07/17/2013 10:15 am ET Updated Sep 16, 2013

They Are the Invisible

Somewhere along the way I internalized any unfounded assumption about me by another (of color or not of color), as not my problem.

A subtle mix of forgiveness and compassion blended with my own self-fortification (knowledge and a life expanding sincere want of understanding), and, astronomically high self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence because of how I was raised, groomed and educated.

My inner force of good is a great force field that deflects, metaphorically, the bullets of ignorance shot in my direction.

I'm 44, magnum, been to high school in Virginia, college in Georgia and my parents for a time had a home in Florida. I mention my age and the magnitude of that is that I have 44 years experience of being black.

Maybe, in my destiny, still to come, is the bad luck of chance, the life changing or life ending meeting with the bigot boogeyman. But I'm not waiting for it or on the look out for it. To flip Ralph Ellison's script, to me, in my life, they are the invisible.

And with that, I proceed with being everywhere I am supposed to be and going everywhere I want to go.

(PS -- In Italy, where unabashed staring is socially acceptable, I look back at them like, 'yes I do look good, thank you.' Rocks (and expands their world)).

(PS2 -- On my way to Italy at airport, I get in the business class line (got upgraded 'cause of miles) and a brown-skinned man looks at me like you in the wrong line. He eyeballs me like he needs to check me for, I assume, skipping the economy line and is readying himself and his gall to give me my comeuppance. With my face somewhere between neutral and pleasant, I took his gun, emptied the barrel and watched his bullets and attitude drop when I held up my ticket that showed that indeed I am in business, man.)

I proceeded and continued.