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The Benefits of Being Raised Black: Who Promised You "Fair"?

Who promised you "fair"? Well, they lied to you.

- My late mother's response whenever I said, "That's not fair."

When I read the California Supreme Court's decision upholding the state employee furloughs, of course I was mad because the legal reasoning was so twisted. The justices clearly reached high into the far recesses of their collective behinds to pull out that decision. Before I could complete my thought of, "That's not fair," the voice of my late mother, She Who Is Exalted (SWIE), came into my head:

"Who promised you 'fair'? Well, they lied to you."

At that point, I laughed, thankful for having been raised black.

Black parents don't sugarcoat anything. Life's not fair? Well, who promised you "fair"? Life knocks you down? I'll let you lie there for a little while, but then you have to get back up. Get cheated out of something you worked hard for? The world doesn't owe you a damn thing. Expecting someone to do something for you for free? Ain't nothin' free but Jesus. Do something stupid on the job that everyone else does and get singled out because you're black? Well, that's on you, according to black parents. See, you forgot you were black. Heck, I wasn't even allowed to believe in Santa Claus because my mom wasn't going to give some old guy the credit for putting Christmas presents under the tree that SHE paid for.

Growing up black means growing up expecting life to be unfair and learning to "build a bridge and get over it," as one of my nephews would say. Black parents teach you to expect unfairness because NOT to teach you this would be a disservice to you, leaving you unprepared for how the world REALLY works. Black children are taught to be resilient in the face of unfairness because life is unfair, and life for black people tends to be really unfair. You'd be crazy or depressed if you perpetually expected fairness as a black person.

So when arguably unfair things like the California Supreme Court's decision happen, you learn to shrug it off, laugh, and build a bridge and get over it.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Comments

Anonymous said…
THANK YOU for this post! Imagine how much better this nation(and how minimal the teabaggers' influence) would be if we were ALL raised black. LOL.

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