Posts Tagged ‘race’

You Wanna Be White?

Hey World.  Sorry for the period where the exclamation mark usually is, but this post is kinda heavy…

…like, Gucci heavy (and that’s real heavy)…

So here’s where the story starts:

I wake up on this wonderful Wednesday morning ready to stretch my mind as well as my body and grabbed my computer straight away, ready to read my favorite online magazines for the first time this week, when instantly my cheesy grin becomes a frown.

Because there’s yet another article about white rappers who exploit black culture, and although this particular publication is geared towards black women, I already know exactly which direction the comments went in:

“Well look at Beyonce’ and Keri Hilson trying to be white!  They just get whiter and whiter everyday!”

To which I respond,
“Bish, that’s not what the article was about!  And furthermore, what exactly is ‘white’ and what is ‘black’”?

This same issue has pissed me off since I was in grade school in Charleston, SC and the kids there teased me because I didn’t talk with the customary “Charleston accent”.  “You tryin’ to be white,” they’d say.  No, my parents just aren’t from here and they don’t like the way it sounds, so they don’t let me talk like that.  My bad.

But then when the other black kids find out that you’re smart, or see you wearing your hair down and it just so happens to grow past your shoulders, or that you turn your music down when you are in neighborhoods or near the school, or that you don’t get into wearing brand name clothing, you hear the same old rhetoric:

“You wanna be white or something?”

So forgive me if it sickens me when I see grown folks doing it over a star’s chosen style of dress, or how they choose to wear their hair, or the color of said hair, or how toned they want their body to be.  Why is it that we’ll criticize a sister for doing her own thing instead of fitting in to the same old bullshit stereotypes that our parents were fighting against?  Telling someone how they should wear their hair, how they should look, how they should act, or sound, or think – I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on the whole premise of it all.  Since when is anyone on this earth so “black” or so “white” that they can tell someone else of that race exactly who they are and who they’re trying to be.

Beyonce’ and Keri’ parents (and even Be and Keri) were still called “niggers”.  They still suffered under the burden of discrimination and oppression.  They are still icons in a community that looks just like them, and best of all, they make positive music for a community traditionally lacking in that area.  So you’ll just have to forgive me if I still consider them to be black, regardless of their hair and make-up choices.

And to all those black kids out there who still switch their CDs out when they get close to their schools so that they won’t be judged, who sit in AP classes all day, and who may not have that customary accent that all those around you have: do you, and fuck your judgmental classmates.  The courage you show when you refuse to change just because someone doesn’t like who you are makes you “blacker” than anyone who would try to mold you into some stereotypical “black person”.

Finally, to all those who assume that hair, skin, nails, and accent (among other superficial things) are what determine a person’s race: that’s just a stereotype, the box that those who don’t understand you need you to fit into so that they can feel better about your existence.  Don’t just light-heartedly hop into that box!  Be you instead, or else you risk being the “white person” in reality.


Peace, Love, and Race (an oxymoron, I know),



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