By Basia Alicia Powell
Anyone who says that they don’t see color, was either born blind, or is a liar. Racism and its traits have been in existence for generations. The only way you can label yourself as “non-racist” is by taking a firm stand against racism.There is no other position. That goes for all races. Failure to do this makes you a racist. Racists are either silent or outspoken about their racial supremacy.
In words of the late great Bob Marley,:
For South Africans, apartheid is real because it was officially enforced several years ago in that country. A country that jailed a black man, by the name of Nelson Mandela, for standing up for his rights and would later aoplaud him for the same actions and make him President of that country.
What many of us failed to realize back then is, apartheid existed informally and is still very present throughout the world. The events leading up to the murder of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, Brian Taylor and many other unarmed black men and women have left many of us wounded. We did not take the bullet, but we live with the scars. Scars of oppression; scars of not being appointed or selected because of your color ( even when you are over qualified); scars of not being heard and being beaten or killed for centuries. Scars for just being born black.
For most of my adult life, I chose to wear blinkers. It was a safe place for me. The idea that I my color was a barrier, was not a message I wanted to receive. After-all, I love being black. I also grew up in a country (where there were other issues), at a time when there was no barrier to ascension because of my color. In that country, I did not have to live with the fear of social injustice. Honestly, for a very long-time I had nothing to acknowledge or to fear around racial lines. There were more ethic issues but not racist. I grew up sheltered, and then I came to America to live, and my eyes became wide open. During those years we visited the United States on vacation, it is not the same. (See me, come live with me)
Today, my lens have changed. At one time, I lived with a sense of false hope that my presumed affluence derived through higher-ed qualifications, increased income and highly coveted zip code, would prevent me and mine from being a target, but I was wrong. I realised that I told myself some lies to make me feel safe. That would change forever, the day I saw a white police officer put his knee on an unarmed, handcuffed black man’s neck and did not remove it until he stopped breathing. That is the day my breathing pattern changed. It was the day the whole world got to see what black people and black men in particular, have endured their whole lives, for generations. The only difference on this day, is a brave black queen by the name of Darnella Frazier made sure we all had a visual of the years of torture and police brutality, we only heard and read about, by video taping the murder. She made sure that the jury had no doubt of this horrific murder. Racism has always existed, however this time we have it on video.
Another heartbreaking reality for me, is how people of other racial groups could see this horrific murder and retaliate by saying, “All lives matter.” While in theory that should be the case, in reality, it is not. When black and brown lives (look at what is happening in the Asian community) begin to matter, then all lives will matter. What is also astonishing is the loud silence among the white Christian population. Popular white mega church pastors were nowhere to be seen. “Black and brown tithes matter” but not blacklives .Hmm…
Despite the trauma we all suffered, I am proud of my people and their abilty to say enough is enough and stand up to racism by peacefully protesting and matching around the world. I am particularly proud of the Gen Z population (comprising of young people of all colors and races), who made it clear that they want no part of racism and bigotry in their future. They made me proud. Of course, I was disappointed by people I thought I knew. People I considered friends and allies. Your refusal to stand up for humanity will go down in history. To my “friends” who went silent, I see you. For those of you who are not white, be careful. Look at what our Asian brothers and sisters are now experiencing. No one is safe. Your children are watching you, and in most cases they do not believe in what you believe in.
Racism is not in your DNA. It is like a language, it is taught. For those of you who continue to be insecure about your racial status, and believe that you have a birth rite to supremacy; the world has gone passed you. We have all moved on. You will soon find yourself living in a world that is based on equal opportunity for all. The fact that you cannot accept it, does not mean it does not exist. We will not “know our place, to make you feel good about yourselves.” We are all entitled to the results of our efforts.
If you choose to continue to perpetuate this hate. That is your choice of resistance. We cannot stop you from seeing yourself as you choose. However, this fight is not for superiority. It is against injustice and for equality. An equality that is God given. I have always seen myself as your equal, you were the one that held the skewed vision. I am no longer playing those mind games with you and guess what, neither are my people. This nonsense stops with the murder of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor and others prior. We can’t breathe until justice is served.
In Episode 5 of my Ask Basia podcast, I speak with two qualified queens Dr. Sydelle Ross and Mrs. Alana Avis. This was not an easy topic for us, as we are all experiencing flash backs watching the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. However, I am thankful that they were brave enough to take a stand and say how they feel, as so many declined for varied reasons.
You can follow with Dr Ross on IG http://instagram.com/sydellerossmd and follow Alana Avis on IG http://instagram.com/beautybfly and of course don’t forget to follow your girl on IG http://instagram.com/basiapowell. See their bios below the video.
TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT DR SYDELLE ROSS AND ALANA AVIS HAD TO SAY ON THE TOPIC
Take a look at their Bios of my commentary panel
Dr Sydelle Ross, an Anesthesiologist and Pain Specialist, who currently practices palliative medicine. She is also a classically trained vocalist who uses music to care for patients living with life threatening illnesses. Dr Ross’s podcast “Prescription in Song” is dedicated to promoting awareness of healing potential of music and is available on Apple Podcast and Spotify.
Mrs Alana Avis
Alana Avis was raised in Montreal, Quebec to Trinidad & Tobagonian parents. She is a Cybersecurity Risk Executive and fitness enthusiast, who loves a good effortless fashion moment. Currently she is also is venturing into entrepreneurship building an e-commerce brand rooted in wellness.