I'm Not Comfortable
Theola Carter
Right here and now is an opportunity to dialogue and strategize and make real policy changes. It is time to ask hard questions and make hard decisions if we want
a better America. Slavery is
nan ugly and awful blight on American history and racism is a massively growing soiled pile of laundry. Now since that laundry can’t fit
in the hamper, it is
on full display on the world stage and the world sees your dirty little secret. As a country that is all about democracy, America stands guilty of
human atrocities
and civil rights violations. Your white hat and gloves are in need of a good soaking and a good wash.

Racism is an American pathological cancerous enigma and white people have a role to play in solving it because they are at the epicenter of the problem. So, I
don't see why asking a non-Black member of a Black organization their thoughts or perspective to be an issue. Many Black women have spoken amongst
themselves about the dynamics between Black and White females. It is a point that has rarely been openly discussed.

You know the scenario where the white female who dates or is married to a Black male and then thinks that by virtue of having that relationship that she knows all
things Black. Or, she  thinks that she can approach another Black female any kind of way or say any old thing to Black women. She also thinks that it is her right to
touch that Black friend’s hair without asking and then comment something like “I always wanted to do that.” However, when the sistah responds to her by saying,
keep your fingers to yourself, the white female then acts like the Black woman was the person in the wrong. Listen, I do not know where your hands have been.
When it comes to the hair thing, IT IS HAIR plain and simple and I am not your pet. So, keep your hands to yourself and there won’t be none!

Nothing about racism in America is comfortable and it should not be comfortable. All too often Black people have tried to package the issue up in a pretty box and
wrap it with a pretty bow and present the stench to white people in a palatable manner to make them feel “comfortable.” Now that is a position or state of being that
Black folks in America have never been in this country … comfortable. Blacks in America have been UNcomfortable since 1619 and being kidnapped from the
homeland.

The Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans have a bridge of nameless graves with Black bodies lining its floors’ surface. There have never been funerals for the span of
400 plus years. And what is worse is no one even knows the exact number, their names or where exactly  they hail from. Surely they had families. Mind you it was
not simply America and when I say America, I mean the US, which was guilty of being a part of the slave trade and its aftermath. There were the Portuguese, the
British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch Empires, and the Danish as well. By the way, each and every one of these countries owes reparations to the children of
the African Diaspora, but that is another topic for another time because for now, I want to focus on racism in America.

The time is now to have those hard conversations, tear off the band aids, get rid of the quick fixes and do real work for real change. If you are uncomfortable
reading this, then good because I am not comfortable with things as they are now.

I am not comfortable with how you have used religion and God’s word to manipulate others and in an attempt to justify your wickedness and now you stand in the
pulpit today and endorse all that is an abomination in heaven. God sees you; what is done in  darkness will be bought to light and there is no respect of persons
with God. No sir, I am not comfortable with this at all.

I am not comfortable seeing Black men and women being killed at the hands of those who took an oath to protect and serve and keep the peace and then hide
behind the badge and the legal system protects them. A modern day lynching by another name and it is still strange fruit. No, I am not comfortable.

I am not comfortable when Whites and Blacks commit similar crimes and the white person gets probation and the Black person gets 15 years in jail or when a
white person commits a crime and then states that a Black person did it, or puts on Black face and commits a criminal act. I definitely take issue when a white
woman says a Black man raped her, cries white tears and when in fact the crime never occurred. This puts every Black man’s life in jeopardy even when he does
not fit the profile…. A modern day killing of a mockingbird; I am not comfortable.

I am not comfortable when I go to the doctor and try to explain to him or her about my illness and I get dismissed and treated as if it is all in my head or given less
in prescriptions because in your biased mind you think I am a junkie or dealer. You need not wonder why I don’t trust you. I just told you. No..No.. No not
comfortable.

