I never get mad when somebody with dark skin explains to me how they’re not “Black” and how they’re actually — (Latino, Caribbean, African, insert-whatever-you’ve-heard-
My response is always, “Oh, ok.”
And I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve responded that way, a move I make to close off further dialogue, the effect is always the opposite; now the dark-skinned non-Black person wants to talk.
If I were to guess as to the reasoning behind this, I’d imagine that I initially struck these non-Blacks as a homeless traveler about to beg for a ride in their hooptie. Then what my indifferent dismissal shows them is that my own Blackness is brand new Cadillac and I might have just been being neighborly.
Their attempt to pull rank on me failed because they’ve come to understand that I don’t feel like being Black is “less than”, and now they want in.
And they’ve always wanted in. And I’ve always known they wanted in. If they didn’t want in, the most ubiquitous, all-encompassing term that people of all shades now seemingly use to describe any and everybody would not be “nigga”.
And if I didn’t have this understanding, it really might sicken me sometimes as I surf the web and see folks that identify as all kinds of shit, most interestingly American Indians and Arabs, buddying up to White Supremacists for the right to jointly hate my Black ass.
American Indians, you’ll recall, once ruled this entire continent before it was snatched from them in a genocide move by the people some of them are now trying to impress with their Nigger hatred.
Arabs, if Donald Trump gets his way, will be prohibitively barred from America, but some of them won’t let that offend them as much as Black people do.
But, like I said, this hatred is only as effective as our response to it.
Too often I see Black people trying to argue with these fools, trying to get them to realize that in most cases, we share blood or a common ancestry, arguments I would never venture into because to me, Black Americans should be exclusive about our shit.
And don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of exceptions. I’m reading the great Dominican writer Junot Diaz‘s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao now and he both identifies the Blackness of his lead Dominican character and calls him a “nigger” throughout.
The differences between me and Mr. Diaz are simply cultural.
But make no mistake: Black Americans are the class of worldwide Blackness. Never mind that we came to this bitch in chains and now we run the joint, what’s most interesting to note is that those same dark-skinned Black deniers, when they have kids, our people are their kids’ heroes.
So identify as “other” all you want while you wear those Jordans, Tupac t-shirt and you’re on your way to a Beyonce concert.
We’ll see you in line.
And once you’ve gone out of your way to both explain to me how you’re not Black and then ran behind white people hoping for some sort of non-Black, non-white living purgatory, only to be denied and have a fate far worse than Blackness shoved back into your faces – complete isolation – should you really be surprised that all I’m doing is looking at you now, shaking my head, the passenger door to my Cadillac firmly closed, as I slowly pull off and away nodding my head to the Isley Brothers?