𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗲; 𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗱
After 25 years of petering around the chalk circle that keeps me outside of the world of accomplished artists and writers, I finally understand what my black and brown writer friends mean when they talk about the racism in the industry. It isn’t simply the lack of embedded connections, the desire for cookie cutter style in publishing and editorial; it is an implicit and subliminal exclusion out of fear and out of threat.
I have stories. Boy, do I have stories. They bleed sunshine and immaculately concept the unborn. This life I have been cursed with, born into, blessed to breathe into me, is a weapon no different than that look on a black man’s face walking towards you on a well-lit street just a few blocks too far away from the ghetto like…is he here to mug me?
There is something about affluence that breeds exclusion. Having been privilege enough to solely reside in upper middle and upper class communities since pre-school, I am the token [take your pick]. And since pre-school I have wondered why each day I feel so bad. Did I not put myself out there enough? Did I read between two lines that didn’t exist? Inclusivity does not end with an invite. It does not end with being ok to be in mixed company. It has no end. Go the extra step, and don’t stop including. Over include. Harass. I need you to make it abundantly clear that this isn’t just some brochure you are trying to publish for donations. Make me feel safe and wanted.
I had a bad experience today. This week. This season. I’ll say nothing more.
It was balanced only by the fact that science and engineering love that I love databases, understand polymerization, revel in the advancements of quantum computing, and bask in the potential of sulfuric alternatives to energy storage for a greener future. Where what I am is not a threat, but a curios specimen worth exploring. A unique composite. That geological discovery waiting to be crowned “gem”.