Observation: white people have this incessant need to be liked/loved/befriended
Question: why are white people socialized to think that everyone should be their friend?
Second observation: Black kids are taught from the beginning that the only people who will protect and love them will be other Black people. We are also taught that white people hate us even when we are minding our own business and are trying to follow their expectations to be “civilized.” To not be so loud or confrontational. To be as calm and “well-behaved” as possible. Never raise our voices or more to suddenly. And don’t you dare try to operate without consideration of their feelings, comfort or general existence.
Second question: why are Black kids taught they are a threat?
Nevermind, we know the answer. We know exactly why. It’s not a secret to us. We have been Black in America for a few centuries now. This game is impossible to win. The goal posts keep moving. The rules keep changing.
People are going to hate me and feel uncomfortable around me simply because I exist. Other feel intimidated because I don’t belittle myself. Some don’t like my directness and assume its rudeness or an attitude. I’m not really allowed to have “quiet” or “off” days due to the fact I’ll be seen as hostile and impossible to work with even though I’m fulfilling the requirements of my job description and someone else’s. I’m aware of these things. But I genuinely don’t care to alter myself for another’s comfort. I don’t raise my voice, use harsh language or roll my eyes nearly as much as I’d like to at work. I stay quiet and mind my business. And yet I still get feedback about it.
Maybe I don’t really have much to say today. Or maybe I’m annoyed by this person trying to force a conversation that is a waste of brain power while I’m in the middle of being productive. Maybe I have absolutely no interest in your interests or concerns. And no, I’m not discussing my love for Kendrick, Beyoncé or Get Out with you. Small y’all doesn’t interest me. I’m not going to divulge my life story to you in passing. I don’t talk just to hear myself talk. I’ll talk when it’s relevant and I can offer insight, a question or a certain answer. If you think me being quiet and in my own little world is rude…. then I don’t know what to tell you other than call your mom or therapist.
I literally can’t win here. Stay quiet? I have an attitude. Be obnoxious peppy? I’m drained after an hour. Be really sweet and nice? I’m being sarcastic and condescending.
I’m the only Black person here. My concerns, comments and thoughts are strongly rooted in how the world views me. We can’t afford to not consider our perception. We don’t get the luxury of just being ourselves. My consciousness operates through the very specific lens of being Black, female, creative and 23 years old while living in America. Simply put, I don’t relate to 90% of the conversations at work. And I’m perfectly okay. Talking all day is exhausting to me. I’d take myself out of the GroupMe if it didn’t send an alert. I understand that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I wish y’all would understand that too. Stop being upset that I don’t want to be your friend or that we have very little to talk about.