I have the most beautiful, sassy, intelligent half-Black/half-Thai girl in my class. She is magnificent, but the people here do not notice her amidst the sea of white skin. She is the Black shadow: disappearing in the back of the class, sinking deep into the ground, evaporating into thin air. On her best days she is ignored, on her worst she is noticed and treated differently than her peers.
As her ebony-emboldened big sister I have to remind her every day how beautiful she is, how intelligent she is, how valuable she is. I willingly hold every inch of my body to her as a mirror, showing her that she is not alone–Teacher Kami looks just like you and is fabulous, honey!
It frustrates me that this is the culture my sweet girl has to grow into, that all of her magnificence will try to be leeched out of her skin. I do not care how different our cultures may be, any trace of racism needs to be acknowledged in every nation. Racism needs to be sniffed out, called out, then burned to the ground. I want that ish extinct.
It has no place in a world that celebrates color and difference. If flowers can bloom in their own unique way, why the hell can’t humans do the same?
Some days the ignorance regarding Black people here makes me want to hop on the next plane back to America. It is nauseating the things I have to see on a regular Sunday. For example, this Sunday, I am walking in the grocery store minding my own business, as I always am, and following my movements are snickers, stares, people clutching their bags as if I don’t have a job, which by the way is teaching their kids English in order to provide a better future for them.
Some days I want to say screw you and your ignorance! I teach your damn kids with all of my heart and this is what I get because I’m not white. Fine! I’ll leave. Keep your white men with their lack of experience and lack of true concern for your child’s welfare. Bring them in with open arms as they take your women and leave them. Smile as they box up your culture, then sell it back to you–
What has white man created that he first didn’t destroy?
But even through all of the poison this culture tries to give me, I drink and do not die. I drink and piss it out. Make every one see how resilient this Black body is.
Black people do this magic every day.
We take the insults, the violence, the poison,
and yet, still love, still create, still smile,
I am teaching my little Black girl how to breathe. So every day while I am telling her that she is beautiful, intelligent, and valuable, I am also pushing her like no other student because one day she is going to see the brilliance she brings into every atmosphere and people will be begging her to stay.