I am not comfortable with my child’s smile turning into anger, depression and low self-esteem because the teacher did a mock slavery reenactment, talked about
their hair or had the unmitigated gall to take the scissors and cut the hair thereby committing assault. Nor, am I comfortable with my child being singled out when
other students are doing the same thing in class or with my child being labeled as special-ed, or being put on poison when they are simply being a child, being
expelled or in detention at higher rates than their counterparts and then be told that they are not college material. And at the same time, I am not comfortable being
told we have some of the best schools but my child can’t read at the correct grade level or write a simple sentence and the graduation rate for young Black kids is
worse than that of a third world country. Uh-un, NOT comfortable.

I am not comfortable with being the only Black person in class and the only way you relate to a TV show like the Cosby Show or Blackish or that everyone wants
me to speak for all Black people and turn to me for an opinion when there is an event or issue happening in the Black community as if I know it all or have the
answer. News flash, you did not kidnap all Black people from the same tribe and we are not all the same and we do not all look alike and we do not all think the
same way!

I am not comfortable with being told nice job and then consistently being overlooked for the promotion and then being told to train the younger white new
supervisor who is clueless about the job and getting paid more than me...Nope not comfortable with that either!

I am not comfortable when Black people apply for loans and then are charged higher interest rates than white people and liquor stores and pay-day loan places are
on every corner. The loan places charge $10 out of $100 to cash a check when the person can go to a credit union open an account for $5 and cash the check and
put that $10 in a savings account each time and build wealth. Such things are meant to keep Black people impoverished... No way - Not comfortable with that.
By Theola Carter

Recently, I read a post written by a friend in a private all women’s Facebook group which caused much discussion on being
sisterly or putting individuals on the spot. Some members saw no issue with the post and wanted to hear a response. Some
said if they are members of the group, then you know where they stand and there is no need to ask and yet there were others
who vehemently were like delete the post! This is not sisterly…blah blah blah… What was the question?

Well, the question was simply this: For the white members in the organization, what says you? I actually find it to be a perfectly
valid question for all non-Black members of the Divine Nine Black Greek Lettered Organization (BGLO) or non-Black members
in any predominantly Black organization. You joined a Black organization for sisterhood, brotherhood and camaraderie; you
must have a position or thoughts on Black issues. Are you doing anything — meaning speaking out ... speaking within your
community? Are you challenging and educating family and friends when they say something racist? This is your opportunity to
come forward and be a change agent within your families and community. After all, your sorors, frats, friends or any other of
their relatives are targeted due to race and are victimized.
I am not comfortable with our babies being taken out of their homes and placed into the system
when as a Black mother, I am doing the best I can to raise my child. Once my child is removed from
the home, I am then forced to jump through hoops to get my child back in the home with me or be  
threatened with or having my parental rights terminated. Sounds more like life on the new
plantation; separating the family and breaking the Black family infrastructure... H#%@# to the Naw! I
am not comfortable.

Nor am I comfortable with redlining, the devaluing of Black property, and scare tactics and practices
which caused white flight in the past and gentrification of present which displaces low income
people and now they are challenged in finding decent, safe, sanitary and reasonably priced living
accommodations.

I-I-I-I-I AM not comfortable, with Black people having law enforcement called on them for doing
ordinary things like going to a Starbucks to meet a friend, BBQing or bird watching in the park, going
to a pool, using a coupon in the store, writing a check or our babies mowing the lawn, selling
lemonade or hot dogs to purchase school supplies and clothing or to go on a trip. Absolutely, NOT
COMFORTABLE!

I am not comfortable with any of the things that I mentioned above and the many things that I have
not even begun to articulate ... unequivocally, sisters and brothers, I am NOT comfortable.

If we remain complicit on issues that drastically and adversely affect the Black community or fail to
speak out or are content with things as they are then our organizations and, any organization for that
matter, has lost its salt. If the salt has lost savor, it is good for nothing, but to be thrown away which
is tantamount
to an epic failure and needs to not exist. NO, I AM NOT COMFORTABLE.

America, only a fool pisses in his bed, tears down and destroys his own house and then goes to his
neighbor and says I need something to eat and place to sleep. As the neighbor, I am sad for you and
still I am not comfortable. United we stand and divided we fall.

Dedicated to my dovely soror who bravely asked a question and inspired the article and who shall
also remain nameless.