People perceive messages, looks, and behaviors of others and internalize them. They interpret what they think it means. For example: A friend of mine asked me if she should wear this particular dress without stockings or leggings. I politely informed her that she should wear stockings or a longer dress. Maybe both.
My thought process was I didnt want people making rude comments about her size, cellulite, and the way the dress looked on her period. An observer’s (another friend of ours) perception of the same situation was that I was being mean. Why is honesty perceived as being mean instead of just being honest? Are we in that much denial as a society that we want people to lie to us even though we asked for the truth?! Unfortunately, that’s not something I’m willing to do!
Perception can also take a twist or two. This twist is a visual set of perception. Let’s say a Cuban man is walking down the street. He’s Black in color, meaning he has a potent amount of melanin in his skin. He’s perceived as Black until he opens his mouth and his thick accent is heard. There are even Puerto Ricans that consider themselves as just Puerto Ricans, and others perceive themselves as Black Puerto Ricans because of their complexions and their culture.
My question is: What is the truth? Is it how people perceive us or how we perceive ourselves? I’m pretty sure the police of New York would consider either one to be the same. I say that because they seem to be notorious for asking questions after they have already sprayed a persons body with 20-41 bullets which in some instances resulted in death (Amadou Diallo 1999, Sean Bell 2006).
The police seem to perceive falsely in circumstances all the time, but because they are officers of the law, they are perceived by the public as upstanding (laughs hysterically). Most of America convicted Trayvon Martin because he was a Black male (surely he had no reason to defend himself in anyway with a piece of shit following him and approaching him in an aggressive manner)! However it’s perceived that Blacks especially Black males are always guilty! We aren’t allowed to be victims! You dont believe me? Then tell me why is it that a background check and drug testing are always done on the Black corpse before the living killer ?! Ask Renisha McBrides parents how the criminalization of their daughters corpse went while they were still refusing to release the name of her killer by referring to him as a “Home Owner.” Calling him a “Home Owner” was the media’s way of giving the general public a positive perception of her killer! The voice of Detroit was the only media source to release her killer’s name!
So, Is perception really reality?! Thanks for visiting Lets Talk Rae Style!
This blog was originally posted in April 2014 on http://www.LetsTalkRaeStyle.com
Photo credit: Multiple Google images.