To: My “Friends” On Facebook

Stormy San Juan

I wonder if some of my “friends” on Facebook realize that I am, indeed, on Facebook. I see what you post. I’m also not white (in case you missed that). When you post derogatory things about Black people, you’re talking about ME. I see that. When you say my life doesn’t matter, I see that. When you say that people like me deserve what’s happening, I see that. To think, I actually refrain from saying a lot because I don’t want to offend YOU. I don’t want to make YOU feel guilty. I don’t want YOUR feelings hurt. I don’t want YOU to be uncomfortable. To think.

We are all entitled to our own opinions. Yes. This is a country where freedom of speech is largely protected. Yes. But…words hurt and they often show how you really feel. If you think I’m nothing, why are you here? Unfriend me if I’m not worthy to be valued. Don’t tell yourself that I’m not a “regular Black person” because I talk “well” and my husband is employed. I promise you that I am. You just don’t know enough Black people. You get caught up in stereotypes if you think I’m not a “regular Black person”. The truth is, people don’t get to know me before they see my skin. They see my skin first. I live in that reality. That IS my life. I don’t live in the fairytale land that you’ve created where racism doesn’t exist. I’m glad that you’re able to. I’m almost jealous that you don’t have to worry about these things. But…I do.

So, friend-on-Facebook, when you act like the KKK isn’t real, or that Black people aren’t profiled, or that I don’t get followed around the store because it happened to you…once, or that you understand my life because I AM that one Black friend you have, or that my husband has his job because of Affirmative Action and not his numerous degrees, his many accomplishments, and his years of hard work, or that The Help was just a funny movie with a nasty pie and not the reality of my grandmother and her children, or that segregation was way before your time and not realize that maybe your mom and dad (or at least your grandparents or even you) went to a segregated school, I see that. I might not respond to you but I see that.

What am I asking of you? I’m asking you to think. Think about why so many Black people are angry. Think about why saying “get over it” is absolutely unacceptable. Think about how angry you get when you are mistreated or your child is mistreated or your dog is mistreated and imagine what hundreds of years of systematic mistreatment must feel like. (I don’t want you not understanding what systematic mistreatment is so I will briefly explain it. This means that the mistreatment of a group of people is allowed to occur because it is supported and/or enforced by a community or society. Please don’t try to make this about you.) How hard is it to just acknowledge that these things happen? I know you don’t understand but when you tell me that my reality is not reality, you are being rude and condescending. Don’t do that, please. If you do value me then acknowledge that there are injustices happening towards people that look like me. I’m not asking you to go fight for me. I’m only asking that you not dismiss my reality and the reality of so many others.

So, for clarity, I’ll let you know some things about me. Take these things into account when you “friend me” on Facebook or follow me on social media. This is who I am. I won’t be mad if you remove yourself from my circle. I’m over that.

  • I am Black. Both of my parents are Black. Our history is muddled because we are descendants of SLAVES and SLAVEMASTERS.
  • I am from the South.
  • I am from a middle-class family and both of my parents went to college.
  • I am a business owner.
  • I support the fact that Black Lives Matter. You can check out information on this group so that you don’t have to make assumptions. Visit the website at www.blacklivesmatter.com. (*I am not a member and have not been asked to include information here.)
  • I support police officers who work so hard to keep us protected. I can support BLM and Law Enforcement because they are not mutually exclusive. Remember, read about BLM at www.blacklivematter.com.
  • I Stand with Standing Rock. #NODAPL
  • I do NOT support Donald Trump’s campaign.
  • I believe that gun reform is needed. I don’t believe that all of our guns should be taken away.
  • I support our military men and women.
  • I believe in equality. I believe in equal rights for women, LGBTQ, people of color, and any other group that exists (including white men). Equal rights mean equal rights.
  • I support breastfeeding until you and baby are ready to quit.
  • I support formula feeding.
  • I support helping others in need.
  • I support your right to choose.
  • I support social programs that encourage our children and give them escapes.
  • I support social programs that help give people a hand when in need.
  • I support women who are raising their families as their full-time job.
  • I support women who are working outside of the home as their full-time job.
  • I support women as the breadwinner.
  • I support men who take care of their families whether they stay at home or work outside of the home.
  • I support justice.
  • I believe that hard work can make a difference and I know that some people have to work 10 times harder than others to get to the same place.
  • I hate cancer.
  • I hate abuse. I hate child abuse. I hate sexual abuse.
  • I hate violence.
  • I hate racism.

Love always, Monica

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