Not Another Reply to That Racist Post

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.

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46 comments

  1. I was just about to write a blog about how mixed people can’t choose sides because they’d be betraying on side or another. This whole racial crap is annoying and stupid. So someone is a little racist. Big whoop. We don’t blow crap up when people claim they hate fish. It’s pretty close to the same thing, except humans have feelings and they always want to be right.

  2. WOW Dave. You are me. Our backgrounds differ, but that feeling of being able to fit in to so many different pegs but actually fit into nothing at all – having people run from me because of that – gosh I thought I was the only person who went through that.

  3. I remember the first time I was surrounded by all white people.  It was a real scary experience.  It was the doctor, nurse, my mom and dad.  I was glad I got that experience under my belt on that very first day of life.

  4. Ending racism includes not being biased and blaming whites altogether for everything. People just don’t seem to get it. Everyone has been fucked over at one point in this country except rich aristocrats.

  5. Yep you hit it, what racism is. Its not some big plot by the man, but something that is so common and not always mean, basically its universal. But always it is just not the way it should be. 

  6. Right on bro. My mouth still drops open on the subway, when two white kids are calling each other “n”… Meanwhile I also remember reading this book by some caribbean author who in recent years tried to trace the slave routes, and see what things looked like. One unforgettable story is kids on the street in Monrovia, Liberia having a yelling match and one kid hollering at a bunch of others: “My grandparents SOLD your grandparents!” as if it were a status symbol. So yes, in this world we’ll always see differences, and the worst thing to do it is deny it, and pretend it ain’t so. Just acknowledge it and be normal – as they always say, everyone bleeds RED  (does that mean they’re all communists? – oh well just asking.)

  7. I know what you mean, I’m actually half latina and half white, which trust me hasn’t been easy. I have had Mexicans and white friends make fun of me and not even believe me when I tell them. I have to pull out my family tree every time just to prove it. I normally just don’t tell people, and the only time I feel mexican is when I’m with family because they have always embraced our culture and allowed me to do the same.

  8. Funny. I was thinking about this today on my drive home from work. I passed a car wash that I went to this summer. When I inquired about detailing at the carwash, the owner (no joke) said: “Oh yeah. We do detailing, I have this great little black boy who does it for me.” Today, as I passed by that car wash, I started thinking–again–about how much it irritated me when the owner told me that. Did this kid’s being black somehow add to or take away from the quality of detailing my car would receive? erg. Enough from me. You may commence with the rest of your evening.

  9. Um segregation probably occurs because your backgrounds are so similar and you think very alike. I mean it hasn’t got anything to do with racism in my opinion. I think it has to do more with values and such. My best friend was from Spain and everyone was like “hey you guys have a connection” etc. But she was white and I am Latin so really it was more about how similarly we thought about the world rather than race, however that didn’t mean I only hung out with her… I had other friends too, all from different backgrounds. I grew up in a international school. I loved it. London is pretty cool that way too. 

  10. Personally, I love the part where Spanish people aren’t considered hispanic or latin. Cracks me up every time.You have an entire arbitrary group of people that is characterized on the basis of Spanish decent — in language, culture, and genetics, and the Spanish themselves don’t get to get lumped in.Because, being from Europe, they’re “white.” Which is a crazy enough label in itself.I reject the concept of race outright. “white” isn’t a race, it’s a skin color. “black” isn’t a race, it’s a skin color. It’s no more important to me than hair color or eye color or height or male-pattern baldness and the idea that anyone should hate someone or make generalisations about them or otherwise mistreat them on the basis of any of these things is repugnant.

  11. Love this – it is my life.  Try being ADOPTED and biracial growing up with a Haitian mother and African-American father.  I was called “White Cloud” by the classmates in my inner-city public schools, and usually heard the sound of eggshells gently cracking when around my white friends at church or at my private high school.  High school was the worst, because I never knew which group was “mine”.  I learned to be a social chameleon.  Only my black friends in high school ever got their noses out of joint because I chose to be friends with several people, not just “us”.  College was much better, and I ended up marrying a white man – British mother, American father – with whom I lived a wonderful life until his passing in May.  We always found it interesting that we had the most comment and bad vibes from my brothers and sisters of color.  Strange, aren’t we?  Oh well – folks is folks!

  12. i have nothing wise to add to this as you’ve already said anything i would have thought to say, and probably much better than i would have anyhow. so im just gonna add a here here. well played. well played indeed

  13. I have a lot of mixed friends.  I don’t like segregation and try to F**k it up as often and as much as possible.  People should be judged on their character and being and NOT the colour of their skin.  It is afterall just Melanin.

  14. Where I’m from, everyone seems so cool and laid back about it. As if it’s just all a joke not to be taken seriously. I suppose I was just lucky to go to schools with such diverse cultures, we all got along fine. I often forget that not everyone else feels the same and can really take words to heart.

  15. I s’pose we naturally tend to gravitate to the company of people we feel most comfortable with!  I once worked as a commissionaire (security guard) in a city hall.  And I was sent to take a week-long course in first-aid and earthquake preparedness.My supervisor was a black gentleman from the West Indies. I’m white. There were a couple of dozen people taking the course. Some were engineers, some accountants, some planners, etc.At one point we were instructed to pair off, two and two, probably for artificial respiration or some such procedure.  All these people were white, except for my supervisor.  Even though he was a highly-educated engineer and in a management position at City Hall, no one picked him as their partner. They did not pick me either, probably because I was a mere security guard.  In about thirty seconds the whole group, except us, had paired up with one another.So my supervisor and I became a pair.  But my heart kinda went out to him seeing that he was roundly rejected by his peers at city hall, almost certainly because he was black!Racism will not go away, IMHO, until all of us make a point of reaching out to one another!

