Time to take a trip in Dave’s way back machine…
So this is simply a reply to a post by one of my favorite friends here on xanga, TheLoquaciousLady. Till now I had chosen to be quiet about this whole posts about racism trend. I just find the whole topic rather repetitive. However, after I read her bog entitled “A Few Thoughts on Race and Bigotry,” I felt compelled to reply. As I typed the reply comment I realized that it was going to be long, so I decided to change it to a blog. I don’t like putting anything ridiculously long as a reply comment.
Here it is…
Dear Loquacious from Louisianna,
One of the reasons why I love your blog so much is that there is something that feels so familiar about your entries (that is when you’re not channeling animal spirits). The quirkiness, the family, the food, the French. I can relate to so much of what you write about. This entry in particular stands out in that way.
As I might have mentioned before, I am from a mixed background. I am mainly Haitian and Puerto Rican, which is probably as close to creole as you’re gonna get. I grew up in a black neighborhood where I was one of the lightest kids around. Even on my Hatian side of the family, there are very few dark skinned Haitians. Now I am by no means what you would call fair skinned (I was darker than some of the lightskinned black kids in my school), but I had a big head of curly hair. Thus I was labeled “white boy”, singled out, and teased for this reason. It’s something I learned to deal with eventually, till I got to high school where people knew what a latino looked like. After that all I had to deal with was people not believing me when I said I was Haitian.
I went to college in upstate New York. I was surrounded by white people for the first time in my life. Up till that point in my life I had only had one white friend. All of a sudden most places I went I was the darkest person around. I went from being known as “white boy” back home, to being known as “black Dave” in my building. This was how they distinguished me from the other two Daves. I found this a teensy bit racist being that the other two Daves were simply known as 1North Dave and 2North Dave (named for the floors they lived on). Why couldn’t I simply be 3North Dave? Why did people think I would laugh at watermelon and fried chicken jokes? Why did people always come ask me if they could burn the latest fifty cent album from me? Idiots.
While everyone in my building had labeled me black, others found it hard to peg me. I used to work as a referee in flag football and one of the most interesting things was when I reffed the fraternity games. Someone would try and recruit me into their frat every game. Most frats were made up of one ethnicity. There was really only one noticably mixed frat. I would find it funny when I got asked by the white frat, the black frat, the latino frat, the asian frat (thought I might be fillipino), and the Indian frat. A pattern would form where people would sort of inch towards me and try to get in cool with me, only to turn and run away when they find out I’m not one of them. It’s like I fit in with everyone and no one at the same time.
Racism is everywhere in our society. It’s in our homes, it’s in our schools, it’s in our churches, in our media, and now all over our blogs apparently. The thing that annoys me even more than racism, which is just as prevalent in our society, is hypocrisy. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s a hypocrite, and when it comes to the subject of racism there are so many of them out there. Why is it considered a mortal sin for a white person to call a black person a ni**a, but it’s okay for that same black person to call a white person a cracker? They’re both wrong, there shouldn’t be a double standard. Why is it that often times when people are put into a group setting, they will automatically branch off into racially segregated groups. This happens in school, at work, in prison, within cities, etc. Until people are more honest with themselves and more aware of how they contibute to this racist culture we have developed, we will continue to be a segregated society.
-Posted over a year ago.