NEGOTIATING WHILE BLACK

Writer’s block: “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing”.  Not how I feel today but how I have been feeling for the past 18 months. But it is time to put an end to it.  I could use any pretext as to why this book needs to come out.

  • “I want to make the world a better place” – what kind of douche bag would not want that, especially when (s)he could make money out of it.
  • “The world needs another book that talks about the failures of a postracial society” – There are probably more books being written on the subject than I can read
  • “I want a legacy for my children” – These two – lovely – kids live under my roof, and will for a long time.  If I need a book to leave a legacy, I have failed, big time
  • “Why you should not see colour” – this would have been a great clickbait header 🙂

The real reason. I do not know. What I do know, is that I am writing this book first and foremost for myself.  Not in a weird “I love myself” Kanye’s way. This is a self-exploration book. A self-reflection book, a self-analysis, a self-biography. Yes, you get it the keyword is SELF.  

Why do I think that me, myself and I should become a story?  Because that story is a holler! A rallying cry to find people who think like me or had the same experiences I had and decided to think differently. You see, I am confused. Call it my mid-life crisis. While some people decide to buy a Porsche for their mid-life crisis – the idea did cross my mind – I decided to explore other paths.

The best comparison to how I feel? Let’s use the TV series.  20 years ago TV series was straightforward. There is a good person, there is a bad person, and the bad person eventually loses.  Full stop. Today, situations are way more complex. Think The Walking Dead. Good people are doing really bad things in that series.  In other TV series, who is good and who is bad is extremely dynamic, it changes all the time, and the viewers are invited to challenge their thinking through the lens of the situation of the protagonist.  This is the evolution I have been through, from a simple black & white life to a full effect rainbow with an illimited number of point of views.

Although, I thought I would find like-minded people – or a community to discuss with – through social media, instead I found loads of people who are trying to sell me a range of random products or services, fake news under the #blackexcellence or some “why my political party is not racist” – I just had to include that one in there, remember if there is nothing further right than a party, it is the far right.

Now that you know why I am writing. Let me answer the second question you have. What does it mean “NEGOTIATING WHILE BLACK”.  I believe that the way to experience the world depends on how the world is perceiving you. I’ll get real tactical here with my examples.  I travelled with one of my best friends. He is white, successful and confident. For fun, he decided to cut the line at the airport. Not like jumping in front of a handful of people, jumping right to the front of a very long line.  You should have seen my face when he suggested to do it. In my head, this meant automatically being arrested by security and experience a rectal search! But for him, it was just a matter of “people usually do not dare to say anything. Worst case you say sorry and go to the back of the line” 😵😵😵.

I probably would have behaved a little bit more like him if my worldview was the same than his.  But considering that I am used to getting stopped at border patrol for a “random” secondary search, or that I am used to getting an extra search of the suitcase at the airport, I am very cognizant that I need to be on my best behaviour in an airport.  I mean, I got so many “random” check at the airport that after explaining my situation and how many time I got checked, I got a redress number. That thing is amazing. It means I am not getting stopped anymore!

I also see the world as a big negotiation situation. There are different players, different options when you have the leverage you get your way when you do not, you give in. People bluff, sometimes it works, sometimes they are called out. I for sure believe that you get what you negotiate in life, not what you deserve.  Blacks must negotiate in a word that is somehow foreign to them. We live in it, but we do not totally understand all the details. Far right, pretending to not be far right, I am not saying that Blacks are dumber. I am saying that when people are used to clearing messages, wishy-washy messages confuse the heck out of many people. Another example you may ask? Growing up, it was easy to know where I stood. I mess up, my mom set me straight in her own (old school Black loving) way.  Today, I can see in the eyes of my 5 years-old son the confusion associated with my 1, 2, 3 magic. “How long is my time out”; “What toy is going in time out and for how long”. And I am confused too! I never really know what to do when I get to “3”. He is supposed to not want me to get to “3”, but often he does. He also figured out that he has the option of not going in time out in his room! And I really can’t do much about it. My wife and I have not made the decision to never spanking our kids to then forcefully sequester him in his room!

That’s it for now. Leave a comment and let me know if you are feeling this.

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