The Struggle of Black and Brown Unity
Let me paint for you the story that makes me reflect on the struggle of Black and Brown Unity in AmerIKKKa.
I was attempting to get on a Uber with my Mama who is elderly and needs extra care. We are waiting in the drop off/pick up section of Union Station in Los Angeles. I hear from an SUV, Tupac's "Hail Mary." I cannot see who is in the car but I do hear a voice shouting, "No Mother Fucking Way." I take note of this and then proceed to wave down our Uber drive.
Our Uber driver's energy was "off" as soon as he arrived." I made a mental note of this as my Mama shared out loud that the Uber driver looked upset. He was not welcoming. To me, welcoming means, at a minimum, to say "Hello."
I walk over to our Uber driver, and tell him, if we can go ahead and get in the car. He does not say one word to me and waves me off. I look forward and realize he is waving to tell me he is trying to pick us up on the other side of the SUV because the driver of the SUV has her door open and is yelling at her passenger. I could not say another word because I was interrupted by the female driver of the SUV. She yells at the Uber driver that she is not moving and that he is discriminating against her because she is Black. We all look up at her, and she continues to tell the driver that he can go around. At that point, the security guards approaches the flustered womxn to tell her to close the door.
I make my way with my Mama who is pushing her walker to try to meet our Uber driver on the other side of the SUV. I try to get on the Uber and attempt to flag him down one more time to let him know we are ready to board. He looks at me and keeps driving towards the exit, makes a u-turn and leaves Union Station. Our Uber driver declined to give us a ride.
At this point, I look at my phone and immediately assigned another driver. I walk towards my Mama, but I look at the driver of the SUV and tell her, that our Uber driver left us because she refused to close the door. She yelled at me: "What you going to do about it Bitch!" I responded: "Don't you dare talk to me in a disrespectful way!" She continues: "What you going to do about it Mother fucking Bitch, BITCH GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY!" I feel rage take over my entire body and I feel extremely warm. A part of me really wants to go deep into that space I call "Don't mess with me because I am from Boyle Heights." As various emotions are clashing in my mind, I look at my Mama who is yelling at me to come with her and not engage with this lady. I would not know until later that what I really felt was not rage, but pain.
As the yelling is occurring, there is a large group of individuals witnessing our exchange. I walk towards the lady, look at her (security guard between us) and I yell, "What do you mean? I AM INDIGENOUS TO THIS LAND! DON'T COME AT ME WITH THAT, AND WHY WOULD YOU SAY THIS? My Mama is yelling at me, eventually I make my way to her.
As I proceed to meet my Mama, the womxn is now speaking to her passenger. The passenger is her daughter and is being dropped off to board a train.
The daughter looks at me. She apologizes for her mothers' behavior. Her mother who stands at about 5'0 feet, looks away from me and tells me that she is sorry and embarrassed about her behavior. I look at the older African American Womxn, grab her hand, look in the eyes and tell her, "It's ok, we say things in anger that we don't mean. I love you. You are beautiful and we need to work together."
The womxn looks at me and with tears in her eyes. I lean in and give her a kiss on the cheek, tighten my grip around her hand and embrace her in a hug. Eventually, I walk away to meet my Mama to board our new Uber ride.
Let us reflect. What does this cuento (story) reveals about: (a) the struggle to critically build Black and Brown Unity, (b) breakdown the use of microagressions (Solorzano, D., 2000) by Black people around authenticity as it relates to Latinx communities (c) how do we push against social structures that promote the idea that Latinx are AlIENS AND MUST RETURN to some place other than AmeriKKKA, and (d) how do we deal with pain inflicted by the words espoused by Black people towards the Latinx community.
To analyze the above, it takes a great deal of writing that if I had more time, I would dedicate an entire journal article. First, I will start with pain. I felt a serious sense of pain that can only be inflicted by one of my Brothers and Sisters of Color. Why is this pain intense? It is a deep pain because I want to believe that as People of Color, we understand each others journeys. This is why I was severely impacted by the words that my Black sister used. I see her as my family. I see her as having my back. When a white person makes these ignorant statements, I feel rage. That's what I expect from ignorant white people. I understand that the Black womxn like myself has experienced certain things in her life. Like me, she is a Womxn of Color. Also, I layer my analysis with the fact that the tactic of Divide and Conquer is embedded in the social structures of AmeriKKKa.
Let us ask, how do we move away from Divide and Conquer tactics so that microagressions are not used? How do we build strength and collaboration between our Peoples of Color?
Let's be real with each other. Let's live our truths. Let' dialogue so that our perspectives of each other are based on lived experiences. Don't let AmeriKKKa tell us about each other. As People of Color we need to define our truth!