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Thu Aug 6, 2020, 11:54 AM

"Sometimes I wish I could try on white skin"

Last edited Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:23 PM - Edit history (2)

By Arnold Ragas:
Sometimes my black life matters.
"It mattered the day I was walking to my car at Lenox when I was ordered inside a police car until I sufficiently explained my purpose for being in the deck. My keys in hand provided no clue. It mattered the very next time I was in the deck and again ordered inside a police car until I again sufficiently explained my purpose.
My black life mattered the day I was helping someone move her furniture from her apartment to a moving van when several police officers pointed their guns at me until I sufficiently explained my purpose. Carrying a microwave to a moving van provided no clue.
My black life mattered the day I was looking through storefront windows and police detained me and questioned me until I sufficiently explained my purpose. It mattered further when I reached into my pocket for my wallet and they pulled their guns on me. My black life almost became matter on the pavement.

https://medium.com/arnoldragas/sometimes-my-black-life-matters-a390ccc049c


49 replies, 6219 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Sometimes I wish I could try on white skin" (Original post)
Heartstrings Aug 6 OP
bobbieinok Aug 6 #1
GreenPartyVoter Aug 6 #2
malaise Aug 6 #3
soothsayer Aug 6 #4
kimbutgar Aug 6 #5
Ohio Joe Aug 6 #6
wcast Aug 6 #7
Arkansas Granny Aug 6 #8
SaveOurDemocracy Aug 6 #9
spudspud Aug 6 #11
BlancheSplanchnik Aug 7 #46
BobTheSubgenius Aug 6 #10
BGBD Aug 6 #12
Decoy of Fenris Aug 6 #28
littlemissmartypants Aug 6 #13
volstork Aug 6 #14
AZ8theist Aug 6 #15
Lonestarblue Aug 6 #16
ChazII Aug 6 #17
soldierant Aug 6 #42
Delphinus Aug 7 #44
soldierant Aug 7 #49
FailureToCommunicate Aug 6 #18
The Wielding Truth Aug 6 #19
Enoki33 Aug 6 #20
Fla Dem Aug 6 #21
Moostache Aug 6 #22
colorado_ufo Aug 6 #23
a kennedy Aug 6 #24
iluvtennis Aug 6 #25
rurallib Aug 6 #26
scarletwoman Aug 6 #35
rurallib Aug 6 #36
dlk Aug 6 #27
Scarsdale Aug 6 #32
dlk Aug 6 #38
calimary Aug 6 #29
Karadeniz Aug 6 #30
scarletwoman Aug 6 #31
Heartstrings Aug 6 #33
scarletwoman Aug 6 #34
Heartstrings Aug 6 #39
Demovictory9 Aug 6 #37
thesquanderer Aug 6 #40
Heartstrings Aug 6 #41
betsuni Aug 6 #43
thesquanderer Aug 7 #47
betsuni Aug 7 #45
El Mimbreno Aug 7 #48

Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:00 PM

1. Thanks for posting. Hard to read. Very sad after progress we seemed to be making!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:01 PM

2. Powerful!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:08 PM

3. Just the truth

Thanks for this

Rec

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:09 PM

4. Poignant

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:11 PM

5. This is so sad

I feel so embarrassed now that when I was young I wasn't either all black or white. I hated being a person who could be identified both ways. The black girls were so mean to me in high school because I had pale skin and nice hair and the white girls didn’t know what to make of me. I had many different friend of ethic backgrounds who accepted me fortunately. In college I expressed my angst To a professor who told me I was a person of the future. I had hoped by my age there wouldn’t be so much racial bigotry but here it is in full force Vomited up everyday by an illegitimate president stoking the flames. And it’s so obvious he has emboldened the police even more to racially profile an obvious black man who is just living an authentic lawful life.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:12 PM

6. K&R -nt

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:16 PM

7. Excellent!!

"Or just maybe my skin is the sin and no accomplishment vaccine can inoculate me. "

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:17 PM

8. K & R

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:33 PM

9. K&R! Short but powerful read. For those who still facebook and have not...


...entirely cut off family and friends who rage against BLM; I wish you'd post this and then let us know their response, how they attempt to dismiss this man's words.

Thanks for posting Heartstrings.

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Response to SaveOurDemocracy (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:43 PM

11. Pretty sure such racists would just say he's exaggerating or lying.

That's their go to dismissal for all such accounts. It allows them to ignore reality, while simultaneously getting a dig in.

