Racism effects me in a myriad of degrees; pretty sure it was the determining factor in the lag of the first 20 years of my conscious life. The lack of effective education, poor job opportunities, lack of cultural unity, low self esteem from "it must be because I'm black" instead of "its because they are white" - see? It was my problem then, not theirs.
When I was just a teenager, I didn't have much of a self image, I didn't think much about how people treated me, and I didn't understand that most people were judging me ... wondering if I smoked or sold crack, if I had a gun, if I was a thief. Subconsciously, rarely stated, often acted upon.
I didn't know how common this was until I began to directly look at it.
In every major US city I have been discriminated upon, to the point where will generally avoid them. Accused, jailed, arrested.
When I say poor education, I mean that though I attended private schools for a majority of the time I did attend school, they did not tell me what I was facing. They were like white schools filled and ran by black people; we watched Roots in 3rd grade; this fostered false familiarity with this outrageous tragedy, and I'm sure many of those I was in that class with still think that was a historical account.
Yet it was a prophetic piece also; we just weren't encouraged to learn any more about the story, for if we had, we would have eventually found the trail from those times to our current day situation.
When I say poor job opportunities, combined with the low self-esteem reaction to peoples general distrust of the Young Black Male, I could put in 200 resumes, _marking my race on most of them_, and get a call back for 1; a job I took; under an Asian lady, she was most disagreeable.
And to think that I had (with a group of friends) hacked into nearly all universities and several military institutions world-wide before the age of 17 .... just to look around, and quit at 18. [they know already, IDGAF]. We were avid learners, adaptable, self-motivated. That turned into.. ?
I am not stupid. I am mal-conditioned and experienced too much trauma as a youth. To which people turned their eyes, they saw the pain in mine, and they told me I was stupid. I listened...
This was the height of the dot-com boom and I had no support structure that pushed me. Note, none of this is regret, it is simply reflection.
All of that made me who I am today. A black man, un-afraid to speak the truth, prepared to die for that truth, and about to leave your stinking country and go and find my own home.
Unless they find me guilty of getting greatly hurt defending myself in an altercation where
it is clear to the court that I was attacked.. wait, what?
Now, I know that others have had different experiences..
Some have experienced less, some have experienced more,
some have experienced none.
But, given the fact that many have died, randomly,
unjustifiably, unexpectedly, unpredictably,
with few defenses and with no retribution,
I believe that none of us are safe.