  16. “Why is it considered a mortal sin for a white person to call a blackperson a ni**a, but it’s okay for that same black person to call awhite person a cracker?”Um, no white man has ever been referred to as a tasty before dinner snack right before some freaks dressed like Casper’s uncles threw a noose around his neck.Crissake, I’m all white yet I’m the one telling you this shit.

  17. That is sad about the self-segregation (but true!).  I’ve noticed it at a lot of places. I’ve never been one to self-segregate, namely because my parents never made race a big deal when I was growing up (actually, I never realized I was a different race, believe it or not. I used to think that all biological families had the same color hair/eyes, and that there were just a whole bunch of adopted kids in my class. haha!).  Anyways, good post, I agree that racism definitely is present, and it’s certainly not exclusively white. 

  18. The topic of race is a really…touchy subject. =/ It’s not to be taken lightly… some people shouldn’t be touching the subject if they don’t personally know anything about it. and the whole picture is definitely not in black and white (no pun intended), it’s more of a sort of grey area. Hard to define and is confusing! =(When I was growing up, I never even NOTICED that people were of distinct “colours”, believe it or not. I was lucky I was not made fun of for having a certain skin colour and never experienced racism in any way. All I knew was that people were either my friend or not. It wasn’t until I got older when I learned about the ever so prevalent racism issue in our contemporary society that I began to notice colours. It still doesn’t make a difference to me now though. People…are just people.Haha, about the double standard thing….I think the term cracker is less offensive (more like yummy-sounding) than the other forbidden word…but that’s just me. (don’t hurt me). And besides…what do I know anyway.. =(

  19. We are all racists.Ahem! Why haven’t I admitted this before? Dang, I am such an idiot.Oh well… (shrugs). We are racists because we have so many different tastes, different personalities, likes and dislikes that it sort of annoys us what we are not used to.And you’re right and well-said about hypocrisy. I think that is our biggest sin. Too often we pretend we aren’t this or that, when in fact we really are. We don’t admit it because we are scared shitless of being judged. Well, look around us! Everyone’s always judging. Right down to the clothes we ourselves wear (Setting: Dressing room at the mall. “I just hate this stupid dress! It it ugly and it doesn’t fit me. I think I’ll try another one”) –> that is actually a minor form of “judging”Hypocrisy may well be the biggest sin.

  20. This is me. I had the exact same experience. Okay, not EXACT… But I had everybody in my predominately white social circle call me “mixed” and occasionally “black”, while everybody in my mom’s predominately black hometown called me their “white cousin”. I had friends who introduced me to new people as “This is Victoria, she’s mixed.” Like the explanation was always needed. It didn’t hurt my feelings or anything, I hadn’t been raised to be over-sensitive to it. I kinda just shrugged my shoulders and wondered why they thought it was necessary to point it out every time we met somebody new. In high school I learned to take offense at it, ha. Literally, I LEARNED to take offense… There was one other couple in the church I attended for most of my life that was white & black, and all their kids turned out really dark. I don’t know. It’s just one of those things. “Hey look, you’re different from us. That means we need to point out the difference for clarification. You are not the same. *point point point*” Okay already! We get it! We’re not the same! GEEZ! Thank goodness we’re not the same because it’d be one heck of a boring planet if we were!Everytime the race card gets passed around here on Xanga, these lyrics keep running through my head:”Momma looks like coffee, Daddy looks like creamBaby is a mocha drop in betweenAll the colors of the rainbow are in her family treeWoven all together in a paisley tapestryShe holds real tightly to her parents handsBaby loves that woman, she loves that manAnd her soul gives a smileCuz she understandsGod’s love is black, white, tan.” ~Nicole C. MullenKeep evading those pegs, Dave. ~V

  21. Sorry. For the most part, I go through life shaking my head at the insensitivity of people. The sad part is, this is a trend I have found in every country I have lived in. 

  22. Maybe, just maybe, as our population becomes more mixed (and, let’s face it; we’re almost ALL “mixed race” to a greater or lesser extent!), people will stop caring what race people are. Yeah, I know it’s a pipe dream; but let me have this one… a girl should be able to dream of when it doesn’t matter what you look like! Just last weekend, we went out to eat after Girly Girl’s volleyball tournament down near the airport, in a very black part of town (College Park, GA). I realized as we sat waiting to be seated at TGI Fridays that we were the only white family I could see… okay, I DIDN’T notice until I saw Girly Girl looking around with an utter look of amazement on her face. That’s when I realized that I don’t think she’s ever been in a place where she was one of the only white faces around; and I thought to myself “We have got to get out of the suburbs more often!” 

  23. I know what you mean. Here, I’m one of the darkest, seeing as I’m an Arab in England. But when I go to Iraq, I’m like “the white one!”I kinda hoped I could feel at home here, but I don’t because of those around me. So I hoped I’d feel at home in Iraq, where I’m from, but… they dunno how to make a “foreigner” feel at home, really.Your post was interesting. You’re a wise person. 🙂

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