I am reluctantly one of your sons.
Now I say I am reluctantly one of your sons due to the fact that the very land I call home has betrayed my trust. Not for the reasons of political differences, racial dysfunctions, petty arguments over identity and truth, systematic racism, and the list goes on. Mainly, for the lack of empathy and love that I have seen and felt over my lifetime. To only watch it become so ugly and so heinous that I feel that you may forgotten who I am to you.
Let me remind you:
I am a tax paying, law abiding, non voting, non democrat nor republican citizen who is considered too poor to be middle class and yet make too much to be considered poor. I work for a company that supplies products to the masses that allow “sheep” to be indoctrinated by social media, video streaming, internet quarreling, and other mindless applications that becomes popular and unpopular in a matter of days. I make far more than minimum wage but at part time hours. While I struggle to put food on the table, I am reminded about how poor I am by watching the VPs I work hard for, drop a half million dollars on a premium pro basketball tickets. Now, it’s none of my business but when you go without eating, moments like that become relevant to the tired and hungry mind and body of a struggling family.
But yet we still we stay full.
Now let me continue:
I am 34 year old biracial man. The father of a smart, beautiful, funny, 5 year old little girl who has to travel an hour to school just for a proper education. I am damn near a husband to an intelligent and beautiful black woman of the past 15 years who has stood by me through all the shit things I have done in my life, whether to her or to myself. Who continues to struggle with finding her place in the world because upper education is one the biggest scams of the past 20 or so years.
But we stay smart.
I am also an aspiring stand up comedian who has seen more doors slam in my face than actually crack open. I am a talented, creative, brilliant artist that has yet to be seen or heard because I have yet to be in the right place at the right time. As I struggle and fight to gain people’s attention to hear my truth from bar to bar, shit show to shit show, I am reminded everyday I am nothing in this business as my peers find ultimate success around me. I question my career path and artistry everyday because I feel that I am no closer to making “it” than I was yesterday.
And still I shine.
But it doesn’t end there:
I am also a minority male who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder while being apart of community that DOES NOT take mental health seriously. I am just an intolerable cry baby who should “man up” because of how my fellow African American men and women have reluctantly dealt with and failed to deal with their bouts of mental dysfunction properly. I am victimized by the apathy of my culture towards my skewed state of mind and impulsive actions as if what I am doing is shallow attempt for attention. Scrutinized by their ignorance, so daily I sit alone and fight back tears and use coping skills to allow myself to be a human being and not kill another person for another day. It’s things like that, that sometimes make life worth living again. When days I lay in bed not wanting to get up because I know that the harshness of the soil I step on will challenge my thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
But still I rise.
I’m sorry to take to much of your time America but I am almost done:
I live in Hartford, Connecticut. A city who’s history is as prominent and special as both New York and Boston. A city where poverty, crime, and drugs have taken the lives, hearts, and souls of so many of its residents. I live in a neighborhood where on one street things are seemingly quiet but on the next street over, cop car and ambulance sirens are as normal and common to hear as the silence that exists in the neighboring affluent town of West Hartford. And on that very street where the chaos fills the corner on a regular basis, I drop my daughter off to the bus Monday through Friday. The very corner where broken liquor bottles, roach clips, hypodermic needles, and outright filth decorate the landscape. The same corner where I have seen a man and a woman get high together, I have seen another man drink his sorrows away half naked on a stoop, while another gentleman asked me for .50 cents, and during these awful views, my daughter excitedly tells me she sees a “T” that was spray painted on a burned down building, and that was just this morning. As hard as it is to watch my neighborhood slowly die.
Still I live.
Now America, I say these things not to have you feel sorry for me. Not too dwell on the misfortune I have had on where and when I was birthed but I want you to remember who I am and that I still exist. This is not a cry for help but more like a boisterous shout for validation. I don’t care for your politics, your irrational behaviors that make good men like me have to pen a letter like this. I only bring my world to your attention because I am as American as any person who steps out into the world trying to find their way through the maze. I am proud of who I am America, and I am proud to be a work in progress.
And if that isn’t American, then I don’t know what is.
Robert Bryant Santos
Written September 27, 2017 at 9:40 PM
Rob and Jeff’s podcast was on a bit of hiatus but we are back and ready to show love. Give us a listen on iTunes! Click the link below!
Trees Falling in The Woods
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Trees Falling in The Woods
Much love to all those out there who have downloaded in the past and have liked our work! We look forward to making things interesting in the future. Thanks for liking our style and listening!
Rob and Jeff
As I sit back on some random beach on the southern portion of Lake George Village in upstate New York, I look around and see that there is nothing random about my location at all. As the Adirondack Mountains scale amongst the 32 mile lake as a beautiful backdrop, I look around and I see so much. I see my young daughter playing with her mother by shallow part of the lake, testing the cold temperature with her little feet. She’s running back and forth smiling and laughing and splashing water all over the beach and she couldn’t be happier. Small children are coming up to her and gawking over how cute she is and wanting to play with her. Doesn’t matter the color, doesn’t matter the race, shit it doesn’t matter the age. Everyone wants to be around my daughter as if she is living kryptonite the racial wars that exist today. I am astounded by it and I love every minute of it.
I find myself in awe of the mountains and trees that surround the lake and help create this picturesque view that I am basking in. It’s peaceful and beautiful. I zone out for a second. I hear nothing, I almost don’t feel anything except nature flowing through my body. I hear no police sirens, no loud motorbikes puttering down the street, no arguing over why someone slept with his or her significant other or side piece. None of that! I don’t feel black, beige, puerto rican, or whatever what the hell you wanna call me today. No one calling me Crazy Hair or making slick comments on why choose to wear my hair natural. I’m just Rob. Rob the dad. The guy sitting on this fold out chair with my feet sweating on the smoldering sand. After many years of just trying to be me, I have finally gotten that chance to be what I have always wanted to be: a person.
In African American culture the phrase of; “gotta go back to motherland” gets tossed around to the point where it looses its meaning. Despite that I don’t have any “go back to Africa” money so my pale ass has to find peace elsewhere. I have found it. I found it here on this beach, in this ragged folding chair, in this small town where the leading story in the paper was a bear that was hit by a car and had to be put down. That sense of calm is worth the amount of money I have spent up here. I like it here because I don’t have to worry about a flag causing rifts between races, senseless murder occurring in major metropolitan areas, or any racial situation that we create to divide one another. Not only am I taking a vacation from my reality but I am also taking a vacation from being jaded and antagonistic. I am truly happy, Insanely happy. Now how can I take this happiness back with me to Hartford without feeling like a sellout?
As I continue to watch my daughter play with her new found friends, I begin to say to myself; I’m not just on vacation from my reality but I am on vacation from being black or whatever black is supposed to by what the media and other pundits want it to be. This is the peace and joy that others try to take away from us to keep our minds in check. I have seen the light and I haven’t had to get in a plane to do so. It lives in my little girl and now it lives in me. Thank you Brooklyn, you have made your daddy proud.
Each one, teach one
Trying to find an honest and sincere way of reaching people. Whether through the pen or on stage and now in a podcast, I want to be able to have an interpersonal relationship with everyone I can. I hope some give a listen to my Trees Falling in the Woods podcast on iTunes.
Watch me doing some work