ras mashramani

i used to feel shielded from interpersonal racism from white people growing up in los angeles and later in newark, because white people weren't exactly privileged in those environments--economically in LA they were where i was more or less, and socially they either assimilated and became a down white person, or they isolated themselves and became subject to rumors about being school shooters or cutters. all of the racism i felt fell squarely on the shoulders of institutions and systems--all of my racial anger was directed at the police and teachers who failed to believe in us, security guards in stores, kids from opposing teams in affluent districts. racism among us kids i felt was aproduct of the game tryna pit us against each other, and i felt it was my job to tell my black friends that you cant call mexicans wetbacks and my job to tell my mexican friends you cant touch peoples hair like that, BUT WE JUST MADE MISTAKES AND WE WAS ALL IN IT TOGETHER. as i got older, especially in newark, and began developing heavy class analysis, and later at drexel with the culture of respect, i learned and believed in solidarity and humanity--that understanding and love could cross boundaries of classracegendersexuality, and that only through engaging in dialogue, openness, and trust could we overcome these things. trust, because i believed marginalized folks and allies had to work together to tear down these structures both from the inside and outside, interpersonally, systemically, culturally. any ignorant sly shit i heard from people racially was calmly addressed, and anger would follow only if the response to that address was taken immaturelydefensivelyracistwhatever, and i never let that carry on to the next person, because i felt everyone was a new opportunity for communion. fast forward to now, living in west philly among people of varying races and classes and gender identities most with 'radical' and perspectives, i should be feeling empowered and ready, engaged, willing.... but lately, i been having the distinct feeling that the tide post-occupy has changed. or its been changing, and it's come to a head,or like something is about to pop off! somethings have BEEN popping off. i'm not slow. like i've noticed the irreverant post bukoswkipalaniuk form of hipster racism. i'm aware, and have confronted people who see me as a 'safe' black or a 'smart' black, or some sort of black that is set apart from the people i grew up with who i most strongly identify with and love as family.. i disengage/am chilly with people who i feel are destructive and not conducive to anything productive. this has protected me from a LOT of shit, people getting the feeling that they will be shut out/called out directly if they say anything side ways to me. but ever since trayvon martin, there's been something more, and it's everywhere; its at parties and its online its on the street, like what is happening.. have people always felt comfortable going to halloween parties in black face? saying n***** while singing along with rap songs? the tumblr/twitter interactions between angry poc's and uncomfortable white people are just.. i dont know i dont know, like people are getting killed and there's no coming together around it. polarization in our generation is so strange and passive aggressive, but aggressive! people are just quietly separating. and what about me? what happened to my openness and my understanding and my own belief in solidarity? cause i'm feeling suspicious and hurt and confused to no end. i dont want to feel like this around white people, like i dont know what will be said next.. i dont want to have to remind poc's of the good white people in our lives... have i been the best black person, i'm thinking now? how many white people have i dated? why have i only dated female poc's? what is that about? why am i tallying? aren't we all human beings? how many times have i said i am NOT african-american, i'm caribbean; i am not AFRICAN, i'm caribbean--knee jerk [what is there to be ashamed about]. yea i stopped that shit when i was like 19, but it haunts me. every decision like this i've made i've turned over and over in my head. 'no snitching': i've maintained a healthy suspicion and hatred for the cops throughout my life the way a good black should [i guess?], but i havent bought into the no snitching life, primarily because when i was a kid and my brother was killed in a driveby, nobody had shit to say and there was no closure in my family, the wound stayed open and poisoned us--so when i was [almost] mugged earlier this summer and i called the police the SHAME i felt like i'm the WORST BLACK, how could i have done this. and on tumblr when i see the across the board anger of poc's against anything w hite person says, i'm wondering how angry am i? should i be angrier? am i angry enough? why do i feel for these white people who desperately want us to know that theyre not all like that? and what is this blind rage i feel when i see any shit about miley cyrus? isn't she a woman, like i'm a woman? isn't she a victim like i'm a victim [fuck noooooo]. People mad about Lorde talking shit about Mayback and I'm like I AGREE, but am i allowed? where am i tho? i dont want to be questioning my beliefs so strongly. but i guess thats the nature of living through history and of growing up. i just... racial feelings. [i love you all tho]