Many of my true friends tease me about thinking too much, always trying to figure things out in the world around me. Then they hit me with a topic and we sit around thinking some more and laughing at ourselves before hugging and sharing our love for each other. Sometimes I wish that I was a young boy or man today when so much is being explained. I am not sure if many young people are interested in learning or observing things that are happening in the world, especially today. I look around, I observe the news and I dive deeply into many books written by the most intelligent people during these horrific times. Whether I have met them or not, they have all had an impact on my life today. Often I talk about my late mentor, the incredible Dr. Julia Hare who worked diligently to prepare me for what I see happening in the world today. I was a young man at the time and now I realise the challenge of trying to grasp lessons when you haven’t acquired the experience of life yet.
The photo above shares a few of the every day microagressions that I have received since I was able to speak as a child. The best part about being young and innocent is you don’t understand or care about what flows out of mouths of people. Besides, my main priority was trying to get home from school with time to spend with all the older neighbours looking out for me with cookies and apple juice as my treat for helping them rake their yards, wash their dishes or put out their trash. Then running home to play games with my friends before getting called in to do homework and prepare for dinner and a bath. As I grew up I realised that the derogatory words yelled at me were the same ones from when I was a kid watching my big brother punch guys in the face without any fear. I thought, when I become six-feet tall, I want to be a tough guy like him.
Over the years the words and garbage that fly out of the mouths of ignorant and racist people made me immune to their attacks. The ones that were less stupid noticed they were not getting the effect they desired so they moved on to a weaker Black, Latino or Asian person to harass. At a young age, my brother taught me to never fear a bully because they were simply cowards that walked around in packs of other bullies for support.
Not long ago I was introduced to the terms microagression, implicit and explicit biases. Each…