Why I am not black this week.

And that in itself creates a seriously self-defeating prophecy. Education is for white people? So you end up with a crappy job and low pay. But the real reason you have that crappy job and low pay is that the white man is keeping you down. Or so I have overheard a few times. Seems to me that racism is racism, no matter who doesn’t like who.

I have a friend who is black, in his mid-30s, and is a well-educated pagan. He sort of blows all the stereotypes away.

You tap that ass, Dante? She fine as hell, yo.

Fo’ shizzle my nizzle. :smiley:

My husband did the same damn fool thing and married a whitey. No-one ever accuses him of being ‘white,’ though. Must be the accent. (He says “dough” to rhyme with “door,” heh heh)

The first sho 'nuff African I ever met was a lovely woman from Botswana, resembled in every way your stereotypical primary school teacher (which she was), spoke perfect recieved English, dressed in flowered skirts and white blouses and doilies.

Those people who say “You’re not black enough” make me want to punch someone. Usually them. Fucking hell, who knows better than you, a black person, what it is to be black?

(I know that I am certainly not - although I have tried to use words like “representin’” and “I-tinually” that I hear from hip-hop and reggae records (respectively), I cannot do so without being laughed off the planet.)

I get kind of the same thing from my friends who say I’m not ‘really’ a girl because I’m not interested in talking about shopping or make-up or how much I hate it when other women check out my man. Fuck that shit. Each of us gets to decide who we are.

I dunno … you come from Belgium, right? Does that really count as white? :wink:

As to the OP, I’m convinced that “whiteness” and “blackness” are only tangentially related to skin color. I mean, listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn! He can’t be white … can he? :cool:

Heh. The only thing more dangerous than calling a Dutchman “Belgian”, is calling a Belgian “Dutchman”. :smiley:

D’oh! :smack: Um … it’s not my fault. It was the hamsters! Honest!

Dante… hilarious.

whiterabbit: I tried talking to a friend of a friend on that very topic. I was informed that I was a sell-out. I was not amused.

Will you marry me? :smiley:

I unconsciously mimic whoever I’m around, so I usually don’t get the “oreo” designation anymore. Though come to think of it, when I was a little kid my “white” English got mocked quite a bit before I absorbed the PG county accent. Even now, I’m much more articulate in print than in person, probably because I learned to censor my speech to shake off the haters.

Deadly Nightlight, I really feel for your situation. It’s ridiculous for these ignorant asshats to expect you to behave a certain way because of the color of your skin, or even to assume that you are not a “valid” member of your community because you don’t fit the stereotype.

For you, and for anyone else that has found him/herself in this situation, I’d like to recommend an incredibly excellent book on this subject: Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman. It’s semi-autobiographical, and in it Wideman explores his connections with the communities around him, saying that he often feels he is wearing masks – not only for the academic community which he lives in, but also for the African-American community from which he sprang. Publisher’s Weekly said it better than I could:

Wideman really digs deep and tears himself apart searching for responses to people who would tell him that he’s not “black enough” – although, there aren’t really people telling him this, it’s a perception that he came up with on his own. In sharing his own story and the tale of his brother, we are given a poignant look at a soul caught in the middle.

Another book in a similar vein (but not nearly as good b/c the author is quite egocentric, IMHO) is The Hunger of Memory - The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez. He’s a guy that had the benefit of an above-average education, and so always felt disconnected from his family and culture from simple language differences to feeling that his personality didn’t fit the color of his skin. He was even made fun of by family members for playing “white” - I can’t remember the Spanish slang term but it’s in there. WARNING: Homeboy has some very strong ideas/opinions about affirmative action (from which he benefited) and education in America, so some folks might find him a tad off-putting.

Yet one more is Rosemary Bray’s Unafraid of the Dark – but it’s more of a look at how a black woman related to her culture growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, and from a distinctly feminist angle. She also uses the work to defend her stance on the welfare system in America.

I hope anyone is able to squeeze these books into their spare reading, because I believe that they are truly worth the time. They are the stories of individuals who have lived in the boundaries between cultures, and they help the reader to question his/her identifications and connections to the niche in society we all occupy.

Hehe, on the side, a friend and I have jokingly coined a German translation of a popular American utterance (for all those German rappers out there, ya know). It’s “Schwarze, bitte!” instead of “Nigga, pleez!” :smiley:

You should get the ones who make fun of you to move overseas for a while. The first time they addressed a black man or woman as “Yo Niggah,” they would get a very bad reaction. I’ve lived in Saudi for quite a while and the black people I meet from almost everywhere would be mortally offended by being addressed like that. I work with a man of Jamiacan ancestry who is one of the most polite and articulate people I know. I wouldn’t dream of coming out with some kind of rap at him, gangsta or otherwise.

