The most frustrating thing in the world is hearing “You are the whitest black girl.” What the fuck does that mean? That’s not a compliment, that’s insulting. What is acting white? Listening to Indie rock? Speaking like I have an education? HAVING an education? Dressing a certain way? So if that’s “acting white” then you must be insinuating that being black means all the opposite of those things. I know when you say this is me, you don’t mean it like this. You don’t mean for it to be rude or disrespectful, but it is. Why does every black person have to be the stereotypical black person? And when someone IS the stereotypical black person they get called ghetto or rude, so it’s a lose lose situation. I’m proud to be black, I love being black. I love the color of my skin, I love my people, I love my culture and the traditions of my black people, but just because I’m black does not mean I have to act a certain way. I don’t act black or act white, I act like ME. I act like I was raised in a home full of strong, black role models who taught me respect, kindness and integrity and I would never think of judging someone the way I’m so often judged.
As for my black people, this is not only for white people, this is for you too. Why do we say stuff like this to each other? I’m frustrated when someone of a different race says it to me, but even more so when I hear it from a black person. We should all be accepting each other and having each others backs, not alienating one another and making them feel bad, simply for who they are. I know how this feels and I’ve dealt with it all my life and still deal with it. I grew up in middle class suburbs of Pennsylvania and yes there were a lot of white people in my neighborhood. There were also black people, but they acted like me so I had no idea that when I got a little older and out of my neighborhood, that the way I dressed or talked or the music I listened to, would even be an issue. I remember the first time I heard it. I was in my dad’s neighborhood, a little closer to Philly, a little more urban and a black girl I tried to befriend asked why I “talked so white?” I had no idea that I was talking any differently. I was confused and I remember being a little sad because this girl didn’t want to be my friend solely because I talked different. When this started to become a recurring thing, I began to feel uncomfortable around people of my own skin color. I was made very aware that I wasn’t black enough for the black kids so I didn’t even try to make friends with them anymore unless I happened to find one who was like me and could sympathize.
I’m ashamed to say that for a long time, I was not proud to be black. I felt like I’d been shunned by my own people. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and I was lost for quite some time. But I have a beyond amazing family and they helped me figure out who I am and why I should be proud to be who I am and eventually I did. I’m so glad I did.
We, as human beings who all bleed the same color, need to get it together. There is no such thing as “acting white” or acting any other sort of way and when you make remarks like that, all it does is alienate a person and make them feel bad for acting the only way they know how to act… Like themselves. Not only should black people be accepting of each other, but we should all be accepting and loving of the different kinds of people we all are because that’s all anyone ever really wants.