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Response to spudspud (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 08:01 AM

46. They wouldn't bother to read it

If you try to encourage a MAGAt to read it, they’d just spew their lies and skip away, “Oh I’m too busy to argue”...

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:42 PM

10. "Not one of you white people...not ONE...

...would trade places with me, and I'm RICH!"

- Chris Rock

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:46 PM

12. not true

I would 100% trade places with Chris Rock.

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Response to BGBD (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:43 PM

28. Would also trade places with Chris Rock in a heartbeat and without a single hesitation. nt

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:48 PM

13. Heartbreaking. He has such a sweet face. ❤ nt

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:54 PM

14. Powerful post.

Thank you for sharing.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:58 PM

15. I find it DISGUSTING

That a percentage of our population has to live like this....
Even after a bloody civil war was fought. Here we are 160 years later and not much has changed.

FUCK the racists and bigots. Starting with the traitorous racist on top of that stinking pile of shit.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:58 PM

16. What powerful commentary!

And utter frustration at the inequities of our society. I long for a time when we see the person and not the skin color., though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:59 PM

17. Touched by an Angel

had an episode that guest starred Rosa Parks. God transformed Monica from a white Irish angel into a black Irish angel for her to understand what Rosa Parks went through. Towards the end of the show Monica is being chased through the woods as two white men are going to kill this black woman. Monica prayed and was changed back to her white skin. The powerful moment in the show is when she apologized to Rosa Parks for her prayer was 'let me be white again.' Yes, this is fiction but it was a powerful episode especially when Rosa Parks forgave Monica.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 11:11 PM

42. I remember that episode very well indeed.

I may even have it on VHS. I have a lot of them.

Sure, it's only a story on a TV show. But most people learn powerfully from story - more powerfully than any other way. I wish people wouldn't belittle fiction just because ot didn't actually happen, Fiction has a truth of its own - or, alternatively, can lie very convincingly in its way.

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Response to soldierant (Reply #42)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 12:10 AM

44. So true!

Story is quite powerful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #44)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 01:40 PM

49. Thank you!

Nice to know I'm not the only person in the world who "gets" that.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:02 PM

18. Succeeding while Black.

This is such a screwed up country.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:05 PM

19. It's disgusting that a free country that is supposed to have no class system has caused you

to be treated so poorly.That's why local police should be a must so they will know the people who come and go in their area. I know this happens and it makes me sick. Just because of the color of your skin you are hassled.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:08 PM

20. This happens when assumption become actionable. Sadly there are

many, many of us who are not considered part of the dominant society that painfully relate to this. We file it in a folder that is dusty, and move on doggedly over the uneven playing field.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:08 PM

21. The Man certainly does put it into powerful perspective.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:30 PM

22. K&R for truth and exposure to more eyes!

I can't say it better and I can't describe his experiences at all.

I can only empathize, and try to understand; listen and try to make change happen faster, make the arc of history bend towards justice a little quicker today than yesterday. I can teach my children the truth - that through no action of our own, through a cosmic genetic lottery, we were born with a winning ticket and unearned advantages. We get assumptions of innocence, latitude to be less fearful around police and judges, more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt in all matters; and we did exactly NOTHING to deserve or earn them. Recognizing that this is TRUE, and fundamentally WRONG, is the least I can teach them. And I can assure them that the right thing to do is to speak out against anyone they are around who says otherwise or tries to minimize this reality in favor of a self-servign fiction.

As a white man, all I can say is that I see those experiences as the photo negative of my own, literally exact opposites...and until that changes, until policing changes and profiling and targeting changes, then we ALL have to remain united in a call to make sure that Black Lives Matter as a reminder to ourselves that silence is acceptance and acceptance is killing people who deserve to live their lives as much as anyone else - and worst of all, it is killing some people at much higher rates than others and for too long went unchallenged and unacknowledged - still does for the "all lives" types.

Until we live in a country where Arnold Ragas - and everyone or anyone with dark skin instead of pale skin - can stop feeling like that AT ALL, let alone ALL THE TIME (out of necessity or fear for their very lives), we cannot allow the urgency to fade or the status quo to creep back into a comfort zone for any length of time. Many miles to go, and many weary folks to help along the way, but fighting back against those who divide for political and personal advantage is the least we can all do. If everyone starts with just the least we can, it adds up to a lot.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 01:48 PM

23. This is fantastic!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:02 PM

24. Very good read. Loved this "sometimes I wish I could try on white skin"

would be great if we could try on black skin to walk a mile in their shoes too. I keep thinking of Oprah saying she was followed in Harrods in London when she was there. Followed like she was going to steal something......

