Being in search of others like you can be a pain in the ass. I’ve had my Youtube channel for around 6 years…but professionally around 3 years. In that time I have met ten People of Color who are also Youtubers. Some of them are overseas. Most are women. It has this oddly invisible feeling about seeing the smallness of our channels. I wish I knew better ways to reach out but in all honesty, I’m not sure how Youtube really works anymore. All the old tricks are being replaced. Metadata doesn’t change how you are searched for that much. People see you first and scroll the past. I’m tempted to change my name on Youtube to a cool nickname because I feel my name Jawara maybe subconsciously is a racist trigger. I think they see Jawara and think “not one of us.” I get a lot of people will not get that but a few of you who live with eyes wide know there are people in the world who make those choices about the people they surround themselves with. This year has been the year of People of Color dealing with a crippling amount of racism. Some outright and other casual. Casual racism is when someone says something racist but doesn’t think they are racist so it must be ok because it is meant as a joke. Most of the time I choose to let casual racism go because I can’t let my day be fucked up every day waiting in line at Starbucks hearing a loud phone call in line about something awful a person says about a race of people who they don’t think are in the room at the time.
Even if they are not around ….it’s still racist.
You can tell because the people in the room either say “that is racist” or the whole room looks away from you or last everyone shakes their heads looking at you. You might think this is them trying not to laugh with you but no… that is the “I hate having to deal with you” face. It feels like a prison sentence for life. If I react and speak up they provoke a response and then hide behind the protections of the law. Which they are most likely to win because the law is often not on the side of People of Color is history. Martin Luther King Jr. was thought of as an outlaw.
I make paintings. I am not a civil rights leader but I feel their word every day. They spoke those words so we could feel them … all of us.
Vamos pegar um cafe. (Let’s go get coffee). But if we do I need to listen and not spin your own narrative at us. This will never be your chance to teach us about how we live and what we feel. It is not a back and forth conversation. I’m teaching you first aid for People of Color.
be nice to each other