I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
~from I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
Have you ever had anyone do something mean, malicious, or spiteful to you – all with the express purpose of sabotage? What about suffering at the hands of people who know they’re engaging in hurtful behaviors – those lovely people who are so selfish and self-centered that other people’s feelings obviously don’t matter? And by all means, let’s not forget what President Franklin D. Roosevelt termed “the vicissitudes of life;” you know, the hardships, bad breaks, and unfortunate circumstances that arise just as a result of being a member of the human race.
Things happen. I get that. Crappy, disgusting, and even heartbreaking things happen. I totally get that.
Some of these things are so crappy, disgusting, and heartbreaking that it seems the sole purpose for the events even occurring is to make you wash your hands of people/life, say “To heck with it!” and go live somewhere on a deserted island far, far away.
Well, guess what? It’s at those times, my friend, that I’m even more determined to keep swimming against the tide and moving forward.
When I was much younger, my personal mantra was, “I’d rather die than cry.” Many of you know about my background as a military brat. As a child, my life was always in flux, and it was nothing to change three schools in one year. I was forever the new kid on the block and constantly had to prove myself to both students and teachers. I encountered racism at a very early age, and my Dad drilled in my brothers and me to never let anyone intimidate us.
That “refuse to be intimidated” mindset carried over into my adulthood, and I can safely say that this mentality is as much a part of me as my name.
So, want me to shine and really show you what I know or what I can do? Want to make me try harder, excel in my endeavors, and otherwise bring life to the saying “Living well is the best revenge?”
Then try to intimidate me.
Want me to dig my heels in the sand, refuse to be dissuaded or moved, and day “Pffft!” to your face?
Then by all means, attempt to bully me.
I learned this week that I face very strong opposition to my advocacy of diversity. Not just strong opposition, but hateful opposition to my message regarding what I believe is the the necessity of Black women opening their minds and hearts to interracial dating, interracial relationships, and interracial marriage.
I’m not speaking of the opposition that comes from some paternalistic, misogynistic, “Power to the People” idiot spouting his hatred for “the man” in a Facebook thread. No; it goes deeper than that brand of petty, juvenile foolishness. I’m speaking of the kind of opposition that attempts to shut down my platform, and thus ultimately silence my voice.
Whelp, it ain’t gonna work.
You see, I don’t just believe in my message of diversity in relationship options, I live my message, and I want other Black women to do the same.
I don’t want Black women to wither on the vine while waiting for a mate of a particular color or ethnicity – one who may never show up. Instead, I want Black women to come to the realization that they can thrive in the garden of love because in that garden, there’s an entire array of offerings they can select from.
And there you have it.
I refuse to give up, because the message of the viability of interracial dating and marriage options for Black women is much too important.
I refuse to give up, because I know my cause is greater than any jack-leg who wants me to stop.
I refuse to give up, because how can you truly believe in something (or someone) that you’re not willing to fight for?
I refuse to give up – because I’m just getting started.
Join in the Fray: What do you refuse to give up on?
Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, All rights reserved.