It is my challenge to navigate this perceived reality as a ‘black’ man daily, for it is assumed I am a threat to ‘all’ of the people who I encounter. For me it isn’t simply a maze of avoiding confrontation with law enforcement and would be Zimmermans. That’s what all the conversations are typically about. A gloomy, hate and fearful cloud of rape culture ideology hangs above my head as well. But I am not a predator. I realize that on every space on this planet though that I would not be prejudged and perceived as a threat. Thing is, I live in America. I live in New York the city that never sleeps. I overstand it. I am not upset. But I am not the average ‘black’ man who as well is not a threat. I sympathize with him. There’s a pain that lives inside of many ‘black’ men. I’m fortunate to not suffer from this pain but recognize that it does exist. The matter at hand is that far too many people who are not ‘black’ men fail to acknowledge that possibility that what I described even exists.
I appreciate all the ladies that I encounter each day who speak to ‘me’ first (and I’m talkin when I’m fully bearded out, not shaped up and ready for a wedding.) Treat me nicely, proving that not all women walk around afraid of men. ‘Black’ men. I am grateful for that. It aides my challenge. Makes me smile.