Let Me Get Something Straight

Image of the author's black father and white mother smiling on a warm summer day at the summit of whiteface mountain.

The author’s parents.

Over this long, luxurious, restful Thanksgiving Break, I had the misfortune of bumping into a Highly Unfavorable Person from my past. I allowed HUP to buy me lunch and we had a very interesting conversation about race.

HUP: You’re pretty pro black these days, huh?

Me: Well, I am half black in a world that DOES see color, so why wouldn’t I be?

HUP: Just don’t forget where you came from, you are half white after all. It doesn’t make sense for you to hate white people.

*side note, HUP is biracial as well, black and white. He also attended the same university as me but graduated a couple of years before I attended, so he’s not stupid, he just says stupid sh*t sometimes.

I want to get something very clear. I DO NOT HATE WHITE PEOPLE.

How could I? I was raised in a loving home by a white mother and black father. I was very close, actually closer, to the white side of my family (although they could say some pretty problematic things sometimes) than I ever was to the black side (oh, they could too) of my family. I grew up with mostly white friends, and all white teachers. I am half white, to hate white people would mean hating myself and all those people who nurtured me into who I am today.

If my pro-blackness confuses anyone, let me explain.

First off, you do not have to be black to be pro-black. Anyone can be pro-black. To be pro-black means that you understand that society treats black people differently, ahem, *unjustly* and has done so historically throughout history. Pro-black means that you understand that black people need a little more uplifting and support in a world that is constantly trying to tell us we ain’t sh*t.

Second, I am biracial. I am half black. However, I am very fair skinned, and can pass for white or Latina under certain circumstances. I understand that this grants me certain privileges compared to my darker skinned brothers and sisters. However, because I am biracial, and America still adopts that “one drop rule” (we have a “BLACK” president, even though he is biracial and was raised predominantly by his white mother) I am an “other.” I will never be viewed as the “norm.”

Third, I have so many black family members, friends, co-workers. If you watch the news you know, it’s not easy out here being a black person. Black people are shot and killed by police or sent to prison at a disproportionate rate than white people are. Seriously, look at the news how are black people portrayed in the media? Just go look and then realize why black people have my support.

So, yes I am pro-black and I am proud. That does not mean I am anti-white. I do not hate white people. To hate an entire group of people based on the color of their skin would make me a racist (although reverse racism does NOT exist, but thats for a different blog post).

What I do hate are the the systems of oppression against people of color that are perpetuated by white people. If you are white, bi-racial, or non-black, be an ally for black people. Don’t just sit back in the shadows and watch your fellow humans being slaughtered, by cops, the media, the state. Speak out against injustices. Become a mentor to a disadvantaged  black youth. Get to know your black neighbor, and don’t refer to them as your black neighbor. The same goes for black people. Too often we are quick to dismiss white people as the enemy. White people are not our enemy and can in fact be our greatest ally.  It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Race should never be a dividing factor. Difference is cool, it should be discussed, shared, embraced. We need more love in this world, less hate, goddammit!

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