Starting in July, or better yet back in 2013 when George Zimmerman was able to walk free after shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, I started to love and appreciate my black brothers and sisters like never before. I grew up in Jamaica, a predominantly Black Country and even there I knew the unspoken truth, blacks were less than whites. We were treated less than by our black brother and sister and ignored by the white man; unless we had something to offer. I ignored this growing up, until I got much older I realized I knew it all along, that by looking at the way blacks were treated, I knew we weren’t treated/created equal and though out of many – we WEREN’T one people. People look the outside appearance and judge – we all do it, whether we admit it or not. We see a black man/woman without a job…living off welfare and we assume they’re lazy. We see a black man with tattoos all over, wearing a hoodie and pants down to his ankle – we assume he’s a “bad dude”. Sure some cases that might be true but there is so much than what meets the eyes. That word that no one wants to talk about, we can talk about any tragedy in the world but don’t you dare mention this word. Leave it in the past, we’ve moved on from it…slavery! Slavery sometimes reminds me of that family secret that no one wants to talk about, we know it exists/ that it happened but just don’t talk about it. Life is better now, you got your mule and land – you can vote and sit wherever you want on the bus, the president is black; therefore slavery/racism isn’t a problem anymore. Wrong! In recovery we talk about denial and what happens when we pretend the wound isn’t there – you can’t really heal from it! We’re told over and over again, not to bring up racism or slavery and what that does is, it tells us we’re the problem, we’re seeing/ perceiving things that no longer exist. The black man/woman who fights continuously to gain rights to live life the way their white counterpart does, eventually they give up, and if they don’t give up, their children do. Why do “I” have to keep fighting for everything? What makes “me” so different? We all have our cut off limit, that point where it gets too hard and we say screw it! We’re not different because of our race, we still fight for things and sometimes we give up when it gets hard just like anyone else. I’ve learned through human trafficking since that’s the one slavery we CAN talk about, that people who are freed from captivity spend time in something similar to a safe house with other victims of human trafficking and trained personnels; they’re taught valuable skills and they learn how to re-enter the real world instead of being thrown into it. That wasn’t done after slavery was abolished, we got our donkey and piece a land but what did we learn about entering the real world after being chained and treated like animals? That’s America…I doubt the freed people in Jamaica received anything. But, what does one do with a donkey and a piece a farm land when they weren’t taught to manage anything? They say you’re now free, you can leave “Master’s” plantation but what are you leaving it for? Even the slaves God freed in Exodus wanted to go back INTO captivity, not because they loved it but because it became their norm, they knew they’d have food and they wouldn’t have to fight for any rights because they didn’t have any nor was it expected of them. Now they’re in a land that seems foreign to them and they have to fight for EVERYTHING! They fought to go to school, to get jobs, to vote, to drink water from whatever fountain they wanted, to ride on the bus and sit wherever they wanted, they fought to stay alive, they fought the police, even though they were suppose to serve and protect them, they had to fight them to stay alive, they had to fight the government and those laws. I salute my people for fighting, they fought so well, hard and long; even when they were scared and saw no way out. That’s why National Heroes’ Day is my favorite holiday in Jamaica, it reminds me of those men and women who fought for us to be free and while we were “free” they continuously fought for us to be “freer”. I bet some of these people suffered from PTSD and major flashbacks of life on the plantation, they probably talked about it with their kids and grandkids or they hid it all through booze and whatever means of distractions. Oh there is sooo much more than what meets the eyes. We still bare the scars of slavery, whether we’ve spoken to a family member about it or not. It flows through our veins, it’s a part of us, whether we were there or not. It affects the way we do things, the way we think; about ourselves and others. How does one grow up thinking they’re equal to another when the media, family members, the community, peers, laws tell you otherwise? I too, used to disassociate myself from my fellow black men – I was taught they were no good and I couldn’t or shouldn’t trust them so I didn’t. God gave me a passion for them and love that’s slowly growing for my own skin color. I probably made no sense whatsoever in this post but I had to let it out somehow because it’s been in me for months now and I needed to release it. Telling someone not to talk about the abuse, doesn’t make the act go away, it doesn’t solve the problem – instead it prolongs the effects of it and causes the abuse to seem as though its occurring over and over again. Just my two pence!