I’ve heard in the media lately brown people being called invisible. “We are an invisible people” they critics of recent events are saying. While I agree with the premise I politely beg to differ. We are far from invisible. In fact we are extremely noticeable. We are noticed walking down the street with our bags of skittles, we are noticed standing on the street corners minding our business, we are noticed walking down the streets with our friends, we are noticed at pool parties, and we are even noticed while praying in church. We Are Noticed.
That was the idea when European’s brought Africans over on the ships. One of their goals was to gather a group of people that would be highly visible, that wouldn’t blend in with the crowds like many of the indentured servants.
So brown people, know that we are seen. And not just seen but judged, sized up, rated, surmised, evaluated, considered, decided upon. Others are deciding if we are worthy of humane treatment, and I would go so far as to say deciding if we are worthy to continue to live.
Our hearts remain heavy, without having had a chance to heal, as we hear the news that we were noticed yet again. The scars run deep as the scabs just keep getting pulled off over and over. Another brown man dead, another young brown girl harassed by police, another kidnapped brown child missing with no media attention, another brown community devastated by violence. All because we can’t go unnoticed.
Yet ironically we as a community have mastered the skill of not seeing each other. Until recently we were invisible to one other. The poor brown invisible to the wealthy brown, the uneducated brown invisible to the educated brown, the un-influential brown invisible to the influential brown and vise versa. We were a community plagued with invisibility that caused us not to see each other, not to consider each other, not to help each other.
It has taken some pretty drastic measures for us to notice each other again. Violence wreaking havoc through our communities by those in powerful positions was the final straw that caused the veil to fall from our eyes and for us to start seeing each other. I pray this veil stays lifted and we now realize that we have to stand together as a community.
In closing I can’t offer any advice just my prayers and longings. I long for the day when we really are invisible. When we and all other shades of skin blend in and go unnoticed. I long for the day when we really are judged by our character and not simply by our color.
Peace, Love, and Blessings~