a whole separate topic. So as music being the commonality, not with every friend did we listen to the same stuff. With my Christian White friend next door, it was Muppet singalongs and Christian songs. With my White friend behind me, it was pop like 4 Non Blondes and sometimes her dad would put on Nine Inch Nails. With my Black friends, we listened to and performed dance concerts to Salt N Pepa, En Vogue, and Madonna. The list goes on.

Yes, I had an array of friends in Virginia Beach. I was who I was – the annoying little girl who always wanted to play or hang out – but I adapted to them as they adapted to me. We saw color but were not taught to shy away from it or to hate it. We, naturally as kids, came to know one another and share our differences and our similarities without bias.

When I started school in South Florida, there was a lot of tension and anger between Black and White children. I’m not saying I came from the land of Paradise where everyone loved one another, but this was not something I had expected. I heard more racial slurs and derogatory remarks on my first day of school than I had in the years I schooled in Virginia.

To this day, it is still like this in South Florida. However, to ignore racial, ethnic, or cultural differences will not appease the tension. Morgan Freeman said the way to end racism was to stop talking about it. And that sounds intelligent on a certain level, but when one really looks at the idea, it’s not. It’s better on paper. If we purposely fail to acknowledge culture, ethnicity, color, and individuals for the things and traits that make them who they are, it’s stripping them from their identity like taking away their name and classifying them as what they aren’t. Also, suffice to say it, it’s representing them as to how we choose to perceive them, just like it is when we do have racist or biased ideas to who people are based on color, culture or creed.

If we stop pushing forward to really see each other and celebrate our differences and similarities, we will continue to a path that is full of tension and anger and lacks the beauty of diversity.


Feel free to leave any comment you like about this. My comments are moderated so if it offends my white privilege, I’ll spam it. HAH! I kid. Really, leave a comment because I am on this planet to learn so if you have something to say, say it. Many voices are better than one.

Image Credit

Remember Me

The boy was cute. He was cute and he was in a relationship with my friend. I knew her in the 8th grade, we had a class together and I used to try and keep her bitchiness with others in check. I saw him a couple times with her. He had spiked blonde hair, blue-green eyes, he was tall, had his tongue pierced and wore black clothes.

After 8th grade, my mom bought a house in a new neighborhood. I soon discovered the boy lived two houses down from me. We became friends. Time passed and he was dating another friend of mine. This didn’t stop us from being horny teens.

We tried dating before I decided to go off to college. He was far gone into partying and we began to fight. I missed just hanging out, talking shit as he played x-box and we smoked pot. I went to college, he moved out of the state.

We reconnected a few months ago. He’s going through some shit. I may see him next weekend. He thinks I still talk to people we knew when we were punk kids. He is constantly telling me not to let his business out. Little does he know, I have no one to tell. He’s always had issues with trusting.

He was white-boy wasted when he shared this song with me, but I kinda cherish it anyway.

The Trapeze Swinger
Iron&Wine

Please, remember me
Fondly
I heard from someone you’re still pretty
And then
They went on to say
That the pearly gates
Had some eloquent graffiti
Like ‘We’ll meet again’
And ‘Fuck the man’
And ‘Tell my mother not to worry’
And angels with their gray
Handshakes
Were always done in such a hurry

That is just a piece of the pretty long, but beautifully done song. I would never have imagined the boy listening to bands like Iron&Wine, but he never fails to surprise me.

Photo by Matteo Catanese on Unsplash

No copyright infringement intended. Song lyrics belong to the band Iron&Wine.

Cello Case

At the age of almost 33, with the only musical instrument I have played in my life being a triangle, I have the strong desire to learn the cello. According to the description on my Apple Music playlist, the cello is likened as the rhythm guitar of classical music. I wouldn’t know because truly, the only thing I know about music, is not much now that I am thinking about it.

Are you starting to get I was the second child? No dedicated baby photo album, no dance lessons or music lessons or extracurricular activities. I did attend a dance and vocal camp for a summer once. And I half-heartedly played a summer of softball… but mainly I liked freedom and friends so my mom was cool with that. My sister — more than one baby photo album, several extracurricular activities, and flute AND violin lessons.

Anyway, back to me. I’m not bitter. Occasionally, I have bouts of the second-child syndrome.

I am serious about this cello idea, though, I just have no idea where to begin. I mean having a cello or access to one would be preferable. Possibly a necessity. From the little research I have done in this last hour, music geared websites say cellos are not under 2,000. I have also learned to be careful purchasing online thanks to an Amazon reviewer who mentioned they took the cello to a music shop who said factory made cellos are warped. At the same time though, I am pretty flighty. I mean I have this idea now, but if I find the endeavor to be more challenging than I prefer, I am apt to move on from it relatively quickly. So suffice to say, an okay sounding beginner cello would probably make for better sense than investing thousands.

I just love the cello and I am curious about rewiring the brain by learning music. Not to heal, but to expand. Intelligence is enriching.

 

Photo by Ira Selendripity on Unsplash

Music and the girl

When I was a child growing up in Virginia Beach, I had an affinity for listening to music. I carry that same affinity today, but I doubt I listen to music as much as I did as a child and then adolescent. I can remember my favorite radio station being Z-104.3. It played hits like La Bouche “Be My Lover” and of course Madonna and Sheryl Crow and 4 Non Blonds. The list goes on. Crazily enough, you can still find it on iHeartRadio. It’s now out of Baltimore and Ariana Grande and Pitbull and others have replaced the pop of the 90’s.