Regards

Testy

[hijack]

Dante, gotta say man, that I’ve followed many of your humorous threads and not only did I love them, but had this image in my head of how adorable you are.

Whew! I certainly weren’t very far off base. You are a real cutie!

And your 2nd page of pictures, had me rolling in the floor and already sending the link on to my boyfriend, who’ll definitely appreciate the humor.

[/hijack]

Now, back to the OP… I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be. As someone above said, we’re all just people and are who we wish to be. I say good on anyone who remains true to themselves and ends up shattering stereotypes in the process.

~hopefool, as pale and nerdy as they come

I really sympathize. I was having a somewhat simlar conversation recently with a guy at church. In his case, he’s not Greek enough for his parents. He’s been told that he should find a nice Greek girl to marry, and why does he go to that Protestant church, and if he doesn’t name his first son after his father, it will break his father’s heart, as his brother already didn’t do this.

One of my definitions of racism is “I know what you should be doing or acting like because of your coloring or ancestral background.” No matter how you say it, that’s being racist. EG:

'Black people should sound ‘black.’"

“You’re a failure because you don’t speak Spanish even though you’re brown.”

“Eminem is a honky intruder no matter how well he writes and performs.”

One of the guys here at work is a “black” guy with a Swedish mother who sounds like your average American white guy. I’m glad no one has had the indecency to bring up anything like his “not being really black”. He’s into jazz, and has even less of an idea about R&B and rap than I do.

I suspect he’s kind of a moldy color by now.

I grew up in Texas and have an accent that ranges from Texas twang to ghetto black, depending on who is listening. As someone else said, I tend to pick up the accent of whoever I’m talking with, which has led some black people to accuse me of mocking the way they speak. None of which is neither here nor there. I grew up during the segregation days and I distinctly remember white people talking about a certain black man in my hometown who was “uppity” because he “didn’t talk like a nigger.” The general view was that he was trying to “get above his raising” and “didn’t know his place.” I wonder if some of that kind of thing lingers on today—could that be a part of why some blacks consider that a particular black “talks white?” Personally, I’d give my eye teeth to sound like James Earl Jones----I wonder what people say about his speech?

Thanks for the kind words hopefool. You just made my day! :slight_smile:

And LouisB, without your eye teeth, you’d sound kinda goofy saying: “Thisch isch schee enn enn”, even if you did have JEJ’s purr. :smiley:

[QUOTE=Squbewhiterabbit: I tried talking to a friend of a friend on that very topic. I was informed that I was a sell-out. I was not amused.[/QUOTE]

It seems that shooting yourself in the foot is not the best way to get ahead in society…and I may be white but I’m disabled and I know discrimination first-hand. It sucks. But it’s not going to go away if I sit around whining about it, either. I’m going back to school, and I’ll show those bastards.

I am utterly mystified by the “sell-out” attitude.

Yep, little white Southeast Texas girl here. My accent runs the gamut, too. When I get riled up, I sometimes unconsiously voice a “Lida & Melina/Rosie Perez/Oh, I know you de-int!” urban Tejano accent. My midwestern boyfriend thinks it’s hysterical.

Scoot over, Nightlight. Is there room on this bus for another “wannabe”? (I went to a Black college in the era of Spike Lee’s School Daze.)

Ironically, the most surprising commentary on my lack-o-Blackness came from a White Boy (with whom I was out on our first (and LAST) date, and no, it wasn’t SkipMagic; with him I went on at least three dates ;)).

He said (and I quote) that he never would have guessed that I was Colored, because I don’t have a huge chip on my shoulder or talk all that jive talk, like most Colored people.

Oh, yes. Then had the nerve to call me again. :eek:

The thing about having been bombarded with implications about my “White” behavior is that they’re still with me! Bumped up against (my own internalized version of) them just yesterday.

For my job, I’ve been trying to recruit some urban minority high school kids to come to the campus of the university where I work, to hear a speaker from NASA. So I’ve been calling a lot of schools with minority populations near 100%.

After I’d left several messages and received no return phone calls, I wondered if it might help my cause to mention to these school principals that the NASA speaker happens to be Black (which I hadn’t mentioned before).

Then I thought “Nah, they’ll just think (from the sound of my voice) that I’m some patronizing White girl, trying to show the darkies that see? Some of 'em DO get outta the ghetto!”

:frowning:

One of the things I love most about this message board is the color blindness of the interactions that take place here. By that I mean that everyone’s ethnicity remains a blank, unless and until they decide to disclose it. I wish “real life,” whatever that might be, would mirror the SDMB in that regard.