Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Red and Yellow, Black and White...

At the risk of too much disclosure, there is a story that must be told. I work at a private, majority white university in the south. Most private schools are pretty high on the socio-economic ladder. I happen to be at a school where the students who are, know it, and don't mind in their own little way letting their counterparts know it. Twenty year olds drive $50,000 vehicles and have no job.
I recently received a phone call about a student who found out in a rather uncomfortable way that her roommate did not want to live with her anymore. My student is black and from the state, the roommate is white and not from the south. My student wanted to know why. What happened and why didn't she say anything before now? The resident assistant let the student know that it was because of "cultural differences and family differences" that she didn't want to live with her anymore.
Even as i write this, i have to take deep breaths and slow my heart to a reasonable rate. I am the only black in my office. I am one of two blacks on my floor and three in the whole building of about 100+ people. If that gives you any ideas as to the demographics of the school, let me make it a little more plain. There are 14 black faculty members out of a little over 800 on campus. Getting the picture?
My coworkers (a few of them) want to say that "cultural differences" do not mean that this girl did not want to live with a black person, but that they were just different. Well, then, why wouldn't she just say that instead of using the word culture? She said what she meant and she meant what she said.
I'm sick and tired of people thinking that just because we aren't hanging from trees and having to use separate bathrooms that everything is ok. They think that we are always playing the "race card" and make everything out to be more than it is. This could not be more blatant to a person of color.....Could it?
Today we are faced with quiet bigotry. It is so much harder to fight than out right bigotry. I know that when Dr. King made his famous speech, he wanted what we have but not what comes with it.
Everything is so overt now and can be easily explained away by someone who is not of color. My skin color means that i will have to fight this fight for the rest of my life, no matter who ends up in the white house.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's hard to write when you're sad

I am probably the most impatient person on the face of the earth. I can handle here and now situations like traffic, two year olds, the elderly. It's the stuff that i have to wait years to realize that are the hardest to accept.
I want a functional degree now. I don't want to have to wait two years to do it or more. I want a job that i am perpetually happy with now. I don't want to have to wait the weeks or months that it takes to find anther one. I want to be happy forever right now. I don't want to have to wait for all of these things to come to fruition in order for me to be happy.
So in my impatience, i become more unhappy. And it is really, really hard for me to wait for the next best thing. Very hard to know that in order to get the job that i need to have and want to have, i'll have to go back to school. There is no way around it, if there were, i guarantee i would have found it by now as school is my least favorite thing to do in the whole wide world.
At the moment, i have a few, quite a few feelers out for changes of direction in my life. Most of them are things that will take weeks if not months to see results from. The waiting is agonizing, and being able to make more money and do better things hinges on waiting.
So the bottom line of all of this is that when i find myself in these holding patterns, i get extremely depressed. Unbelievably sad. It's times like that when i'm glad i have a dog that must be walked because otherwise somedays i may not leave my house. It's that bad.
I hold onto my faith and the fact that "All things work together for the good of them that love the Lord." Because it's true.
My life is constantly in transition, hence the name Turning Points, but i've learned that adaptability is a strength. It's something that i hold onto and that gets me through these waiting periods however long they may be.
I keep reminding myself that something better is around the corner. And most of all that i am not alone in all of this. My friends are great, but usually, honestly, not very much help. I hang my heart on the fact, the absolute fact that God loves me more than anything, absolutely anything in this world. And because of that, my life is worth something.