I don’t normally do prefaces on here because it’s my shit, and I can run it however I feel. But let me state: I don’t hate white people. They’re cool. They invent some cool shit, they make good beers and are always willing to start the wave at baseball games. 12% of my Tumblr is half-naked to fully naked pink toes. So with that being said, DEATH TO WHITE SUPREMACY. And it can take white privilege with it.
I’m not going to touch on societal news. Not because I think it’s being talked about by everybody too much — I think more people should bring more shit to the surface in regards to race and gender inequalities — but because I don’t feel like typing a book. I make too many typos for that and I refuse to be up all night re-reading my own words. I’m going to speak on a personal story.
I’m a contractor within a faction of the U.S. government that deals with the distribution of SSI benefits. With that job, comes a dedicated email address I use to communicate with the other employees. In my email signature,I have the following: my name, the name of contract company that severely under-pays me, my phone number and up until yesterday, a message that read stay black. It was bold and it was italicized. But with a font size not any larger than the rest of my signature. I’ve had it for months. Maybe a little bit before the murder of Michael Brown occurred. I partially did it out of amusement, so when I proceed with the story, just know that I sort of saw it coming.
Sunday morning, around 10, my division director comes into the office, which is strange because there were no major changes going in. She speaks to the woman I work with on weekends and then comes speaks to me. She says hello and then leans in and lowers her voice. Now, a few times this past year, she and I have had talks in regards to positions I’ve applied for that are in different buildings on the campus. So I thought maybe she’s got some application updates from some other big-wig she might be cool with. “Heeeyyy do you uuuhhhh have something ummmmm in your email uuuuhhhh about stay black?” (internal giggles commence). I tell her yes. She stammers through the next few sentences, basically telling me I have to remove it. This is a nice woman and I don’t really want to make her the first line of defense my grievances plows through, so my only question was “Did I offend someone?” More stammering, more ummms than fucking vowels. She basically danced around answering it. And like I stated, she’s a nice lady and probably felt a little uneasy approaching me about such a silly fucking request. I truly believe that only because before she walked away, she said “I understand (pause) but just replace it with something else.” Part of me IMMEDIATELY started thinking about how I could use this as a platform to expose some other foul shit I’ve learned about (like say the guy who had to cut his dreads to get a GS-12). Another part chuckled at the fact that little ol’ me made someone uncomfortable enough, that they complained and it somehow got back to my boss’s boss. There was also a part of me that didn’t really care, because I know how I feel in my heart and no one can take that from me. BUT ALL THOSE PARTS TOOK A BACKSEAT TO MY INNER JERK. It was selfish of me but all I could think was I’m going to get the opportunity to be vindictive, and mask it behind my own little war for freedom of speech. Man, I know Buddha and Gandhi itched for chances like this. I know they did. Endless rap verses zoomed through my mind, as I tried to find the perfect fucking 1 or 2 bars I could put in my signature. “No disrespect intended/but if you offended/can’t take it back/handle ya business” noo noo too antagonizing “if it offends you/its meant to/it’s that simple” noo noo too blatant Then I was going to use something with the word noir in it but I’m not cultured enough to think of anything that clever. So, I just settled for the happy mellow whale face:
I love that face. Anyway, I get to work today and settle in. I happen to see an email from my team lead who has been out of work because of personal issues but recently started teleworking. I won’t type what she said verbatim, because well, I don’t remember. But trust me when I say it was some tap dancing we gotta keep massa pleased type shit. I laughed. She also included the chain of emails that caused all this. Those emails included the initial rat, the rat’s division director — who we’ll call an opossum — and the associate commissioner. Now, to give you something to compare that to, lets say I was a White House staff member and this same scenario happened. In terms of chain of command, the speaker of the house was informed of my “unprofessional” email signature. That is how unnecessarily high up this complaint went. Mind you, I just wanted someone to make corrections to a failed piece of software. And that didn’t happen for 2 fucking days. I’m following protocol yet the bigger issue ended up being the offended sensibilities of a middle-aged white women. Now what’s really amusing to me is the associate commissioner’s response DID NOT MAKE ANY MENTION OF MY SIGNATURE. I’m willing to bet a small portion of my turd’s worth paycheck that he saw that email and thought “oh jesus h christ REALLY!?” or something along those lines. I don’t know how down-to-earth white men who make 200K+ a year verbally respond to weak bullshit.
The other thing that didn’t sit well with me was who they used to inform me of this wanna be transgression. Three different black women. Each in a different position within the division I work in. What’s the big deal, right? Corporations are modern-day plantations. Don’t let the paycheck fool you. Capitalism teaches greed and constant accumulation via the hard work of someone else. You can not run a successful (profitable) corporation (plantation) without employees (slaves) and management (overseers and help). And this is where I inject my (probably crazy sounding) mammy theory. (Hell, one might already exist) White bosses, usually men, need someone who can oversee parts of the business that they themselves can not always have a hand in because they are waaaay too far up to reach down. Most of the time, they employ other white men but there are other times where they specifically select black women. Why? Well, for some unknown cosmic fucking reason, black women, in general, exude a motherly vibe unlike no other entity on the planet. I’ve hugged trees. Didn’t feel the love. Black women are caring, understanding, compassionate, etc. But they also are good disciplinarians. Once again, speaking in general terms so bear with me. Also, because of the fact that black women have been treated like pure shit in America since…whenever the fuck the 1st black female was thrown onto american soil, nowadays, they tend to really go for self if/when they enter (read: get let into) the corporate world. It’s safe to say most feel like no one has their back — and its true, sadly. If you haven’t experienced the cattiness that is two black women in an office setting who happen to have slightly different agendas, then you’re lying or blind… or a blind liar. So, in order to maintain their appointed position, and possibly further advance within the system, generally they will follow orders with far less resistance than say another white man who is watching the throne, or the very rare black male manager who has to do shit to tone down his black masculinity (like shave off his facial hair and NOT listen to rap on his lunch break). My proposed mammy theory is not intended to dump on the hard work that many black women have done in order to get wherever they are professionally. I was raised by a single mom, lived with her, my grandmother (RIP) and aunt (RIP) at one point in my life. And as I’ve gotten older, my admiration of their strength (especially my mom) has grown continuously. But realize that, within a fixed system, accomplishments for black women and men are throttled. You’ll only get as far as the boss will let you. So my semi-frustration with how this particular over-blown ordeal was handled isn’t directed at the black female managers but at the system that uses them as buffers for prejudice, white privilege, a cycle of white patriarchal greed and whatever other devilish shit that happens behind the curtains.
I didn’t intend to type this much. Let me go eat dinner. Fuck corporate. Stay black.