Hello, it’s me again. Typically I am opposed to using technology to express my true feelings about a subject, but this is somehing that I really have to get off of my chest and plus it gives me the chance to get on my soapbox for a few sentences, or paragraphs. I also understand that the folks who will be reading this are not the people who need to be reading this. My hope is that you pass it on to someone who may be able to relate to what I am about to type. Here it goes.
As we were working on a client’s house today in Long Beach, the folks were nice enough to cook us some outstanding homemade gumbo… yummy. After we were done eating and chatting a bit, I gave the lady who cooked the food a hug. She held me close and told me that she was so happy to see “one of us” here helping. After we separated, she went on to tell me that she has seen hundreds of volunteers come and go, but has not seen many blacks with the groups, but that it feels really good when she does see a “familiar” face or too. I thought about it for a second and I am the only black man here out of 100 people. Yes, I am the Blair Underwood character on Sex in the City. This is something that really does not bother me because I am used to it, but it is put into perspective for me when it is pointed out sometimes. What happened next was that she asked me, with water in her eyes, “why don’t we help one another?” Hmmm, interesting question. I shared my thoughts with her, and I think I will now share those thougts with you.
Easy answer… we’re lazy! We just have better things to do than help build houses or clean up or just give anyone a hand in general. This is not the answer of course. People are lazy no matter what color they are, but I can see some people thinking this way.
Not so easy answer, we don’t know what’s still going on down here. It is not in our face anymore and therefore we neglect the issue. I am guilty of this myself. When I found out that this trip was going to Mississippi, I was like “are’t things like fixed by now?”. I quickly found out that it isn’t.
Difficult answer, we HATE each other. I know that this is a hard pill to swallow for some, but society brainwashes minorities to hate themselves. Just take a look at TV every once in a while. If there is a black guy on trial on Law in order… he’s guilty. If there is a drive by shooting in a movie, it’s in a minority neighborhood. The next time you are listening to rap music (Kevin W.), count how many times you hear a rapper talking about bustin’ a cap in an inside trader or a corrupt politician. The answer… 1-2 maybe. Ok, count how many times the rapper talks about bustin’ a cap in nother African American. This number will be seemingly infinate.
With so many degrading images and stereotypes that are, in some cases, perpetuated by us, why would anyone like us? Why would we like ourselves? Better yet, why would we help someone that we, consciously or subconsciously, hate?
Bottom line, I have said it before and I will say it again, these people still need help. It feels good to them that people care about them enough to travel to their homes to help them, but it would feel even better if their “brothers and sisters” are chipping in as well.