That time I wished my face wasn’t white
Rebecca Marie
92

I agree with Tre. The only “woke” black people I’ve met have been conspiracy theorists or people who vowed to not vote.

There honestly isn’t a term for ‘it’, because it isn’t a state of being. It’s a process of the continual pursuit of understanding, never attainable.

I was born in Cape Town, then became black when I moved to Miami. My wife is Lithuanian and my daughter somewhere in between, her own thing, which I hope for her generation will be less important.

For us it’s too late.

To be fair, I’m more Malcolm X than MLK, and I’m more James Baldwin than Malcolm. But there is truth in one thing: we can’t move on without a reckoning. Moving on is the white American argument against the honest admission of past AND present pain, the recognition that those two things are inextricable, and the facing of the fact that 400 years of physical, psychological and mental abuse against the non white races in America is not movable past. It isn’t.

Not for us who are now alive. This generation had it better than the last, and the next will be better than ours. But the sun will long have stopped shining before we are able to fully move past it.

It sounds pessimistic but it isn’t. I move now in my life amongst white Americans (and I’ve lived in many different countries, but white Americans have a special thing) like a ballet dancer through a minefield. It isn’t distrust. It’s 90% trust, but always, out the corner of my eye, in the back of my mind, far back, I’m waiting for that other shoe to drop.

It really is unfortunate, but it isn’t pessimism I promise. Just reality.