My friend Phyllis called just as I was coming into my home this evening.
"Hi Phyllis." (I love caller ID)
"Sheria, when did you start writing for Newsweek?"
Phyllis and I have known each other for 20 years, and she enjoys confusing me. She proceeded to read excerpts from an essay in Newsweek entitled "Play the Race Card," that wasn't written by me but by a black female author by the name of Raina Kelley.
I wish that I had written the article because then I would have been published in Newsweek. Phyllis, who happens to be white, is a really close friend and I shared with her that one of my regular readers characterized me as an angry black woman. He didn't offer it as a criticism, merely an observation. Phyllis and I decided that he was wrong, because I'm Mother Teresa compared to a truly angry black woman.
However, I may have to backtrack on that. I have a subscription to Newsweek, thanks to Phyllis and her husband Steve who have been renewing my subscription every Christmas for about 20 years. Naturally, when I got off the phone with Phyllis, I read the article that she called me about and totally concurred that it was well written and thought provoking. I decided to find the article online and link to it on my Facebook page.
I put in the author's name and the title of the article as search terms and came across a link with the title, "Nigger Raina Kelley Says Play Da Race Card." Needless to say, I was a bit intrigued, so I followed the link and landed at a Word Press blog entitled The Black Plague with the subtitle, "Not a white supremacist, but a white realist." It is not about the bubonic plague.
I read about a dozen entries, all of which featured the word "nigger" in the title. A lot of the commenters used similar language. His or her blogroll includes blogs of similar merit. The author uses the pen name, nigga mortis. Clever.
When I was younger and more innocent, I would have been hurt and wounded by such hatefulness, but although I felt some hurt, my primary emotion was anger. If I were able to confront the author of this piece of trash, I think that I could do a credible impression of an angry black woman and open up a can of whup ass on this ignorant, lowlife excuse for a human being.
As I was contemplating going up beside his or her head, it dawned on me that I should embrace my status as an angry black woman. My righteous anger is my armor. It makes me sharp and protects my soul from the destructive forces of ignorance and racism. You see, I have this notion that I should be able to live my life without repeatedly encountering hateful, racist nonsense.
People who really know me, understand that I never direct that anger at anyone who doesn't deserve it. I don't have a generalized anger towards all white people. My friends know and understand this.
Black people have never been the dealers. we don't play the race card; we play the hand we were dealt. I know that this bothers some of you and that you can't accept it. You want the world to be all Kumbayaish and you desperately want to believe that we have all overcome the nasty little evil of racism. It ain't so; it just ain't so.
Sometimes, I forget that, especially when I'm communicating with my friends who are a very diverse group people. They don't buy into any of this racist nonsense, but invariably, something will pull me up short and I have to look the reality of racism right in the eyes. That's when I need my anger; it keeps me safe and strong.
A few days ago I wrote about feeling weary and hopeless about the racism that continues to work its way into the fabric of American culture. I have my moments of weakness. Dealing with this crap on a regular basis takes a lot out of you. But I only wallow in despair momentarily, I always get back up and continue forward because I am an angry black woman and I will not be broken.