The weight of race is something that hangs over all of us a shroud covering our shame for its a cross that many carry that is not negotiable.
I have a friend, let’s call my friend Jim. Jim is as capable and many times more capable that I. Yet he sees a world full of limits and has set his expectations accordingly so disappointment is not an every day occurrence.
Now please know that I am not a sensitive person when it comes to Jim’s color. Why? Its easy, I share the intolerance of the laws that dictate his color has been used and abused. Hell I didn’t do the torture he feels so now I hate the stupid rules and the abuse that can happen. Why should they have a better preferred chance, I mean its been years, hell decades. They need to get over it, I thought. I am an immigrant and I can’t play the card.. I mean they have television channels called BET etc.. imagine the backlash if there was a WET? I mean its not like latin TV or Chinese TV. These are more langauge based, yes there is a focus on marketing to the culture of the audience but hell they just americans right?
It was all simple and I knew that there was pain in the legacy of jim’s people and thought that they just needed to get over it. But….. I sat listened for once to Jim. You need to know Jim to know that he is not wiener.
Jim takes no shit, Jim is as solid of a man, a thinker and a friend as I have ever known. Hell he is my best friend in many ways…
I didn’t know Jim’s pain until a day we went to lunch. You see Jim is successfull. He is not a loser, Jim is a talented artist, author,engineer, business man and scientist. Jim was a source of knowledge for me and as his friend he is the constant we all search for. Jim always said it was me that was his constant, and that alone made me feel good. That alone was a mistake, for I could not know what its like to be branded. Yes Jim is branded. His mark is visible from any vantage point. In fact Jim’s brand is so clear its inescapable. He wears it daily. He has faced questions that would not be asked of someone not branded. He is the topic of this write up more for this brand than himself. So just a few days ago I spoke with Jim, nothing major happened except that I listened to my friend. Only he will know what I mean know, for I am sorry because I have been a fool.
Jim and I were at lunch when something occurred. Jim and I brought up the elephant in the room. It was easy for me to think I understood. Jim was used to saying he understood but his eyes could not lie. He told me of how he felt and it was based on his experience. I learned his stories. When he walked into a place he felt isolated, he described how that was everyday. He spoke about the ceiling he lived under. He told me how he trusted me… it stabbed me in the heart. I knew it was for his kids not for himself that he spoke.
Jim did not have to trust me, he trusted me because he felt that most others were nothing trust worthy at all. He never said it but it was for his son and his kids. Jim just knew he could take it but knowing he needed to prepare his kids was unbelievable.
I have known Jim for years and Jim is black. His mark is not transferable nor is it erasable.
I saw Jim tell me his pain and it was deep, much deeper than what I ever thought. I am Cuban. I live in miami, I am insulated but not blind. I wish i could for one day fill his shoes. When I walk if I keep silent and not in miami I am an equal, in fact the latest demographics say latins will be tge majority in 10 years. But I am not a Cuban America, I am a Human American! That is the right term. America we are your children. Don’t forget we I love the promise of its dream. The Dream is the people, it about the future. We are the future we are, we dream in no color.
I will never forget you and you will see that America is ours… The people we call brothers, those that hate us, dude regardless this is the land of the free. We are the free and so are every one of the 250 million that live here. Let the ignorant believe that its there’s. When we stand shoulder to shoulder fighting our enemies, they will see. we are one. I am just glad to say you are my brother. Love you brother always. Never fear your back is covered to the death. .. so is every American. .. I love America. The Earth is American, its just a matter of time. I hope tonight this brings you some peace and knowledge that my friendship is just the norm… never let me see your eyes feel that pain. The race may be endless but we will run it together.