You might be my color but you aren't my kind

POOR correspondent - Posted on 06 July 2010

Tony Robles/PNN
Saturday, September 5, 2009;

My Uncle Anthony has this expression that goes, “You might be my color but you ain’t my kind”. He is a street minister who says he’s workin’ for the lord. “The pay might be low but the benefits are out of this world” he says.

You might be my color but…

Working as a security guard, I’ve worked with many people of color. Each has their own personality, their own story, their own trip. I’ve met folks who act like cops and others who have dreamed, or have let their dream slip away. I have met people who have shared their last bit of food with me and those who have shared nothing.

I work at an apartment complex with several other guards. We handle noise complaints; make sure no one’s drinking alcohol in the pool etc.

Surrounding the apartment complex are clusters of trees. Some trees stand straight while others stand at an angle, having withstood the wind and time. At night the moon can be seen peeking through the trees. I look up as the moon announces itself as it did to my elders and ancestors an ocean away in a place whose songs and poetry travel though my veins, nourishing my spirit. In that moment my uniform disappears, I am brown, a man whose bloodline knows only resistance and love and poetry.

Then, a fellow guard approaches me, shows me a slingshot he bought. He is brown like me. He hands me the slingshot and I ask him what he uses it for. “I use it to shoot those birds” he says, “Those black ones”. I ask him if he’s referring to ravens and he answers in the affirmative.

I hand the slingshot back. I look at the moon and the trees that bend. Who would shoot such beautiful birds, those carriers of messages of the ancestors, I ask myself. I hear my uncle’s voice:

You might be my color but…


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