Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Excerpt from Before You Fly Off - Volume 2

I know. What's up with that sequel to that teen book? I'm typing as fast as I can! But here's a peek at one of the chapters. This one on what I call The Race Game. My take on how race-ism works and how our youth can find ways to not only cope but overcome--

It’s not that you don’t already know this, because you felt it in your spirit the day you first learned how it feels to be treated second class. We were at a playground. You were maybe six or seven. A charming White boy around the same age stepped to you and asked, Why’s your hair like that? (You had a cute twist hairstyle back then). It was an innocent question, yet it was obvious how at such a young age he had already decided that your look was odd, that you were odd and that his look was the standard to aspire to. This is how subtle and yet so damaging race-ism can be. Because when we got back home, you asked your mother to take the twists out your hair.

Take the emotion out and you learn how to master The Race Game. This way you don’t internalize. That means someone calling you ugly so much that you start believing it. It’s a very dangerous game because it can make a whole group of people stop believing in themselves. So it’s important to me that my daughter (and young people, in general) has a clear understanding of not only how to cope with racist ways but how race-ism works. When you flip the script to find the real script, you see the purpose behind the hype. You know to keep your head high because the attempt to attack your grace can only backfire, so that instead of re-acting you look at the sickness of it. And it really is a sickness or a type of virus when you look at it as something that’s been passed on to the person, most likely from another who had it, and maybe from the one before, until somebody decides to find a cure.

There’re different types of racists. Some who take their meds, some who sometimes, some who can’t because of where they live or who they live under, some who’re thinking about taking meds, and some who just plain won’t because they don’t want change. Those aren’t the ones you need to watch, because they’re already showing you where they’re coming from. Watch out for the ones who don’t even know they need meds. A good way of protecting yourself is to remind them that they benefit from White privilege. If they’re real; if they’re willing to make history, they’ll admit it and make the decision to put in a prescription!!!...

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