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  • Writer's pictureMia Medeiros

I don't understand why we can't fix this.

I don’t understand why black Barbies cost less than white Barbies.

I don’t understand why black toys are not purchased as often as white toys in a predominantly white town. Who cares.........

I don’t understand why the only baby wipes leftover during shelter-in-place were shea butter scented. I’ve always loved the smell of shea butter on black skin, so why not on white skin?

I don’t understand how to react. I want to have courage and support the cause, but I have no answer, solution or direction on which way to go. Except to simply stop the racism, but it isn’t simple.

I don’t know how I can help. So, maybe I’ll write.

I don’t understand why I got called a honky and cracker when I tried to befriend certain people.

I don’t understand why I was beat up for being my white teacher’s “class pet” in an almost all black school on the outskirts of Washington DC.

I don’t understand why when I tried to make friends with them, they slammed my face into the concrete and said they hated my kind.

I didn’t understand that I was privileged. I didn’t understand how that was my fault.

I don’t understand how the black man who saved me, a white girl on a school bus being sexually harassed both verbally and physically daily, was not honored but was instead fired for his noble act! THANK YOU!

I don’t understand why they announced over the intercom that homeroom was delayed so they could clean up blood in the hallway.

I don’t understand why the black kids poisoned the white staff at school by putting comet in the home-economics cookies. Thank goodness for poison control.

I didn’t understand how any teacher would want to be at that middle school. When Mrs. Johnson, a favorite black teacher got serious head trauma from a black vs. white fight, fighting ceased for a while. People realized they were hurting their own kind.

Paper clips were banned after a white boy had his eye shot out. Most white kids bunched together to form a group, feeling safe in numbers. I don’t understand why segregation feels safe to others.

I don’t understand how I was the only white girl to be in the dance recital that filled the gymnasium, and one of the only whites to be in choir at a predominantly black school. Integrating myself was how I earned respect.

I don’t understand why the white teachers at lunch would stop my black friends and I from beating on the tables to make musical rhythms, beatboxing and rapping. As if they were threatened by it. I didn’t understand why we all got detention. Did they think this would stomp out our music?

I remember feeling treated like a wild animal as they turned the lights off and detained us in the cafeteria. Not allowing us to go to the one recess we got each day, for fear that the music would escalate into some sort of uprising.

There was constant racism, sexual harassment, bullying, blood..... from all sides, teachers and students. There is now a white cop stationed there.

I didn’t understand why the black kids were so angry, were so racist towards the white people at that school. What life experiences made them so mad at the man at middle school ages? I was the new kid,” and because I innocently didn’t understand, I asked questions of both sides.... empathized with both sides, I stood for with was right not wrong, regardless of black or white. I bridged the gap with all races and was able to be “safe” in all groups at that school.

I don’t understand why Monique and Jamia wanted to fight my fights for me, I was the only white girl they trusted though, and other whites who wanted to be black didn’t trust that. They called them wiggers.

I don’t understand why my sweet acquaintance, Cocheese, from middle school was shot by police, for being in a fist fight.

I don’t understand why the city gave Cocheese the “honor” of having his funeral at a very white prestigious church... (my high school) when I know he’d never stepped foot there before.

I don’t understand why we got in so much trouble for belting church songs passionately, after being influenced by the movie Sister Act, during private high school church. Threatened with detention and suspension if we sang like that again. Our choir group belted even louder for the next assembly, which gained us a standing ovation with the Juniors and Seniors. That nun has since been fired for conspiracy against the school.

I don’t understand why we look down in prayer, as if we are in fear. Why not look up, to the heavens, or in hope?

I don’t understand why some of my high school colleagues couldn’t see my four black friends for who they were, but instead they saw them as niggers who won scholarships to help THEM win games.

I did understand enough of my black friends to educate the racist white kids, especially the ginger with freckles, that these fine young black men were not niggers, but they were gentlemen with more charm, intellect and physical talent than all of these racist white bigots combined. I was apologized to for the assumptions that had been made.

But I don’t understand why they were not apologized to. I was excited to hear one of these fine black friends of mine was awarded for all their many accomplishments and his character during graduation. I thought a difference had been made.

I don’t understand African hair... why do the men brush their hair forward? Why do women wear weaves? I did, however admire the finger waves with glitter and I still wish I could rock a fabulous set of afro puffs!

I didn’t understand why my own daughter would not play at her preschool with the molato girl because she had boom boom hair. I made her understand, and then they played together every day. Now at age 6, my daughter loves every afro and even wants one of her own.

I don’t understand why the woman that lived next door to me never told her beautiful little black girl “the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice” so I told her, while picking blackberries in my yard with her. Was that wrong?

I don't understand how a peaceful beach party turned into a territorial show of one race gunning down another, I escaped the crossfire.

I don’t understand why the police asked me many years ago, while placing his hand on his holster “Miss, are you OK?... “Are you sure you’re okay?” just because I was riding in a car with my friend who had cornrows.

I don’t understand why the po-po followed us out of his jurisdiction after we bought 40’s at 7-11. We listened to Ludacris while we watched the sideview mirrors hoping for the cops to turn away.

I don’t understand how I lost that freestyle battle at the all black club in San Diego... I got 2nd place. So, was it bc I was white? A female? Or wasn’t as good? The owner of the club won that night.

I love that after winning 2nd place for free-styling I went next door to party with the Afghanis. We danced the men’s dance. The women looked at me like I was shameful. I had a blast with the men while mimicking their moves. It was allowed because I was white. I was privileged.

I don’t understand how the Mexicans at the party kicked my friends and I out because they were black. I didn’t understand I was about to be punched in the face for standing up for my friends. I understood when I was pulled away.

I don’t get why it’s so hard to understand that we are ALL UNIQUELY different!!!

I don’t understand why my doppelgänger is Queen Latifah. EVERY time.

I couldn’t understand why there was only one registered black voter in town, then I met him. He told me he was registered there still but had moved to a more “friendly” town in because he yearned for acceptance, Mill Valley was too white.

I don’t understand looting and bullshit excuses.

I don’t understand injustice, ignorance, lack of toilet paper....

I don’t understand why the fuck skin color has anything to do with ANY fucking thing, EVER! And neither do my kids.

I don’t understand why black people love chicken so much but dammit please share your recipes!

I don’t understand how someone could say they are not racist then immediately shoot off at the mouth about how she would never marry a Mexican laborer and disagreed with black culture.

I do understand how proud I felt for telling her she was ridiculous and kicking her and her nasty kids, who left gum on my doorstep and threw rocks at our car, out of our house. I did feel like a great mama for telling my kids they could never play with that family again. They didn’t understand.

I don’t understand the case of Trayvon Martin, how Zimmerman was not guilty. I don’t understand why there has been no mention of Rodney King or LA riots this time around. Have we buried it?

Where the fuck is Wakanda?!

I don’t understand why a good black mama is so good at tough-love disciplining without acting like a crazy bitchy white woman. I want that coolness of authority.

I don’t understand why my kids, in 2020, are not learning about black history month in school. So, I taught them my goddam self.

I don’t understand why I shield them from what is happening now.

I don’t understand Derek Chauvin.

Am I supposed to understand that regardless of the relationship or story behind these events that it is okay to blatantly KILL another person?!

I don’t understand how people can ignore this. It is your problem.

I ask you... help me understand because from my perspective, which has seen all sides of racism, black people are not the start of the problem. They have much to teach us, if we let them. This I understand. 💗🙏🏽

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