This is an open letter to those well-intended progressive folks who just don’t seem to get it.
I’ve been called a lot of things in my nearly 35 years of life on this planet. Some of which have been positive and quite flattering. I’ve been praised on my poise and work ethic, my ability to rise above corporate politics and pettiness. Yet, I don’t take these as compliments so to speak. I see them for what they are, micro aggressions. “You carry yourself so well.. you are so well-spoken.” What? Am I supposed to walk around staring at my 4 inch pumps, afraid to make direct eye contact with those around me and speak in unintelligible and muted tones?
I’m sick and tired of speaking up for myself, or others when that need arises, when I’m mistreated, disrespected or denigrating only to be told to “assume positive intent”. I’m sick of, “Oh, s/he didn’t mean it that way.”; You’re being too sensitive.”; I’m sure you just took it wrong.” Then I’m labeled the “Angry Black Woman” because I push back and refuse to be treated any kind of way. Don’t put your labels on me! And no, I will not assume positive intent. Truthfully your intent is what is really the issue. I am positive that you intended to offend me. I am positive that you intended to “put me in my place”. I am positive that I am intelligent enough to recognize micro aggressions when I encounter them. I am positive that I am cognizant enough to realize when you are trying to fit me into the niche that makes you most comfortable and keeps me in a non-threatening position.
Just in case you think I am speaking in generalities take these examples into account:
As a HR Consultant I facilitate training seminars and trainings. After my first of two sessions one day, I had a WASP attendee come up to me and say, “I enjoyed your training. You were so well-spoken, I was pleasantly surprised.” I waited a full two heartbeats and asked, “Pleasantly surprised at the training materials?” To which she chuckled and replied, “Oh no, I expected the training materials to be top-notch!” Pleasantly surprised? You were pleasantly surprised that as a Black woman with an Afrocentric name that I have a firm command of the English language? Why should that surprise you? I received the same, if not better, education that you did in this country. Don’t give me a backhanded compliment and then have the audacity to be shocked that I don’t thank you and smile.
I was working and having lunch in a conference room with group of co-workers who were engaged in separate conversations. Next to me two of them were speaking Spanish and I gathered up the trash and asked in Spanish, “Do you have trash?” I proffered up an open trash bag and waited a few seconds. Suddenly everything stopped and silence reigned. They both sat there looking dumbfounded and said, “You speak Spanish? I didn’t think you would speak Spanish.” Why are you so shocked that I could possibly speak any language other than English? Am I not capable of learning any language other than my native tongue? Stop making suppositions about my intelligence based on your own limited worldview. By the by, I took 8 years of Spanish beginning in middle school and went through college as well. I also learned Brazilian Portuguese.
A colleague was upset that I pushed back regarding me wanting to stick to a particular policy and procedure. While I know that there are gray areas and that exceptions will need to be made from time to time, circumventing this particular process would, and did eventually, prove to be detrimental in the end. When approached outside by this colleague I was told what I was and wasn’t going to do. When I professionally, calmly and tactfully pushed back, this person charged up to me, got into my personal space and said “respect my wishes.” When I reported this bullying behavior I got the party line… “s/he was just trying to get you to understand her/his point of view. Assume positive intent.” I understand and am positive that I was told to “do as I say and don’t question me!” My status as a POC and a woman does not give you the right to get into my personal space nor to assert your will upon me. I will not back down and say “Yes sir massa/ yes’m missus! I’s gon get right on dat!” No, absolutely not! If you want respect you need to give it.
I shouldn’t have to write pieces like this. I shouldn’t have to explain macro and micro aggressions to anyone. What is so disheartening is when I am told, “How dare you question me or say I have White privilege! Prove it to me!” That statement alone is evidence of your privilege.
Speak Up! – An Open Letter
Since I posted this blog back in March all hell has broken loose
And more today than in March, I and millions of other Americans are resisting and refusing to concede out basic rights.
Come for my birth control and best believe I will leave my kids with you while I work and do everything else I need to do.
