El Cocolo

blacknessI don’t know. Maybe I am getting too old for this. Perhaps I need to dial the rhetoric down a bit. I have always recognized that I see the world from a certain perspective and my views comes from the type of lens crafted through education and experience. I have never expected my views to be universal and as most of you know that I take criticism and critiques very seriously. I just find myself tired of everything that is going on.

Let me preface this by saying that I lead a very happy life. I’m where I want to be with the person I want to be with. I grateful for my job and my family. I have no complaints about my personal life nor my work life. Believe it or not, I love this country. It has it’s faults but I know I would not have this life if were a citizen elsewhere. However, I feel that what comes across in my words on Facebook and on Twitter is a person who complains about everything that is going on. Let us just acknowledge that there is a lot of incredibly messed (note: I kept it clean) things going on in the world.

I can sit here and take a snap shot of the past 2-3 weeks that have included the Zimmerman Acquittal, the killings in Chicago, Riley Cooper, Don Lemon, Stephen A. Smith, the Darius Simmons trial, and a host of other shit (that didn’t last long) that just makes me cringe. Am I getting angrier? Am I changing or is the world around me seem to be more ominous?  Because I often feel like the only Jor-El in a room filled with General Zods.

I guess what I’m really saying is that I grow tired of all of it. While I know that I am not the only one who screams out about inequality of all types, I sometimes get the feeling that I am on an island alone screaming at a ball named Wilson. I know that I could just put my head down and continue writing the novel. I know that I have ability to be completely apathetic about the whole thing and just talk about comic books (although, do not get me started on the lack of Black and Latino writers in Marvel and DC).

Its hard when I have to explain to family about the nature of my blackness. Yes, I am Puerto Rican and Equadorian but what do I look like in the mirror? Moreno? Chocolate? I knew at an early age about how “bad” it was to be dark skinned. My cousins called me Tar Baby and other times I was called a Cocolo (look it up). How I define my blackness is really up to me and I have hard time seeing how being an Afro Latino can be viewed any differently in the eyes of the majority compared to an African American.

So yes, I feel that I fall into the black and white binary that holds America together. I am not in favor of blaming the victims. I am not going to sit here and agree with any notion that because someone like RIley Cooper says the n-word so freely it is because his black teammates say it in front of him and thus it made it easier for him. So does that mean we blame Paula Dean’s cooks for allowing themselves to employed by her? Do we blame Travon Martin for wearing a hoody because that looks thuggish? Do I blame myself for my family calling me Tar Baby?

But, you know what? I complain too much. I am an elitist Latino that couldn’t possibly understand what the world is about. I guess that is the way it is in this Post Racialized society.

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We are not Delusional

1045158_10151468822662541_33507666_nThis is, in many ways, is a open letter to my (former) facebook friends who think that race was never a factor in the Zimmerman case. I have had some time reflect on the verdict that was completely unsurprising to me.

We are not delusional. There is no way that anyone can say that the millions of people who are marching and protesting are about the outcome of this trial are delusional. Yet, there are people out there who are celebrating the not guilty verdict. There are people saying that there was a clear case of self defense and that Travyon Martin contributed to his own death. The best part about some of these idiots on Facebook is that I’ve seen them posting articles of crimes that black people have committed against white people. This is when I know we are living in two separate worlds.

We do not live in a post racial America. I wish people would stop saying that America has changed. The fact of the matter is that the value of Black life is not equal but I don’t expect those in the majority to understand. Quite frankly, I am tired of having to explain American History to them. They never had laws created, changed, or amended so that “on paper” they can be considered equals. But, they can get offended easily to the point where they have to question whether the word “cracker” was just as bad as “ni***r” (yet, they know they cannot say the latter of the two words).

There is no delusion in the simple fact that the Stop & Frisk law in NYC as allowed the police to make 533,042 stops in 2012 in which 87 were Black and Latino. But is ok to dismiss our claims of racially biased laws, it is ok to say that we are crazy to believe Travyon Martin received zero justice despite the fact that he was indeed profiled by Zimmerman. So, I suppose it is ok to follow anyone and accost them in the middle of the night and not expect a fight? So it is ok to proclaim self defense when the simple fact is that had Zimmerman listened to instructions by the police to stay in his vehicle, Travyon would be alive today. But, he did nothing wrong, right?

