Yesterday was a really momentous event for people like me, but it was also a sad day for people like me as well. I am African-American and gay, and yesterday I attended the funeral for the Charleston 9 and was deeply saddened and fearful about what it means to be Black in America nowadays. It seems like every time I turn on the TV there’s a new hate crime or brutality against us. Like so may others I have peacefully protested and pushed the moniker “#BlackLivesMatter,” but I just don’t feel like anyone is really standing with us. I am happy that the Supreme Court has now made it legal to marry the man I love, but where are they with the other issues I face as a Black man?
When I try to discuss these issues with my White gay friends, they don’t seem to get it. They don’t even think the Klan and other groups like them are even terrorists. They look at them as just hate groups. They feel badly about what’s happening to Black people, but I don’t see the protesting and rallying or justice the wat they did with their rainbow flags yesterday; the way I have stood by them in the past. I guess I’m actually asking you how do I rectify the inner turmoil I’m feeling at this moment?
***Doubly Conscious, you would do better to upgrade your consciousness to a triple level–a racial, national, and sexual one. Although these categories should not matter, they do, and they play a huge part in how society views us and how we view ourselves. Accepting multiple levels of consciousness is something people of color have had to grapple with for hundreds of years. The answer is to accept that although you wish for all of these aspects of your life to be equal; they are not! You must learn to prioritize which form of consciousness is appropriate for the situation at hand. Do not feel guilty about celebrating yesterday’s ruling, but at the same time acknowledge and reflect on the lives that have been lost in Charleston. I too dream of a better world where one consciousness–a human one–is the sole category we all belong to. Until then fight on! Whether you’re Black, American, or gay there are still social injustices to fight. We need people like you to reach more people.