American Dream for the Burdened: Delicacy and Calculated Insanity

It’s a weird dynamic living in a world where I have to delicately express (the frustrations) that derive from microaggressions of being a black man (in my case), in an explanation that does not make me seem too angry-hateful-aggressive, in hopes not to offend those who never feel the same pain I do. It does not speak towards the people who don’t feel the pain, but it speaks more so towards a system and a culture that places the burden of delicacy on the ones burdened; which essentially ends up giving more freedom to those that are already free; (freedom to smile more, freedom to be more optimistic, freedom to achieve more, and simply freedom.to.be).

It’s a given that I must be twice as good to even get a seat at the table; but not only do we have to be twice as hard, twice as strong, twice as fast, but we also must be twice as soft, twice as delicate, and twice as slow not to say or do the wrong thing. How high you climb the ladder — be it at your corporation, your school, your community, your peers — depends significantly on how much you are able to ignore this internal tug-a-war for the sake of unity and comradery to a “larger” picture.

It’s a weird dynamic living in a world that does not have time for your hurt, but would crucify you if you were to ever allow your hurt to interfere with their freedom. I would tell anyone that has had to take the time to internalize such a dynamic (be it due to race, gender , ethnicity, etc.)— to suck it up, climb that ladder, play that game, and when you get to the top, articulate what it is that those that are internalizing this tug-a-war are feeling in a way that would slowly transfer the burden of delicacy — from the burdened, to those that have the capacity.

And by no means am I suggesting you be like my Uncle, Tom — because he too ignored his own pain as much as his mast…as much as the person that did not have the same pain as him — did. But recognize at what stage of your climb your voice will have the biggest impact to help give freedom to those burdened with being delicate to those not burdened. This takes wisdom, strength, and balanced insanity — by no means am I saying this is normal, fair, or just.

But this is America. Don’t burden her with your burdens if you want a chance at freedom — just suck it up and climb — no matter how many worlds you’re carrying.