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:11 PM

25. Wow, very profound. Thanks for sharing this. nt

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:22 PM

26. Do you have a link for this?

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Response to rurallib (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:32 PM

35. The OP has been edited to include the link.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #35)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:37 PM

36. Thank you

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:26 PM

27. This post absolutely breaks my heart!

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Response to dlk (Reply #27)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:04 PM

32. This makes me ashamed of my race.

I often think about Trayvon Martin's parents, and am sad that many mothers of young black men have to worry whenever their child goes out for a simple errand to the store. This should not be happening now, at this stage of what is supposed to be a civilized country. It is a disgrace.

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Response to Scarsdale (Reply #32)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:48 PM

38. It's beyond imagining

I’m hopeful that recent events have started the long-needed recognition and reckoning of where our country has been and currently resides. We have much to answer for.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:52 PM

29. A VERY thought-provoking piece.

Thanks for posting this, Heartstrings. It's good for everybody's awareness expansion.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 02:56 PM

30. Gutwrenching. Despicable. Tragic. Unfair. Time's up for change.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:03 PM

31. As a courtesy to the author, you ought to include the link to the site where it was originally

posted, and done a 4-paragraph excerpt as requested by the DU Admins.

Here is the link: https://medium.com/arnoldragas/sometimes-my-black-life-matters-a390ccc049c

Medium.com deserves the clicks for the work they publish.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #31)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:20 PM

33. Will include link....

This was sent to me by a friend with no link, so I appreciate you giving me it!

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Response to Heartstrings (Reply #33)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:31 PM

34. Thank you for fixing it, I appreciate it.

Whenever I see something with no link, I always do a search to see if I can find the original.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #34)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 08:56 PM

39. Thank you!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 03:39 PM

37. kick

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 09:27 PM

40. Great piece. Curious, what exactly does "in the deck" refer to? n/t

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #40)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 10:47 PM

41. I'm guessing in his neighborhood, or hood? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Searched and I wasn’t able to find any confirmation, but maybe someone else here on du can clarify....

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #40)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 11:13 PM

43. I was confused too and searched for it, got "Lenox Mall parking deck."

Hadn't heard of a garage being called a deck.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 08:27 AM

47. Yeah, maybe it's regional...

Clearly it's someplace people park (the full sentence, abbreviated in the excerpt in the OP, was "The keys in my hand and the cars between lines provided no clue" ). From your mall reference, it sounds like it could be what they call one level of a multi-story parking garage.

ETA:

A multistorey car park[1][2] (UK English) or parking garage (US English;[1] also called a multistorey,[3] parkade (mainly Canadian), parking structure, parking ramp, parking deck or indoor parking) is a building designed for car parking and where there are a number of floors or levels on which parking takes place. It is essentially an indoor, stacked car park.


from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multistorey_car_park

So yes, it references a multi-level parking structure, but they do call the entire structure a parking deck (as opposed to my earlier guess that that was the name for one level of it).

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 12:28 AM

45. I've been watching YouTube videos of black people vs police/Karens and can't stop.

Just when you think you've seen the stupidest of them, you find a stupider one. There are hundreds!

Watched one yesterday where a Karen saw a black police officer in full uniform get out of his police car in the parking garbage (or deck) of the building where he lives (what she calls "her building" as they all do -- it's a private property fetish/obsession, and they always claim to know EVERYONE in the building) and followed him in her car yelling at him. She'd accused him of "breaking in the building" and making her feel unsafe. The funny thing is that she was the one filming, so she had evidently posted it online, thinking she was catching a dangerous criminal who had gone to extreme lengths to break into the building by parking and walking to his apartment with a shopping bag in one hand and his apartment keys in the other. The Karens who claim to be so afraid of the "dangerous criminals" that they follow them around and get right in their face and threaten them. Want to see what happens when they do that to an actual real criminal, but of course they never know who the real criminals are.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Fri Aug 7, 2020, 10:36 AM

48. This gets a link...

on our county Democratic Party website. Thanks for passing it on.

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