Yes I hate going to the VA as much as the next person. But probably not for the same reasons.
I'm never upset or irritated for the same reasons as everyone else or for the reasons people seem to think I'm supposed to. Not that I care. But it seems that the explanation may help someone else to survive and possibly help those who are trying to so hard to understand but just don't get it.
Yes we are marginalized and often overlooked. Oh no I am not speaking about veterans right now, before you get ready to high five me. Actually I am referring to being a black woman at this point and that has everything to do with why I hate going to the VA. We are downplayed in every area from business and career, to entertainment and family... yes even in our own community. Because unfortunately black men have to take their oppression out on someone else and because many of the issues are so systemic that if you attempt to address them you are uncool and even considered white washed or worse, militant or feminist.
But we serve anyhow. Vets and most certainly black women, and quite clearly black female veterans. Sadly there are so many because we have to fight tooth and nail just to be allowed to serve in our area of talent. Veterans have been through a lot throughout American History; minorities who've served this country have sacrificed life, limb, social acceptance and even family relationships to serve their country; women have died silently, some never being recognized, remembered or acknowledged as service members. But what all too many humans forget or never has any idea of in the first place is that black women veterans have always been overlooked, stepped on, ignored, abused, discriminated against, stolen from and outright erased from history at the hands of white men, black men and white women.
If you don't believe me, go back and watch Hidden Figures again. This time ask yourself what took so long for this information to be made public? Because the women weren't scraping and clawing their way to the top, selling people out and repaying evil for evil. Do you remember the bathroom scene? Or should I say scenes. Most of the main character's time was spent running back and forth to the colored one across campus. Guess what, black men really have never had this issue... and although neither have white women, I've heard many complaining about the wait time to go to the bathroom vs what men have to deal with. This is why many of us are able to bridge great divides while everyone else is at each-others throats. Unfortunately some of us are too bitter or afraid to stand and exercise our power. Chrisette Michelle folded like a paper airplane when the public came for her. I was disappointed. If she was my friend, I would have had her back. I also would have encouraged her to stand her ground and not talk bad about the POTUS while attending his event. Because when we do stand for love we can heal nations and help bring peace and understanding across languages and nations.
Next time you thank a vet, keep in mind the service doesn't stop.