As long as I can remember, this has been the story of my existence.
Many times I have looked around and felt out of place. Many times I have felt misunderstood and alone. Am I sad about it? No. It is the world I was given. It is the world I have chosen. I have learned to live and love in this world. In many ways it has made me me.
Recently, we attended an event where we knew and were known by virtually no one. VERY quickly, I was aware of the differences between "us" and "them." I felt out of place. I felt uncomfortable. At first it wasn't that big of a deal, I've been there before. But then came The Look.
The Look. If you are "a person of color" in this society, you know the one I'm talking about. It has been directed toward me (and probably toward you) countless times. I've learned to let it pass (as I'm sure you have), and most times it does. Not this time.
This time, although several days have passed, it continues to burn in my mind. This time I am still disillusioned. I am still disappointed. I am still hurt. I am still angry. No, I'm pissed. This time it was different. This time I wasn't the initial recipient of The Look, I was the witness. This time The Look was directed toward my daughter... then my son... then me.
Today, as I think about it, I'm angry... for so many reasons. I'm angry that in 2006 this garbage still goes on. I'm angry that fear, hatred, judgement, prejudice, intolerance and ignorance continue to endure - that some people really won't change. I am angry that over 3000 Americans died in one day five years ago because of this crap. I'm angry that countless people around the world continue to die EVERY DAY because of this crap. I am angry that too many people refuse to see past themselves, speak without thinking and hate without realizing it. I'm angry about all of the socially, culturally, racially, socioeconomically, sexually and spiritually insensitive and ignorant comments I hear in casual conversation on a daily basis. I'm angry that I don't have a solution to any of this, and it doesn't seem that anyone else does either. I am angry that this woman presumes to know a damn thing about me or about my family based on what she thinks she sees.
I am angry because I am just as guilty as she is.