Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#BlackLivesMatter

The gum chewing in between distracted me most of the speech. 

Let's talk about this. The hype around Jesse Williams' speech is still much present. I came back from my vacation to find there were insulting remarks made to Justin Timberlake. Completely understand the perspective and argument but maybe we shouldn't attack white people who agree with the cause. That's like I never quite understand how racial minorities can be homophobic. You can not (although many do) fight for equal rights and still exclude people. It's incorrect. Absolutely incorrect. Equal rights itself knows no color, sexuality, or religion. It knows no difference from one person to another. Equal rights knows generosity and civil actions towards one another.


I surprisingly found myself agreeing with Jesse on a lot. Some things were best said because he in fact has been present, when black people talk about white people, and vice versa. His perspective is broad. "He's not 'that black person'. He's Jesse," I'm sure a lot of his friends think or say. I personally don't identify with being black often, but in regards to my race, Yes I am for sure black. Otherwise, I'm Panamanian Haitian American and I am very proud to be so. But when I thought about how white my day job is... I had to think. Is he right? My ideas are used but I don't get promoted but my supervisor does. The one director who was black in my department just left. Now everyone, who is black, in any sort of management role is primarily in a manager position. And I don't want to make this only about black managers, let me be clear, there are no minorities in any roles above a manager level. Interesting.

One would ask if anyone qualifies to be promoted or hired into a management role, and the answer is yes. Myself and a co-teammate of mine have applied to be managers before. We were told how amazing we were but weren't given a chance. I've been classified as a leader numerous times but I haven't been offered a position in an actual management role. Many would ask but I haven't, is it because we are both other minorities? My answer, I don't know.

I understand that competition in the work place is strong, but as a resident in East Harlem said to me once, "Girl, you have a Masters?! What you doing out here?" I explained my reasons and he went on to say, "While you're being all noble, everyone else is making money". And he is 100% correct. What the fuck am I doing? What the fuck are we doing? I tell my clients in these undeserved communities all the time, "Stand up for yourself. There are resources and ways to help yourself." I need to take my own advice. I don't need to be happy that I just have a job. I need to excel, have a position that fully appreciates my genius and opinion. There is no need to hold myself back. But then again, my day job is not my end game. I'm an entrepreneur and have businesses I want to pursue. Cause when I'm in the Power Seat, I will make sure that everyone who works hard is compensated for all their hard work. Whether it is with me or somewhere else.

I'm not done.

Black lives do matter. I believe that wholeheartedly. Again, I want to emphasize that as Americans and humans in general, we need to learn compassion and understanding. Black lives, LGBT lives, Hispanic lives, poor lives... Lives matter.

There have been many disgusting acts of hate that unfolded in the last two months. At some points, once again, I had to think. Am I naive to believe that all people in America should be treated with equal respect? I don't think so. I believe that people are angry. They deserve to be. Cops are scared, and they deserve to be. What doesn't deserve to happen... black men being gunned down in the street. There is no excuse for that. At the same time, I believe many of us are waiting to hear a different type of black man to be murdered by the police.

"...a black lawyer who just finished working out at the gym, walking to his car with his duffel bag"

And I can't disagree. As a friend of mine pointed out, it will never happen. There is a scene I remembered from House of Lies. Don Cheadle got beaten up by the cops while taking a jog. Was it his fault? No. If you think it was, maybe it was because he argued with the cops. Do white people ever yell at the cops? Hmm I think so. So why exactly would it be his specific actions that warranted a beat down?

The Civil Rights movement wasn't even 50 years ago. We still have much to learn. Yes, we had a black president but that means absolutely nothing. The people of America need to change what happens next, not our leaders. The people. There are still people, who spewed hate less than 50 years ago about minorities, that are alive. My hope is that, as many of them die off, so will their beliefs about "porch monkeys" and "Spics". (And side note, Latinos also need to stop the race game too. A drop of European doesn't mean you're white. Your hair gets curly too.You know who you are.)

At the same time, it's been almost 100 years since women had to "stop" fighting for their equal rights. And still they push on every year. Getting a say in what they do with their bodies. Demanding the same pay for their roles in movies or even at more conventional jobs. Asking their men to stay home with the children instead. Becoming CEO's, entrepreneurs, millionaires and overall independent! Women have fought for their rights every single year and decade, for a hundred years.

There will be no end, but constant development. Be as strong as the women are and make that shit happen. Make everyone listen. Don't just isolate yourself from others, make others involved as well. No more conversations, instead more actions. We are all strong and capable. Let's push on for another 50 years and make shit happen. Don't get angry, get determined.

And THAT'S what I took away from all of this. Thank You.