Dondrie Burnham

Writer. Creator. Shapeshifter.

Black Girl Rant: An Open Letter to the Colorblind Collective

 

Yes. I’m fucking angry. You’d be angry too. What makes me angry? The lies. The enormous lie, that anything is possible.  Not everything is possible.  It is not possible to erase the past. The past has a pulse and it beats right through the heart of this motherfucker. It is palpable.  It is DAILY. And, it is not going away. Sure, its possible to pretend.  It is not possible to be colorblind.

 

I am a black girl. Black First. Girl Second.  I am the biggest voice in EVERY room with the smallest impact.  I am magical yet toxic, sexy yet grotesque. I’m told my body type is ‘extreme’.   I am called ‘girl’ in EVERY room, because you think it puts you on my level and you seek your approval.  You wanna be my BFF and tell me secrets and call me mama and suck all my nectar, while simultaneously selling the notion that I’m poison. While my own sons and brothers perpetrate that notion, because they hate me. Because, I’m a reflection.  Do you know what it is to be a petting zoo? To have them “talk up under your clothes” as my mama would say.   To assume you always want to fuck.  To assume and assume.   To have strangers and family alike treat you like you’re always in need of a good scrub.  To have folks constantly comment on your smell.  To have strangers, FUCKING strangers come up to you on the subway and ask if you’re Jamaican and ask if they can take you shopping.  Cause you know, you can always buy black pussy.  To have folks always assume you have kids, because you have hips.   To have every fucking thing, EVERY FUCKING THING you invent for yourself stolen. Robbed.  Fucking Looted and then have looting thrown in your face to remind you you’re a savage.  Always to remind you, you’re a savage.  You’re angry.  You’re so fucking aggressive.  When what’s so fucking aggressive is the oppressive nature of having to breathe the same fucking air and climb ladders and claw through mud to get to breathe more of the same fucking air as the beautiful, fragile, tragic, pale, glass housed fucking dames that make cornrows and asses en vogue.  

And you’ll see this and wonder how you can add to the conversation, and you’ll earmark it as a topic to discuss over brunch. But you won’t stop to ask if your voice is wanted or needed or if it’s simply geared toward your own ears. And some of us will thank you for it.  But when all lives matter, who peeks under the floorboards and through the cracks.  And you’ll share and you’ll like and you’ll hashtag your liberal ass heart out…but you’ll still rap that line about niggas when no one is looking, because it’s just as song and if we can say it why can’t you?  And you’ll still let your grandma call me ‘gal’ because she’s old and doesn’t mean anything by it, and you’ll let your brother be crass and touchy because everything I have he’s entitled to. Right? Because everything I am is by your design. Right? 

But hey, you’re right.  I should stop making everything about race.

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