7.09.2016

Elayna Monts Returns to the Bar (Guest Post)

Previously

A Mother's Fear
Seriously White Women...We're Really Not Jealous

**SPOILER ALERT**

NOT ALL OF MY FRIENDS WILL AGREE WITH WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY. IN FACT, SOME OF YOU MAY UNFRIEND ME, BUT I HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH THIS FOR SOME TIME NOW AND I HAVE TO PUT MY WORDS OUT THERE AND LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.

The Subject: Black Lives Matter

I will begin by saying that this is not a rant against police. We all know how difficult enforcing our laws is. We should also all know how important it is to do the right thing, the right way, and all be subject to the same laws that govern our country.

Now, I know that many of my Caucasian friends and Caucasians in general counter Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter and while they do so with passion and strong belief, I believe that that declaration is irrelevant. I say this because it’s easy to use that response. It’s more difficult to understand the root of the Black Lives Matter issues unless and/or until we can walk in the shoes of those who are being persecuted, beat down, run over, shot at and killed.

In 1973, I gave birth to an African American son. Now my Caucasian friends and family are quick to point out that he is also Caucasian, HOWEVER, in this society he is African American and nothing else “counts.” And, if he was associated to me at all, it was easiest to believe that I was some kind of loose woman than to accept interracialism. Believe me, more “friends” dropped me than a few and there were even some in my extended family who decided that my black child was not welcome in their homes.

Back in “those days” I was stopped multiple times by police for simply bringing my African American friends home. Because I was in the “wrong” neighborhood many times police would openly accuse me of being a prostitute. I guess it was okay for a teenaged white prostitute to be in a black neighborhood, though there were times that I was warned about being there and where I “really belonged.”

I was denied apartments unless I left my blackness at home with my mom. I even learned to not put up pictures of my own child because I had been terminated from jobs when my interracial life was exposed. My skin afforded me the ability to “hide” the blackness in my life. I fought with school systems whose teachers hit my child, held him backwards over a desk by his hair, put him in the principal’s office for weeks without informing me and when I found out, was told that they couldn’t call me every time he blew his nose. In 3rd grade and at a new school, the bus driver put him off the bus 3 miles from home because she didn’t want a nigger on her bus. In that case, he was one of four African Americans in the entire school system. He was stopped by police on so many occasions that I can no longer count them. Guns were drawn on him as well and that was just within the first 20 years of his life. These things have yet to stop as I could go on and on, but surely by now you may get the point.

Some say, “that was years ago!!!”….however……not long ago, a guest at our house who had no knowledge of my life and since everyone at the table looked like him, he must have felt safe. He stated that his property values were going down because of all the “darkies” moving into his neighborhood. Or the woman who in anger proclaimed that she liked white men….thinking she was insulting me and that I had never heard anything like that before. Oh, I handled them but really, how much has changed in the last 40 years? Not much.

I cannot describe the feeling of helplessness that these things caused and continue to cause. I cannot describe the anger that consumed me as I fought battle after battle on his behalf. It has been a lifetime lesson that brings me to make this statement:

Black Lives Matter is not about all lives……..it’s about Black Lives. It’s about the idea that I and all of my Caucasian friends and foes can walk the streets without hardly being seen……certainly not being seen as a threat! Society, including police, don’t see us unless we do some blatant law breaking stuff. On the other hand, “we” can see an African American coming toward us from blocks away. Some 20+ years ago my son wrote (excerpt of his poem):

A woman who clutches her purse real tight,
Petrified of the Black man’s sight.

Cross a street
I run real quick;
Bothered by all the synchronized
Doorknob clicks.

It may be a different day,
But the story still repeats;
What’s in the bag?
May I see your receipts?


It broke my heart because I was learning that the most important thing I could do as a Caucasian mother of an African American man child was teach him what to expect in his life and how to handle these things (though it was something I didn’t grow up learning in my all white neighborhood). Had he been completely Caucasian, this “lesson” would never have been necessary. In fact, his life taught me that it would be my African American friends and family who would educate me as to the road that my son would walk as he grew into a man. That was the most valuable blessing bestowed on me…the most accurate and the most concerning……scary even.

Today, had it not been for social media and cellphones exposing what has been happening to African Americans, we would all still be walking around with blinders on. We would never know, because people of color who are killed in this country because of fear, anger, superiority complexes and just plain ignorance is grossly under-reported. As a Caucasian, I too would not have known the egregious happenings to our sisters and brothers of color. I consider myself blessed again to be able to clearly see and experience (to a degree) what most people who look like me do not.

Black Lives Matter is NOT about ALL lives. It’s about BLACK lives, AS IT SHOULD BE!! Living in this life between two worlds, I understand the compassion with which my Caucasian friends proclaim that all lives matter……..BUT being the mother, grandmother, and auntie of those on the African American side of my family, I know the NECESSITY of Black Lives Matter. The two are NOT one in the same.

Black lives have not mattered for so long in this land of the free, that we easily ignore the data that clearly defines the disparities between races in this country on all levels. This scares me for my son, my grandson, my nephews and nieces and generations to come. As with the Civil Rights Movement, it is time to take a stand. Instead of mincing words……understand the movement……understand the necessity of the movement …….understand that unless Black Lives Matter we cannot proclaim that all lives do.

3 comments:

  1. TheSecretNinja7/9/16, 8:03 PM

    POWERFUL. thank you so much for writing this and thank you Ankhesen Mie for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for educating us and sharing you and your son's life experience of pain, suffering and discrimination, which continues to this day for people of color. All lives will not matter until Black Lives Matter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautifully put.

    Elayna could teach Kim K a lesson. For some reason, she ( Kim ) just think that she has mixed kids and that is it.Sure..she put up a Black lives matter hashtag..only when another Facebook user confronted her about selfishness.

    If my brother dated/ married a White / non Black woman,I hope that she would be as educated ,compassionate ,aware and understanding like Elayna. You have non Black women like Kim K who loves the idea being of being with a Black man / person but doesn't know what it truly is deal with Black/ interracial issues.

    I'm already feeling bad for Saint and North. Their mother's idea of dealing with racism is to show them a selfie of her selfish self.

    ReplyDelete

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