“No Strokes For Different Folks” #writerwednesday #black #microaggressions #race #blackhistorymonth

(Repost)

Like this woman above, I’m already rolling my eyes at the fact that I feel the need to write the following “disclaimer” as an intro to my post but here goes:

This post is NOT intended to call anyone “ignorant”. This post is to raise awareness about how uncomfortable people can feel when seemingly harmless things are said and done to them, oftentimes by people who don’t mean any harm and don’t realize how their actions are being received.

But when we know better, we do better right?

That is the objective of this post and the reason why I’m bringing this to you.

I’m climbing off my soapbox now…

***

In my “Life of Pie” – 12 Totally Random Things You Never Needed To Know About Me” post, I told you that sometimes people I barely know have gotten into my personal space and have touched my “_____”, taking me off guard before I could even react.

In that post, I purposely left it blank so that you could guess. Some of you guessed right and some of you guessed …not right.

Well, as luck would have it, someone who knew exactly what I was referring to in that post forwarded me a real-life example of my #12.

Take a look:

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I cringed the moment I saw that outstretched hand…

It boggles my mind why some people think that it’s “okay” to cross that personal boundary, physically touch someone they may barely know and even sometimes go so far as to glide their hands over another person.

How would those same individuals like it if someone they barely knew stroked them?

I don’t care if the gesture is meant to be a compliment.

Do not touch me without my permission.

Yes, that woman looks amazing at 53. And I’ll even let that co-host’s words slide this time (because it’s an entirely different conversation).

But the touching?

Uhhhh…hell no, no, no.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do it. Not everyone will be as polite as the woman in this video. Recoiling like a snake while giving you my “subway” face has been my go-to move for years now because it’s been much more effective than being “polite” by pretending to be okay with it.

Oh…the stories I could share with you but I won’t.

As food for thought, I’m leaving you with a link to “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis“. If you don’t have time to read, the photos speak volumes.

Microaggressions are not limited to “race”. There are many that abound related to gender and sexuality too…

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. My rant is over. 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews


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“Shopping While Black” #racism #racialprofiling #black #blackhistorymonth

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

Photo by MTSOfan on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Please never say this to me:

“Are you really sure that it’s because you’re Black? Maybe you’re just being overly sensitive…”

Yeah, if you say this to me, I’ll be forced to provide you with receipts…

My vibes are never wrong and I know when I’m being watched and/or followed in an establishment. Drop me in the middle of any store and within minutes, I can point out the plain-clothed security guard.

And do you know how I know that I’m right?

For fun, when my vibes kick in and I am within earshot, I say this just loud enough to be heard:

“Security sticks out like a sore thumb in this place…”

That’s when their head will snap around with surprise in my direction and they make eye contact, right before scurrying off in the opposite direction…

I wonder why???

Whether it’s a make-up free (and unrecognizable) Oprah trying to buy a $38,000.00 purse in Switzerland and being refused because the clerk assumes that it is “too expensive” for her…

Or little old me shopping for two dollar disposable beach doodads in a pre-cruise Vancouver Dollarama and being followed around by security…

“Shopping while Black” is a very real thing.

(I’ll save the story about what I told that security guy in Vancouver for another post..)

I’m sharing this “What Would You Do” video to provide a little awareness to those who have never had this kind of experience.

Let me know what you think.

M xoxo

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

“What You May Not Understand” #writerwednesday #black #blackhistorymonth #race

(Updated repost)

I’m sure you heard about the H&M “monkey hoodie” scandal and other insensitive advertisements i recent times but in this post, I’m focusing on the “Dove ad” controversy from a while back.

And if not, you can click on the link above and the link here for a general idea.

It was quite interesting to read social media comments that varied from “That ad is racist and I’m boycotting the company” to “In what world is that ad offensive? Get a grip you over-politically correct people!

Whether the ad was insensitive, offensive, racist or okay, that’s up to you to decide.

However, for those of you who don’t see why the ad could possibly be disrespectful, I’m sharing a few of my experiences to show you.

You may not understand all about:

  • a little boy in my kindergarden class (who had probably never seen a Black person before) who turned up his nose and asked me why I came to school “dirty”, right before scraping his finger along my arm to see how much “dirt” would come off;
  • my second grade teacher who say how “brown” and “black” people were smelly and stupid (keep in mind that I was the only “black” person, the “brown” boy was the only East Indian, the only unshowered stink came from that teacher herself); or
  • the next door neighbor kids who would call me “caca” through our chain link fence for years.

So as a child, I understood that I was seen as “less than” and “dirty” because of the color of my skin.

You may not understand all about:

  • a loser classmate in high school who would sit behind me just to pull on my braids and call me “Medusa” (which only stopped because I introduced him to my fist);
  • growing up bombarded by ads and messaging reinforcing that the only path to “pretty” was blond hair and blue or green eyes; or
  • knowing that “skin tone” make-up or “nude” colored pantyhose didn’t include people like me.