We don’t live in the same world. I know a plethora of parents (who are Black and Latino) who are genuinely scared for their children now. Some have wept about their future and some have wondered how will they explain this to their children. I don’t see that concern coming from the other side. I don’t see any white people (who are celebrating) feel any concern for their kids because they don’t have to. There is no one profiling their children.

Let’s also not pretend that just because Zimmerman is Latino that it is not still racially biased. White Hispanics are just has bad. I have said it time again on this very blog that Latino racism is real and you can tell simple by those who refuse to consider any African influence in their culture. Why do they fight it? Because black has always be considered something bad and that is not a delusion.

I thought that having different opinions coming across my timeline was a good thing. I wanted to see both sides of many issues. But, after this weekend, I just can’t. We just live in two separate worlds. We may have gone to the same high school or grown up in the same areas but I refuse to be associated with anyone that is going to think that we are delusional. Everything is about race, EVERTHING. The fact of matter is that you do not think think about about your whiteness, while we are reminded of our blackness, our immigration status, our language use, our cultures every fucking day. Why? Because it is people like you and the laws that put in place and later amended that remind us of our place in this country.

Emmett Till, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Kimani Gray, Yusef Hawkins, Troy Davis, Luis Ramirez, James Byrd Jr., Willie Edwards, Anastacio Hernandez Rojas, Micheal Donald, Sean Bell, James Chaney, The Central Park 5, John Collado, Darius Simmons, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin. (just to name a few)

We are are not delusional. You are. Get the fuck off my Facebook.

Tainted Victory?

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Yesterday people (in my circles) were talking about victory. DOMA has been deemed unconstitutional in the states that allow gay marriages and California may be the next state to allow such a law. It is a clear win for those of us who support equal marriages and I am truly happy about that. The problem is that feeling is somehow tainted with the Voting Rights Act being cut down the day prior.

Many people have stated that the Voting Rights Act signed by Lyndon B. Johnson is the corner stone of the Civil Rights Movement. This act made it difficult for southern states within the U.S. to suppress the black vote that has now ultimately turn into the “minority” vote. If anyone has been paying attention over the last four elections, then it should be easy to point out that each year since Gore/Bush the stories of voter suppression has increased.

It was no secret that Republicans were tight when Obama won the first term. This was due to the fact that his grassroots campaign netted a plethora of new voters, young voters, and of course, people of color. We all came out in droves to vote for this man because we were tired of the same old story in Washington. Now, we also know that McCain/Palin also help us by shooting themselves in the foot on multiple occasions.

Since then it was fairly obvious that Republicans wanted to keep Obama as a one term president and those began the open criticisms, the stories of false birth certificates, the rumors of him being Islamic, and just overall fighting of any thing he wanted to do. While I cannot be sure, I am willing to guess that there was some brainiac in the GOP that came up with a bright idea of taking away votes from POTUS during the 2012 election, not to mention they felt they had a winner in Romney/Ryan. Thus, more reports across the country about people not being able to vote.

It was Justice John Roberts that said, “Our country has changed” and my response was and always will be, has it really? At what point do these judges (which includes Clarence Thomas -which doesn’t say much actually) believe that things have gotten better from a racial perspective? Yes, the country has changed decades after the Civil Rights Movement but that does not mean that people will not still use their power to oppress others. In fact, it has become a part of the political game that being played. 

I know that I had deemed last year a banner year for racism and I stick to that. This year makes me wonder how close it will come or if it will even surpass it. Or maybe I should just go ahead and prematurely call it a banner decade. This feeling is way past the political climate but just an overall feeling when I look at what is going on.

The Travon Martin trial is just a shit show being played on stage. The Paula Deen hysteria is drama that is not surprising me at all. The defense of the show Devious Maids is laughable.The NYPD reprimanded one of their officer for speaking Spanish to another  officer (this is a personal gripe of mine but their Stop and Frisk program does violate the rights of thousands of young men and women of color).

This is just huge distraction to keep the dim witted from actually realizing that their righst are slowing being taken away from them (see the Patriot Act and then look at the NSA).

All I’m saying is that I cannot get too happy at a victory because things can change very quickly. I just hope all the people that were celebrating yesterday will also be in the same corner of those fighting hard to stop the disenfranchisement of “minority” voters.