As I grew older, music became more of an outlet for me than just something catchy and fun to listen to. I grew less social as I got older and less trusting of confiding in others. If I was angry, KoRn was my go to. If I was really sad, Fiona Apple fit the bill along with the greatest band I feel of my time, The Cranberries. Fiona gets me with the lyrics — I sooo admire her work. Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries gets me with her voice.

I used to listen to music all of the time. By myself in my room, with my sister in her room, every friend I would go play with. In fact, one of the things my friends and I loved to do was act like we were singing in a concert. We would put on a CD and literally rock out. Those times were always the best.

Today though, I listen to music in the car, while I’m doing housework or taking a shower. Rarely do I play it when I am just hanging out. And if I am writing like I am now, I need the silence.

Going back to music being my outlet, it makes me wonder what exact moment caused that for me. What caused me to be less trusting of friends and more inclined to listen to music to really experience my feelings. Maybe my life has always been like that. I mean, it comes pretty natural for me to listen to what others have to say rather than speak my mind, let alone my heart.

The other day I was chatting with a friend when she said again what she’s said a few times before, “You don’t open up. You push people away, and as close as we are, you’re not even open with me.”

And she’s not wrong. But I don’t know how to open up. And times where I may have opened up a little bit, I end up feeling dismissed. Perhaps not everyone is meant to be open. Maybe it’s not something I need to improve.

Possibly I just need to be comfortable in my own skin and hearing about everyone else’s issues while keeping my cards close.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Abortion: Where do we draw the line?

Trigger warning: Controversial topic of abortion, pro-choice, body autonomy, feminism, reproductive rights.

Disclaimer: This post on abortion is in reference of those who choose to abort for whatever reason. It is not intended to malign or judge those who have had abortions, choose to abort, or had traumatizing factors that happened to cause them to have an abortion such as but not limited to: incest, rape.

A long time ago on a blog name far, far away, I wrote once on the topic of abortion. And in the comments I was accused of not being a real feminist because I didn’t believe in abortion past a certain term.

I do not know anything about abortions, except maybe a couple medical things I hear they do. But that’s hearsay. I have fortunately never had to make that decision. My heart goes out to those who do.

With that said, I still struggle with body autonomy. I want to believe we have the right to do what we can and/or will with our bodies. I also struggle with the idea of abortion and I will elaborate on why.

I saw from a Facebook page I follow, NARAL Pro Choice that a republican state senator was placing a ban on abortion past the 15 week mark. Women who do fully agree on body autonomy think it’s awful.

My curious ass went on Google to find out the development of an embryo at that stage. Big mistake. At least for me.

According to some baby site, the embryo can detect light, is developing taste buds, and their legs are growing longer than their arms. And honestly, it looks like a little baby. I would tell you the size, but obviously I missed that section.

So the conundrum for me is where does the line get drawn between body autonomy and dare I say killing another human being? According to the previously mentioned commenter, if you have a line on abortion, you are not completely for body autonomy.

Two things though. One: if a pregnant woman is killed – the perpetrator receives a double homicide charge. Two: If you choose to have unprotected sex, conceive, you get a get out of pregnancy for a certain fee card. Are we not taught in society that we must bear the consequences of our actions? Maybe abortion is that consequence. Maybe I don’t fully have a grasp on the controversial topic, but going past 15 weeks seems like a long time to wait for an abortion. I do get in some states it is hard. I do get there are gray areas in the whole enchilada of it all.

I just don’t know where the line should go. When I had my pregnancy scare — yes it was a definite scare — I was lucky and found out super early. By accident.

Story time.

When I was in college roughly 12 years ago, I had a boyfriend. That boyfriend and I’s preferred method of protection was relying on me to get my Depo Provera shot. I went to New York with him for holiday and when we came back, I went to go get my shot. The nurse told me I hadn’t received my last shot that I was supposed to back in October. She said I needed a pregnancy test before she could give me the shot. I told her no worries, I’ll do the test, there isn’t any way I am pregnant.

Until she came back in the room and said, “You’re pregnant.” My initial response was, “You’re kidding.” She didn’t like that, but also probably wasn’t expecting a woman to be as shocked as a young teen receiving the same news. I really felt my life was over. By 7 weeks, the sac didn’t have a fetal pole. By 9 weeks I was having a D&C – the procedure done when the pregnancy is not viable and your doctor doesn’t want to chance you bleeding out during miscarriage. I consider myself lucky. If you’re curious, I had simultaneous emotions throughout the ordeal. One part thought maybe me being a mother was meant to be. The other was all I would do anything not to be a mother — except for abortion.

I have always believed abortion should be available to both those who need it or want it. My personal choice would not be to abort. And though it shouldn’t really factor in what I feel is right for our society of women and the whole reproductive rights fight, I wonder if it doesn’t affect why I think there should be a line. But if 15 weeks is shock and appall to pro-choice women, where’s the line?

I can’t wrap my head around late-term abortions. I don’t know what makes it matter so much to me, but it does. I understand the adoption process is shot and foster care is over-populated and child neglect and abuse is an ever-growing evil, but aborting a baby when they are further developed past taste buds, limbs differentiating, detecting light — it doesn’t sit right.

To Child or Not to Child

Mother’s day is around the corner — tomorrow, actually. For as long as I have known me, I have jumped back and forth on the idea of having a child — by birth or adoption. When I was a child myself, I played with Barbies and baby dolls. With Barbie, she never had kids. She owned her own pizzeria, car, and Barbie Mansion. And usually she had very little to do with Ken.

Read More