I live in a suburban area. It has been pretty quiet until this past week.
I live with a white foster family, and across the street when I first moved in I realized that I was not the only person of color.
I was not upset or angry. During 2008 elections I saw a republican flag hanging from a black mans house. Shocked, everyone on my street was a liberal. I never knew how you could be of color and a republican.
Until that point I never knew that there were African-Americans who would vote for “Bush.”
Today June 24 2012 I was walking from the corner market. I have dread locs and I just washed them. I look like a rug. However, I finally said walked crossed the street and said “Hi, I am Domenia your neighbor” The young man, said “hey, I’m RJ” and we had a conversation.
On my street at RJ’s home it was crowded outside. There was a graduation celebration. I was disturbed though, because the quietness, and stillness in our neighborhood I realized would soon be no more, and maybe the other “white” neighbors would move out in fear of our culture, music style and urban lifestyles; that didn’t fit the white upper class society.
I talked with RJ. He is really cool! He was sitting on his dads porch. His dad came out front, RJ immediately said “dad, this is your neighbor Mia”
The father immediately said “we ain’t got no neighbors.” He hesitantly shook my hand. I wanted to cry, because I felt in my heart that he was responding to stereotypes. Just because people choose to sit on their porch does not mean that trouble is afoot. I asked God to forgive me, because I had made that same assumption when I saw that there was more color added to Belmont Street it would some how change something, we would be united solely because of the color of our skin.
I’m in awe. “we ain’t got no neighbors.” I wonder if the Republican flag was really just to fit in or if he is a true Republican. I wonder if he was worried about how other people saw him and his family.
Finally on my street I thought I could befriend a family with hair like mine. And then I heard the words “we ain’t got no neighbors”
The African-American community is not all bad. It’s false that, one bad apple spoils it for the rest. However, we are fighting the stereotype. I feel as though that African-Americans creates more tension than what needs to be. The mentality of being 3rd class citizens, animals, “niggas”, defeated and demoralization has to go.
Our young men and women need to grow up, and be raise into position of authority and respect for themselves, their country, their family, and their community. Yes, the African-American Community has seen turmoil, death, hate, depression and oppression. However so has the Jewish Community, Hispanic/Latino Community, Mental/Handicapp Community, Foster Care Youth and Immigration Community.
“WE HAVE NEIGHBORS! AND IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE RECOGNIZED THAT TOGETHER WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE SHALL FALL”
SO TO 15 BELMONT STREET “YOU HAVE NEIGHBORS, BLACK, WHITE, HISPANIC, GAY, HANDICAPP, AND OF DIFFERENT FAITHS.
Philippians 4: 12-13
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
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