A friend of the family took me to brunch when I first moved to Nashville. We were talking about this and that and came upon the subject of her daughter. Her daughter was one of few girls of color in her school, especially in some of the advanced placement courses. I think a teacher may have been treating her badly or unfairly and the family friend spoke to the teacher about it (In my head, I was like “oh, your daughter is spoiled and I see why.” I didn’t say this out loud or anything.) The family friend explained to me that she does not tolerate racist tom foolery. She calls people out their ish. We kept eating, and I thought some more on that.
As an aside, can I just say that the cheese grits at this place changed my life? Father God, these things were good. Gouda grits gotta be on deck in heaven. Gotta be.
I’m not exactly the fight-the-people type, but I do consider myself a warrior for justice. Hmmmm . . . maybe warrior is too strong. I’m at least somewhere on the battlefield. Might be the water girl, but I’m out there. So, if I’m not a protestor, a boycotter, or otherwise actively engaged in the movement, what’s my role? I can’t just think that all people should be treated equally and do nothing. But what can I do? What do I want to do? What seems right for me?
I think I can be like the family friend and call out racist tom foolery. I think I’ll throw in misogynistic tom foolery as well because that ish gets on my nerves too. So, you are warned (the 4.5 people who care to read my blog). Talk that racist or misogynistic tom foolery, and I will come for you in the most loving and tender way. I will be kind because I’m Mariah, but I will be honest because that’s me too.
I’ve been scared to be pegged as an angry black woman but hell, I am a little angry. I’ve been scared of offending people or making them uncomfortable but hell, I’m uncomfortable all the time. And the older I get, the more honest I am – with myself and with everybody around me.
Calling people out on their b.s. is not the only contribution I’ll make to this social justice movement; it’s one of many. I think we all have a contribution to make. You don’t like unfair wages? Start a letter writing campaign to your company’s CEO. You think gay marriage should be legal in your state? Show up at a few congressional hearings holding your boyfriend’s hand. You think people in low-income communities should have access to the same health care as those in more affluent communities? Bruh, stop being lazy and go to med school!
Who’s with me?!!!!
Anybody with me?
Don’t make me call you out.