This morning I woke up crying

I like to keep my posts professional or at least only about business. But, I'm human and I feel sad. And I don't want to be a stupid professional today.

Just be happy. Stay positive. It will all work out. 

These are thoughts that I tell myself. Statements that I hear from my peers. Words that are usually comforting and I believe them to be true.

But, in a time when we’ve made it so far in the States from slavery and the civil rights movement…we have so far to go. The minds, souls, and hearts of Black Americans are reeling in pain. And we are still pawns in a game where the rules are elusive at best.

I went out to dinner last night with a friend. A black man. Engineer. Making great money and relocating from one expensive city (New York City) to another in the Bay Area. We talked about our struggles to get where we are- and we both have so much more we want to accomplish-the struggle of our brothers and sisters in Baltimore, and the redlining, gentrification bullshit that is going on in former black communities like Harlem and Oakland.

Just be happy. Stay positive. It will all work out. 

We talked about the tech industry. Stanford is the standard for hiring the “top talent” in engineering. A school that through implicit or explicit bias (at this point it doesn’t matter) is the epitome of nepotism and accepts a fraction of blacks into its programs. And then companies want to turn around and say, “We don’t hire black engineers because there are none to be found.”

Did you look beyond Stanford? Did you know Georgia Tech ranks in the top 25 of computer science programs? Perhaps you will find some quality black engineers down in the South. Just a thought.

Photo by Erica Bean Photography.

Photo by Erica Bean Photography.

Just be happy. Stay positive. It will all work out. 

We talked about the media’s portrayal of the protests in Baltimore. No one is showing the peaceful gatherings. In fact, we witnessed a #BlackLivesMatter protest in downtown Oakland as we ate our dinner. At first we thought it was a festival, fun music, people calmly walking down the street.

“No,” our server says to us. “It’s a weekly protest about police brutality. Black Lives Matter.”

Funny. I didn’t see that on the news this morning.

We talked about the astronomical rent prices in what used to be black communities. One bedroom apartments are renting for $3300 in Uptown Oakland. Harlem is a ghostly version of the chocolate town is used to be.

Just be happy. Stay positive. It will all work out. 

And then I read tweets from the most priviledged of priviledged condemning those in Baltimore and condemning those that have been through so much to get to where they are.

My anger begins to boil and I’ve learned in my years on this planet to channel that energy. 

Get to work.

Make more money. Always.Make.More.Money. Then you can change the world.

Money has no color. 

Make more money. Always.Make.More.Money. Money has no color. 

Or does it? 

I fell asleep still wearing my glasses and computer running at 2a this morning.

And woke up at 6:30a crying.

Crying because I know the media will tell me what I already feared about the aftermath in Baltimore.

Crying for the lost black lives that we hear about on the news. And the millions we don’t.

No words.

No words.

Crying for my black engineers who are talented beyond belief, but don't get a fair shake in the game.

Crying for my black father who I can’t even imagine the pain and torment he went through during the 80s in the financial industry in New York City.

And I cried for myself. I cried because as hard as I work, my peers do half as much work for twice the gain.

I’m playing a chess game and all I have are pawns on my side.

I cried because I know that self-pity and anger will get nothing done, but sometimes it hurts too much to smile.

A smile that I lead with everytime I enter a room when I know I’m going to be the only one there. The only black woman, or person, who is fighting for something bigger than herself.

And everyone else is sipping tea, eating crumpets and complaining about not being able to ski this year.

A smile when I sit in a room of people who have no idea what the inner turmoil of double consciousness can do to a person. When the weight of your community sits so heavily on your shoulders and you try to desperately shake it off so that you can be in the damn "present moment".

And I cried because I know that another part of me died last night. Another piece of my innocence was ripped from me.

In order to get where I want to go- where I need to go- a thick layer of insensitivity has been cultivated. A layer that will allow me to run with the wolves, smile sweetly at the very people who are perpetuating the issues, and play golf with the monsters who couldn’t care less about the uneven playing field.

A layer that will allow me to avoid the news like the plague because it will either drive me to the bar or a place of destructive anger.

Just be happy. Stay positive. And make a shit-ton of money.

Get back to work.

Danetha Doe (@danethadoe) is an entrepreneur and accountant. The founder and creator of Money and Mimosas and a social media/branding consultant for accounting firms.