Before I dive into this post I just want to say yeah, I curse alot in these post. I’m not going to apologize for it because that’s my voice. I’m passionate about my writing, I want my readers to hear my voice and my passion. But I do understand that cursing is tough to read. I read all my post and still cringe when I see the f-bomb. I think to myself, “What the hell was I thinking here?” But even right there, that’s how I talk. Can’t help it, but I will begin to moderate the cursing. Not going to completely take it out because that’s the whole reason I started this blog. To actually be able to use my voice in my writing and have my readers actually get to know me. This is me.
How did I end up in Wyoming?
That’s the million dollar question right? How did my Jamaican mom manage to get me and my 2 brothers all the way to the middle of nowhere? Into a house like this.
I guess I don’t really know cause I was so young when we moved. The gist is, my mom met a guy (Whose Black) in Atlanta. They must’ve hit it off pretty well because he invited her and her 3 bay bay kids to come live with him, all the way in Cheyenne Wyoming. Which I don’t recall giving consent to. There wasn’t no family meeting or anything. We just hopped in the truck and drove for 3 days straight to our new home.
Now racism isn’t something I personally been through at that age. Yeah it was something my family always talked about. But, I was 5 or whatever age I was. And kids aren’t racist it turns out. They don’t come out the womb crying or whatever like, “Wah,,,Wah,,, Took our jobs,,,Wah Wah”
So the first couple years in Wyoming wasn’t bad. Tumbleweeds are a real thing apparently. Horses aren’t a legit form of transportation here. Swear this happens at least 3 times a month whenever somebody asks me where I’m from.
“You’re from where?”
“Huge culture shock huh brother man”
(You know who the type I’m talking about. Paint a picture)
“Y’all still riding horses down there”
People aren’t riding horses on the Highway to Walmart, chill out.
I remember in grade school I was so naive and unaware that I was confused when this guy kept calling me black. I legit thought this guy was color blind or crazy. I kept on shoving my arm in his face saying, “I’m brown! We went over shades and colors last year Mark!” Not my brightest moment. I know.
As the years went on I became a little bit more aware of race and the issue. Not going to lie, my only concern growing up was having fun with my buddies. Remember those days? The simpler times in your childhood when you spent all day outside. Getting into all types of mischief. Riding bikes, playing all types of sports, traveling. Yeah we rode them bikes all over town and when we weren’t riding, we were walking somewhere. We even ran places, Forrest Gump got that running everywhere thing from us. Swear. Then when the street lights came on we were at home gaming it up. I miss those days.
But first real racial encounter was in the 6th grade. This older guy, must’ve been in high school or something like that. Chased me and Jesse in his raggedy ass truck down a dirt road. Got out and threaten us with a baseball bat. Talking about how we stole his little brothers ipod. Said brother was also in high school. Does anybody see anything wrong with this situation? We were in the 6th grade, just got out of class and walking home. He mistook us for other black guys. Except he didn’t say black guys, he said monkeys. And other names we won’t go into detail about. Can you imagine though? Just getting out of school, almost home, to turn around and see a truck coming right us. Casually walking out of his way, to see the truck stay on our course and speeding up. To run just to have truck circle around us and have a guy come at us with a bat. After pleading with the maniac, telling him we just got out of elementary school. He goes down the hill to confirm our pleads with some random girl. She then points at us saying we’re lying. He hops back in his pickup and drives toward us again, we didn’t stick around to see what he was going to do. I don’t remember if we ran or hopped a few fences but we made it home.
I want to say that was our last racial encounter.
I kid you not, there was a total of 13 black people at my high school. Safe to say we were outnumbered. You can’t fight everybody that drops the N bomb ok? I compromised, say it all you want, I don’t give a shit. Attach the hard R to the ending then we will have problems. You have to take into account that rappers were saying it in damn near every other verse in their songs. People were like, “Well, Kanye said it in that gold digger song. So it’s ok if I say it?
My issue with the N word
Sure, whatever have a ball. For me it’s a greeting, not harmful, you say it to your friends, you say it when you “freestyle”, it’s not a hateful word. Attach the hard R and it adds a whole different meaning to the word. Where you’re intentionally trying to insult someone and do mental harm. In the worst way. Add that hard R and you are intentionally trying to belittle me, don’t care if it was at me. Don’t care if you were joking with your buddy and it slipped out. You add the hard R and you’re taking African Americans back hundreds of years where dropping the hard R was the norm.
To my brothers out there, my advice to you is don’t let words phase you. Words don’t hurt people alright? It’s easy to get a rise out of you whenever someone throws a racial slur around so freely. I’ve been a victim of this on MULTIPLE occasions. There has been situations where I’ve stayed calm and walked away. And there have been times when I didn’t.
Getting hateful letters pinned to our car from our neighbors was a real eye opener.
Getting a call from a roommate saying there was a noose in our tree was scary.
But what can you do? People are sick and that’s due to them being a product of their environment. Like I said earlier, people aren’t born racist. They’re raised that way. Going around the neighborhood banging on doors, demanding retribution isn’t the way to go about things.
(Never used the word retribution a day in my life. It felt right and turns out it fits. Thank you dictionary.com)
It’s easy to overreact, throw a punch and start a fight. It’s that easy to get caught up too. This happens on a Weekly basis with me. People ask me how I don’t kick every bodies ass that drop the hard R or any racial term. I tell them, “I didn’t randomly wake up black one day. I’ve been through this my whole life.”
I love where I’m from, where I’m at
Now with all that being said. I fucking love the fact I grew up in Wyoming. I love the fact that I live in Spearfish South Dakota. Wouldn’t give it up for anything. I’ve met my life long friends in Wyoming and in Spearfish. I occasionally run into a few ignorant people here and there. I love them too, without them I wouldn’t be the man I am today. Don’t get the wrong idea with this blog post. Wyoming is amazing and so is Spearfish. I’m not going to let a few people taint the image of my home.