Dear Mr. A.
Dear Mr. A,
I am coming to you because I find myself in a predicament. You see, you made it clear that you wanted me to keep quiet about certain things that had been on my mind, yet in the same breath you encouraged me to speak freely.
Since I spent my life keeping silent, I thought I would attempt the latter for a change. See, when you adopted me — — well I guess I should call it forceful adoption, I was hoping to eventually receive identical treatment to some of those who seem to resemble you. I never got a chance to experience this.
Years before, I over heard folks express their rage due to the inequality in ‘your country’, you know, some of those who are blessed with the burden of beautiful chocolate skin? But they also shared their concerns for their inability to be able to get ahold of you. They expressed their great desire for an explanation for the habitual maltreatment when it has been recorded that our people before us helped build “your country”, while they simultaneously recorded those mysterious gaping slashes on their bare skin.
I should get to my point because I know you are busy, but I was hoping that with your busy schedule you could find time to help restore a visual that has been consistently planted inside of the minds of many, Mr. A — I mean, you are the only one who has this power. The visual that started years before painted a picture of my people with exaggerated dark faces. We were portrayed as unintelligent, lazy and violent. The 1915 silent film “The Birth of a Nation” did wonders to depict this.
I don’t want to speak for you, but I am sure you may open up the paper or watch the news, instead of visiting the places and see that my people are perpetuating these visuals at times. And to that, I will say you are correct Mr. A. Yet, I must remind you we too have eyes and ears. Those same visuals have creeped into the minds of our people starting with “ The Willy Lynch Theory” creating self-hatred amongst us. When you adopted us, we were stripped from our culture and along the way developed a new one, but with that came these debilitating visuals and self-hatred I speak of.
Again — — I don’t want to speak for you, but you maybe thinking “what is the point of all of this melancholic babble?” that I am complaining and trying to hold someone responsible for the diminished — no, lack of self worth amongst my people, but let me be clear — When I say my people, I include many people who resemble you. Who possess empathy not pity, whom open their hearts, and minds to the struggle of their fellow brother and sister, women of all colors, gay, lesbian, our brothers and sisters whom you confiscated “your country” from and all the brown, blue, gray, yellow, red people whose mental stamina has been put to test from carrying the weight of oppression. So please, realize my sentiments do not just float in the circles of us with darker pigmentation.
Mr. A, my words will not be able to reach my people, for it sits in the dark, eight feet under with me. But I ask that you tell them that seeking validation of your images, is no longer necessary and shall it melt from their psyche like the remaining snow that sits in the low Sierras, in the middle of June. Tell them that you have purposely attempted to separate my people by creating those visuals, teaching them that different is dangerous. Tell them that your first name ‘United’ has failed to live up to it’s true meaning that you actually did these things to stop us from doing just that, uniting. Tell them you did this to eliminate any potential of being dethroned from your powerful seat.
Better yet, Mr. A. please tell those who choose to neglect from challenging your words or actions, that you made a great mistake, that greed seeped into your body when you decided to take a bite of the potent apple many centuries ago. That those who you chose to protect and serve our communities shall dig deeper in order to develop a clearer vision of the beauty that lies inside of us with darker skin, instead of ending a life — like mine ended with led exploding through my flesh. Fred Hampton was young and his captivating words are what had him killed. As I express myself to you, I try not to think about what could have been during my time on earth, because according to history it would have ended the same way. But to give others an opportunity to take in another breath. Please deliver this message for me Mr. A. as my people can began the internal, individualist process to capture that elusive feeling of self-love.
Gone to soon