So as a teenager, I accepted that I had to live with being “ugly” because I could never meet those unattainable norms and standards plastered in magazines, on billboards and on television.

You may also not understand being complimented on how you are “pretty for a Black girl”, having someone touch your hair without your permission, or assuming that because your hair is long it must be a weave (and then again, touching it) like you’re not worthy of personal space and boundaries.

So as a grown woman having had to endure those kinds of early experiences, I quickly noticed the “issue” with the Dove ad, as did my 79 year old mother and 16 year old niece when I showed it to them.

At face value and for many, that Dove ad is …”quiet”.

But for others, it is a quiet menace that speaks volumes. It is a reminder of the false truths many of us were taught and learned about being “bad”, “unclean”, “unworthy”, “dirty” and “not the ideal”.

You see, with the tiny bit I’ve shared with you, maybe your eyes will not catch what is insensitive about the ad.

Because from where I sit and through my dark eyes, that is what lies behind the controversy.

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews
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“You Married One Those?” #race #racism #blackhistorymonth

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

Growing up, we were surrounded by racist neighbors.

It didn’t matter that we had moved onto that street before they had and before I was even born. It only mattered that we were Black (“Go back where you came from!“), that we spoke English (“We hate English people!“) and that we didn’t fit their stereotype of what “des nègres” were supposed to be (you can fill in those colorful blanks).

We endured so many years of stupid sh*t that I could give you a laundry list. But I’ll won’t here.

Those neighbors were brutally bold and boldly brutal but we were too badass to break.

During a family BBQ when I was about 10, one of the most offending neighbors approached my uncle’s (White) wife at our backyard fence and asked her one simple question:

“You married one of those?

I don’t remember my aunt’s response but I clearly remember the look of disgust that clouded the neighbor’s face. My aunt had drunk the Black Kool-Aid and was in need of some deep deprogramming, right?

Funny enough, I heard that the neighbor’s husband sold his business, jacked the mortgage on their house, dumped her for an English-speaking darker-hued woman and moved to Florida with new lady – leaving her high and dry with no choice but to sell the house and move into a tiny apartment on the other side of town…

Sorry but I had a big ol’ laugh when I heard that gossip. Petty, petty me…

On the issue of interracial couplings, here is another interesting “What Would You Do?” video for you.

Quite amazing to see that most women in this salon only cared about two things:

(1) if her man made her happy and

(2) if he was treating her well.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

“Double Agent” #race #blackhistorymonth

https://pixabay.com/en/silhouette-man-person-shadow-man-407659/

Last week, a #SongLyricSunday participant posted an Amanda Marshall song, reminding me of how much I loved her music back in the day. Her music was perfect for “cruising down the highway” on long road trips.

Of course, this made me pull out my old cassette. Where did this great Canadian voice disappear to?

Sunday Morning After“, “Birmingham” and “Colleen (I Saw Him First)” were my favorites but I’ve always loved the lyrics of the song below, “Double Agent”.

This song is about the insensitive things people say about certain ethnic groups when they don’t realize that YOU are part and parcel of that group – you just don’t look like it.

You can’t always judge a book by its cover, can you?

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
©2018 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“I’ve Never Been with a Black Girl” #writerwednesday #black #swirling #race #blackhistorymonth

He was very pretty to look at and I was hoping there were brains to back up that face…

Christina Lu love cute heart holding hands

(Repost)

At a local café, somewhere near the end of a first lunch date

This piece is not meant to discourage “swirling” (interracial dating). I am “pro-swirl” and always in favor of all women choosing to be with someone who loves, respects and treats them well, regardless of race. Content of character above the color of someone’s skin is what is important.

******

“I’ve never been with a Black girl before.”

I wasn’t surprised that “swirling” was new for him. The popularity of characters like Olivia and Fitz on shows like “Scandal” seemed to have opened up a new world of dating doors for Black women.

“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” I said.

I decided to assume that his use of “been” really meant “dated”, otherwise he would have been getting way ahead of himself. He was very pretty to look at and I hoped he had brains to back up that face.

“Wait until I tell my friends!”

WTF?

He sounded like some five year old who couldn’t wait to show off a new toy at “Show and Tell”.

The glee and tone of his words wreaked of a man eager to earn his “Black belt”.

Any hope I possibly had about brains and brawn flew straight out the window.

Needless to say, there was no second coffee date.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted September 24, 2015

“Flirt Or Prey?” #race #black #blackhistorymonth

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing my thoughts…

You never know what lies behind someone’s veil, do you?

Watch this video below until the very end oherwise you’ll miss the twist.

Was this an innocent flirtation on his part or was she just a possible prey?

Either way, this guy is creepy…

What are your thoughts?

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.