I’ll walk into a room filled with white people. - TMI Project

Every time Drew leaves his house, he has to mentally and emotionally prepare himself for the backlash from society.

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“I’ll walk into a room filled with white people. Whether I’m the one who initiated the meeting or not, the entire conversation will be directed toward my white counterparts, with an occasional glance in my direction to acknowledge I’m in the room.”

As soon as I leave my home, I walk around bracing myself, as if I’m about to get hit by Mike Tyson. I have to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for society’s continual blows – people looking, acting, and speaking to me as if I don’t belong. I wonder if it’s just me or if I’ve inherited PTSD from the trauma passed down from my ancestors, from slavery — steeped in my genes and part of my DNA? Or am I just paranoid? I ask myself these questions every day as I prepare for the inevitable.

Someone will ignore me while I’m patiently waiting in line. I’ll have that stupid smirk on my face; I won’t be able to speak up and say, “excuse me” or else I’ll be looked at as overly aggressive and labeled “The Angry Black Man!”

I’ll walk into a room filled with white people. Whether I’m the one who initiated the meeting or not, the entire conversation will be directed toward my white counterparts, with an occasional glance in my direction to acknowledge I’m in the room.

I’ll graciously hold the door open for a white person, and they’ll look at me as if that’s what I’m supposed to do. There is no “Thank you.” They’ll just continue walking.

I’ll drive the speed limit as I always do. The person behind me will be in a rush. I’ll pull over to let them pass, and they’ll roll down their window and shout, “Stupid Nigger!” Then speed off.

So I’ll ask again: Is it me? Am I just paranoid, or does society conspire against blacks? Are white people taught to be racist and are blacks taught to question and hate themselves and each other?

 

 

 

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Showing 8 comments
  • March Gallagher
    Reply

    Your perseverance and the kindness with which you create a safe space for others makes you one of the strongest, wisest, most enlightened people I know. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lanette Perez
    Reply

    You embody strength, resiliency, patience, tolerance and what it means to truly love from “the inside out”! One of the many reasons I love you – your ability to see life through a lens free of bias and hate! You rock papacitos ?❤️

  • Lanette
    Reply

    Babe, one of the many reasons why I love you! You embody and exude all that is strength, patience, tolerance and love – from the inside out! Your resilience is your power and no one can ever take that away! You rock papacitos ?❤️

  • Laura Naselow
    Reply

    From the moment I met you (the exact moment was at a Master class at Spice dance & fitness & you were dancing right next to me), well, I just knew, we clicked, you were then & are now, one of the MOST special people to walk this planet. I also knew when you presented “something you were working” on to another Master Class, & honestly, I don’t know if it was called DXF at that time, but I immediately went right up to get more info from you & I knew I had to be involved. I am truly blessed to be part of the “circle of life” you move in.

  • Donna
    Reply

    Ah Drew….you know what you’ve meant to me in this life….it’s sad to me that the beauty and love that is you, is not obvious to everyone you come into contact with….thanks for sharing your thoughts….you have a large community that loves you….

  • Julia Przybilka
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing what you are going through in daily life, it touches me and makes me sad at the same time:( I m European and I grew up in a different way and cannot relate to anything which you described. All I know is that you are in this life to create change for yourself and so many others! We met, we travelled together, I took you to all my “white” business partners and there wasn’t even a question about the color of your skin, all that matters is the person you are. I love and respect you for all you are and all you do ❤??

  • Tameka
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. I also often wonder the psychological and emotional toll of just walking around in my skin. This is a brave piece. Thank you.

  • houstonphotojourney
    Reply

    Reading this breaks my heart and I hope one day it won’t be like this! God bless you.

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