Come for my healthcare (I have many pre-existing conditions and chronic illnesses that require constant care and expensive medications) and you will bear the burden of my catastrophic hospital bills (I'm talking hundreds of thousands of dollars) when I'm in ICU because I can't breathe.
If you come for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters I will fight for their right to be whomever they choose to be. I don't care what bathroom someone uses just as long as they clean up after themselves and wash their damn hands. 🏳️🌈
Y'all are on notice… don't come for me or mine or attempt to infringe on anyone's rights. I will fight you EVERY 👏🏾 STEP 👏🏾OF 👏🏾THE 👏🏾 WAY👏🏾
Run and tweet that!
An open letter to those who voted for and supported 45:
It's unconscionable that everyone who had a whole hell of a lot to say pre and post election about "Making America Great Again" and that Bernie and Hillary supporters needed to stop whining and get over it are as quiet as sleeping church mice right now. The only sound I hear from that camp are the crickets and blinking peaking out from under blankets, hoping I won't pull back the wool and expose you for who and what you really are.
There was dissent all over my FB feed. I had to block some people and unfriend others because they, for one reason or another, supported 45. They took what they wanted from what he said (Border security and "bad hombres", repealing the ACA, "putting America first" and all the other slime that poured from his ill-tempered, malicious, hate speech spewing mouth) and ignored EVERYTHING ELSE and had the audacity to say that the other stuff didn't phase them. ("You can just grab them by the pussy", "Nasty woman", "Lock her up"… the list goes on and on and on). The only thing that was important was what mattered to them personally, never giving credence to the millions of others that he offended and harangued. You told us that we should "give him a chance" and our outcries of unfairness and fear where unfounded and that we should stop being butt hurt, get over it and support him. You heckled us as we rallied and protested, called us un-American, unpatriotic and at times said our actions were treasonous.
Now that you have come to realize what the rest of us knew from the very beginning, you have the unmitigated gall to be silent while the rest of us resist and protest? GTFOH! How dare you! How dare you stay silent and act like none of this was your fault? How dare you creep around and post that you are tired of politics on FB or social media? How dare you do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and expect those of us who dissented to begin with to fix this? No…no… hell no!
You lost your right to silence the minute you put up your first post supporting this inept, deluded, mentally unstable demagogue. (Did you cringe or roll your eyes when I used a second word in this post that you might have had to look up? Yeah, you did. That knowledge came from attending PUBLIC school in Houston,TX… something that with Backwards Betty as head of the Department of Education our children will be missing).
You need to take responsibility for what you have wrought. You need to step up to the mic, clear your throats and say to the rest of us, "My name is <insert your name here> and due to my own <insert adjective here, such as: selfishness/bigotry/racism/misogyny/xenophobia/homophobia/transphobia/general intolerance for anyone who isn't me> I voted for 45. I am woefully sorry and I see the damage he and his minions have done, both to those who live with the borders of this great nation, and to our allies and our reputation on the international stage. I apologize and I stand with you to fix this!"
But you won't do that, will you? No, you won't because you think admitting you were wrong is a show of weakness. You won't because you can't openly admit your prejudices. You'll swear up and down to any god that you are the most tolerant person ever created. When in reality you prefer separate but equal. Minorities and non-Christians are fine as long as they are not in your neighborhood, attending your children's schools or commingling with you and yours. Your silence far from insulates you from what is going on right now. Your silence breeds further contempt from those of us who refuse to be silenced and shows us your yellow badge of cowardice.
Step up…speak up…
Step up…speak up…
Step up…speak up…
Posted by grahamcrackercrumbs09 on March 18, 2017 in Grinds My Gears, Social Commentary
Tags: ACA, AHCA, BCRA, Betsy Devos, Collusion, LGBTQ, Life, Made in America, Make America Great Again, No Wall No Ban, Opinion, Planned Parenthood, Political, Politics, President, Public Service Announcment, Resist, Russia, Social Commentary, Stay Woke, Tanesha N. Graham, Trump