You might think it’s a shameful form of whining to complain about race, as it’s truly a thing we all have no control over. I can’t afford to lighten my skin. I’m not Beyonce-rich, you know? The inflexible nature of ethnicity is exactly why I should be able to be upset though. It’d be great to have a tiny bit more agency in life in a variety of areas. I can’t choose when to fill up my gas tank. Once it’s empty, I have to buy more gas in order to continue driving my car. I don’t get to tell my girlfriend when Valentine’s Day is. Actually, she gets to tell me whatever she wants.
On the other hand, if everyone got to choose their race, we’d all end up being white so we could grow up to be movie stars, politicians, TV hosts, or CEOs. But then who would invent our dance moves? Who could we count on to create the term “basic bitch”? Who will make our Tyler Perry movies? Sounds like a dystopian nightmare to me.
So, we’re stuck with our races. With that in mind, please indulge me the chance to pinpoint 15 rather unpleasant aspects of being of the darker persuasion.
1. Slavery. Talk about a bummer!
2. Barack Obama is president, so now everyone thinks you run the world. You don’t.
3. Everyone wants you to pick the music at parties. What if you are the one black guy who hates music?
4. Whenever something racially questionable or just outright racist happens in the news, people ask you your opinion. I don’t even watch the news. Most of the time, I’m watching Scandal!
5. People you know might be out getting shot right now — potentially by the police.
6. A common maxim is “black don’t crack.” But I do have wrinkles. I look appreciably older now than I did ten years ago. Think about what that does to my self-esteem.
7. If you dress preppy, other black people can claim you’re an “Uncle Tom” that wants to be white. Actually, when you say that, you’re being counter-revolutionary. White people have been appropriating our culture for decades now. It’s time to turn the tables and appropriate their culture. Carlton from Fresh Prince is an icon for this movement, and Kerry Washington is our Che Guevara. Viva le revolution!
8. When you date a white person, your family and friends say you want “cream in your coffee.” I don’t drink coffee.
9. You have to learn to live with the fact that you are in the demographic for Tyler Perry movies.
10. Did I mention slavery yet? That was rough.
11. People are constantly trying to keep you from voting with sneaky voter ID laws in states with burgeoning minority populations. Do not give me another reason to stay home and watch Scandal!
12. You’re always reminding people that you’re black. “As a black man…” is a common way for me to start a sentence. “As a black man, I get pulled over by the police frequently.” “As a black man, I have a responsibility to raise a stable, healthy family.” “As a black man, I would really like to take the trash out, honey.” “As a black man, I do not feel comfortable singing karaoke.” Ugh…
13. Black History Month. Too much pressure to have our own month. What about Black History Day? Seems a bit more manageable.
14. People telling you how much they like grits. Grits are nasty! It’s like someone with a sinus infection coughed on your plate.
15. Slavery. Seriously, it was bad.
Buy Dave Schilling’s book, Letters from My Therapist. When you’re done reading it, you’ll swear he was white.
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