Forrester: Sixteen? And you’re black. It’s remarkable.
Jamal: “Remarkable”? It’s remarkable that I’m black? What does me being black have to do with anything? - Sean Connery, Rob Brown; Finding Forrester
I don’t see myself as a colour, I’ve transcended such foolishness. My eyes view people as people and that’s all that matters to me. A fortunate life is what I’ve lived to this point, I’ve experienced minor hiccups when it comes to racism, nothing to revolt over. In this new world of acceptance, understanding and education engulfing young people, I feel certain annoyances still have to be addressed. Annoyances that have both infuriated and frustrated me beyond belief. There’s one statement I hate with every fibre of my body.
“C.D.Que’s not black! I’m blacker than he is!”
Sigh. Where do I begin? This statement has many layers to it and each one reveals a deeper connection to its racist roots.
1) What makes a person a certain colour? In my case, black. Is it the images you view on BET or the rapper’s that personify a false reality? Is it the clothing one wears? Is it the speech of an individual? Do these aspects of a person’s personality reflect upon a whole race? These are definitely things to ponder, questions to be asked.
2) I grew up in a prodominately middle class, caucasion city and as such, I enjoy certain things that other people of my race wouldn’t necessarily enjoy. I speak in such a manner that exudes confidence and intelligence. I pronounce my words and am polite to everyone and anyone who is deserving of such a right. These things are who I am, it has to do with upbringing, my morals, ethics and personality traits of my parents that i’ve fine tuned to fit me. Now, with this being the case, why do people use my cadence to insult me? When that aforementioned statement is made, it boils down to a meaning that sickens me. If I’m caucasion due to the fact I speak with the proper diction, then what you’re really saying is “black” people shouldn’t speak the way I do and that’s why I’m considered differently. Is it only other races who can speak with a degree of intelligence?
3) What is your end game? What do you think could possibly come from uttering the prior statment? Is it something you think a person would enjoy? I was taught early and often, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” When I hear the topic statement trickle out of someone’s mouth, I used to cringe and immediately put them on the spot. I felt it necessary to show them the folly of their ways, I wanted to embarass them and bring them to a level that I was feeling. In adulthood, I’ve changed my views towards this, it isn’t my duty to correct ignorance. I neither have the time or patience to shape the thoughts of the uneducated.
“So… You’re still stealing all our white women, eh?”
Oh! Excuse me? I wasn’t unaware women of any race were the property of said race by virtue of their skin colour. An old friend said these words to me after a seven year hiatus. I don’t remember my exact response, but I remember the thoughts that followed. I wanted nothing to do with this individual, at all. I was told that I was being irrational and it was just a joke. The funny thing about jokes are that they’re rooted in some percentage of truth. Good comedians are funny because they highlight things that either amuse, entertain or outrage them, all of their jokes are rooted in some morsel of truth. Let me, tell you my truth, I could give less than a fuck about who people think I should date. This is no one’s world and people aren’t property.
“You should be a police officer, you’d get in because you’re black”
This one doesn’t bother me as much, but I see it as a glaring problem and I understand completely why others dislike it. If there is someone just as qualified as myself and we’re applying for a job, some test or case study should be done to determine the right candidate for the position. Truth be told, I don’t think “we” (for lack of a better term) like this either. I think ”we” understand the necessity for it in a world where racism still exists, but it isn’t something people prefer. This practice displays favoritism and it’s not in very good taste. Hopefully there will be a day when none of these things exist and everyone can just “be”.
When I was young and dumb, I used to spew all kinds of gibberish pertaining to race. I used to say stupid things. I’d say things that my present self would slap me for now. The proverbial race card would be used inappropiately and I cringe now at the thought of that person walking about now, ignorant. I will on occasion make a wise crack about certain stereotypes, but more often than not, I’m myself and try to abolish the perpetuation of such smut.
In conclusion, I bleed the same red everyone else does. My heart loves and breaks exactly the same. My musical choices are based upon what I enjoy, not what I’m “supposed” to be listening to. When I die, my body decays in the same fashion any other human being would. I eat through my mouth and sneeze through my nose. I am who I am and you are who you are. I respect you for you, respect me for me until I give you reason not to.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNdJMTHADuk&feature=related, Dahlak Brathwaite, A Peculiar Evolution