By Ronald Nightshade, Opinions Editor
With all the talk of police brutality, job discrimination, and other forms of systemic racism, we often lose sight of the everyday struggles that come along with being a member of an oppressed race. As an effort to open your eyes to the everyday struggles that those with white privilege do not have to deal with, here are five examples of the daily struggle that I know too well:
- Finding a Parking Spot
You would think that after everything Martin Luther King accomplished–even after having elected a black president–that I, a black man, would be able to find a parking spot downtown. Not so, fellow American. Just the other week, in an effort to treat my wife to a great night out, I bought tickets to our favorite opera, The Marriage of Figaro. I then proceeded to spend no fewer than thirty-five minutes driving up and down Grand Boulevard, only to find a lone parking spot TEN MINUTES walking distance away. Post-racial society my ass.
Although I do not consider myself a resentful man, I cannot help but lose faith in my country every morning when I pick up my three-blade razor and proceed to shave every. single. hair. on my ebony face. What on earth did our nation’s courageous civil rights activists fight for if I’m still a slave to Gillette and Barbasol?
- Drinking Hot Liquids
Think drinking a morning cup of Joe is an easy task for a black male in America? Think again! If it were not for my black friends with whom I can commiserate about the trials of drinking a Dunkin Donuts coffee while driving to work, I might very well just give up coffee altogether. And, just because I do not want to depress you with grim details, I will not even go into brain freezes. . .
- Filing Taxes
Do the IRS tax forms make sense to you? Man, I wish I were you. Despite our nation’s ostensible belief in the equality of man, every mid-April serves as a reminder of its true values. With every line, box, sub-box, and sub-sub box, I can faintly hear the government whispering in my ear: “your name is Toby.”
- That Annoying Sound of Forks Scratching Plates
You’ve just sat down to a beautiful, four course meal when—EEK—you hear the sound of your fork scraping against the cold, hard surface of your dinner plate. It is as if we learned nothing from the great words of Maya Angelou: “No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” Our forefathers dreamed of a better America and, although we have made great strides, my eardrums remind me that there is a long road ahead.