I wish I could watch television the way I used to. Like, just watch a show and laugh, cry or get engrossed in it and really feel something for the characters. I used to be able to do that…just watch the damn show and get lost in the storyline. I can’t do that anymore because now all I do is count how many black characters are on it, if there’s more than just the token black, see if they actually have a storyline, and oh, yeah, is a black woman on it? Now, I’ve always been kind of militant, or, at least, that’s what my friends, family and past co-workers tend to say. Hell, one of my best friends jokingly calls me Angela Davis (compliment all the way) and even though I might not see myself in this light, with recent events I can’t help but notice it has taken over my life.

I truly, whole-heartedly, without a doubt know I have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because of the daily exposure to the racial injustices in this country alone. I am a blogger, a freelance writer and on almost every social media site one can think of, so naturally I am bombarded with images, stories, and black deaths all day long. This is why I can’t watch a television show without counting how many of us I see on the screen and seeing if we have real merit in the show. I also can’t tolerate the lone black male character swooning over an Abby or a Becky (if he gets a love interest at all) because despite popular perception there are black men who love, date and revere black women. I’m even married to one! I am ruined.

Photo: etonline
Photo: ET Online

I CAN and DO try to not think about it so much. I try to just be a damn person, but even just stepping outside my door and interacting with a white person can bring on the racism with one sentence.  Hell, I was talking to my previous doctor and in the middle of her explaining something super important and she stopped mid-sentence and told me she was distracted at my coily hair’s ability to be pulled and spring back into place. It amazed her. I wasn’t even aware I was pulling on my hair. And if that wasn’t enough, she proceeded to tell me she wished she could “act black” because we can say what’s on our minds. She then goes further by imitating some black woman she knows by saying, “Get your black a*s back in line!” with her hands on her hips and using (what she thought) was perfect black vernacular.  


Can I just BE?

No, I can’t just be. That doctor got a blank stare because I was stunned. Here we are talking about important sh*t and you’re fetishizing my blackness. Needless to say, I found another doctor. I just can’t with some of these white folks anymore. I can’t have the time to cuss every single one of them out, I can’t have the energy to get everyone fired, and I can’t have enough bail money to mess everyone up who wrongs me. Now, I just mostly dismiss them from my life because, on most occasions, I can. I can because I now work for myself and even though I might pass them up on the street and deal with them in small doses I can no longer deal with them in an office setting where my intelligence is put into question or my experience and education is overlooked. I can’t do that anymore and I’m thankful for the love of the written word so I can sit on my bed and beat out my frustrations through my laptop — and get paid for it.

Not all black and brown people can afford this luxury, but to be fair not all of them see the world like I see it either. Plenty can talk away an injustice as easily as a Fox News anchor and as I stare at them in utter disbelief. I do know that I might need to tone it down a notch. I’m not really that bad. The white friends that I hold dear are so damn liberal and aware of white privilege that I would trade them for Raven-Symoné in the racial draft in a heartbeat. But that’s off topic.

I have PTSD and I find my anger rising with each passing day and with each new racial injustice that languishes in this country. This country that I used to love so much is no longer on my list of viable places to live for my people. My hubby and I went to Freeport, Bahamas last October and let me tell you…I have NEVER felt so at home and connected as when we stayed there. One week of utter paradise where I made about 20 friends and bonded with just about everyone on the island. We want to move there. Scratch that we ARE going to move there. I have lost all hope of feeling like America is home. I need to live there and not because of the laid-back atmosphere or the amazing beaches and perfect weather. It has to do with the pride of them being free from British rule, loving their freedom and calling the Bahamas THEIR home. They even have black people on their money!  We brought some of it back and we gave them to all the kids and family members we could afford to. I wanted them to know that there are places outside of the United States where we excel and are treated equally.

Photo: 20to30.com
Photo: 20to30.com

I feel like Pandora’s box has been opened and the true face of what this country is has been set loose and full awareness of how ugly it is has forever scarred me. I drank the American-Dream Kool-Aid for so long that I truly thought it included my black ass, but I know now that it doesn’t. I am A-OK with that, because at the tender age of 45 I am too tired to fight against a system that was never created for me and would rather make my mark in the digital world while living in another country. I’m not there yet, and although I still love this country and am happy to have been born here; I do know this is not where I will spend my golden years. (Do we even get those anymore if we aren’t among the 1%?) I want more than what this flawed country can give me. Although some might see me as a hater, I see myself as a realist. Just like when you find yourself in a bad relationship where the other person continues to treat you like sh*t the best way to handle it is to leave.

Don’t get mad at me. I just wanted to watch some damn TV.

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Sabrina is a freelance writer and full-time blogger. She is contributing writer for a variety of publications on topics ranging natural hair to feminism and is the editor-in-chief of her own blog, seriouslynatural.org which has a focus on natural hair, beauty and wellness. Sabrina’s background is in government regulation and she has been directly involved in local and national politics. She has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration. Follow her onFacebook, Instagram and Twitter.