a few words on the Michael Sam "situation"

This past weekend, All-American athlete Michael Sam came out publicly. This matters because, if drafted, he’ll be the first openly gay NFL player. I was asked for my opinion on the matter. I’ll keep it brief.

sigh.

one. 
Already, predictably, NFL players, coaches, and others who profit from football have had mics extended in their direction by dutiful reporters inquiring, hypothetically, how they would feel about a gay teammate. Would this affect you in the locker room? What if he LOOKS at you (knowing those same eyes look at naked men’s bodies)? Would you panic (if perhaps you were caught in an elevator with this gay motherfucker)? Could you shake his hand just the same (knowing the gay things he does with that hand)? Would you respect him (although he’s hell-bound)? Would he disrupt the camaraderie (amongst the other, morally pristine teammates)? Wouldn’t you be afraid that he’d think about having gay sex with you (because, gay)?

All that is expected at this point.

MY question is: Would it be acceptable to question these professionals, hypothetically, if working with rapists, child neglecters, dropouts, alcoholics, abusers, addicts, heartbreakers, men with underbites, convicts, liars, men unable to keep their dicks in their pants and men who collect children like sneakers affects their ability to perform the job which they are handsomely paid to do? Because there are tons of those in the NFL and NBA. They are easily identifiable, actual proven (and occasionally convicted) men of poor character that can be discussed with certainty rather than hypotheticals. If Pam Oliver pulled a young man aside and asked, “JaQuavion McBurgerKing Braxton has 6 kids by 9 women. If he is traded to your team, would that dampen the morale among the guys?” or “Does bringing your wife and kids around your teammate that beats the entire fuck out of his significant others also make you nervous?” or “What if people associate you with a tax-evading dirtbag? What will your pastor say!?” would those also be acceptable questions?

All of that is okay and “part of the lifestyle,” yet a man brave enough to live openly is unacceptable and a threat to team morale? Gotcha.

two.
We spend too much time babysitting the emotions, preferences, and fancies of proud bigots. Society pacifies those who stand firmly in their prejudice far too often. We pad our questions and try dearly not to offend them. We grant them attention and audience, validating their views. In general, we defer too frequently to the whims and dangerously misinformed opinions of men who don’t seem to accept reality, like the fact that there have always been gay people in sports. Just like in the real world. Oh, you mean athletes behave (and fuck up and fall at varying points on the spectrum of sexuality) just like us mortals? You mean they are people, too? Clearly.

three.
We tap dance around obvious deficiencies of reason in order to keep the peace. Ex-coach Herm Edwards feels that a gay player in the locker room is unnecessary baggage. Oh, you mean like a murder charge? Or maybe like the over 395 arrests of NFL players (by now, over 425 for sure) over the last 7 years? Those things are normal and public and affect the team’s roster and image as well as the NFL as a brand, yet are ultimately explainable. But he’s a good kid, they’ll say. But a gay dude at the locker next to yours? That is where you draw the line. Never mind that those questioned on this hypothetical matter so far apparently regard the players as little more than juvenile and unable to field “tough” questions.

“Can the players handle the media attention they are going to get, when they get the question asked, ‘are you okay with a gay teammate?’”

Can they handle.
Can they handle.
Can they (making millions per year) handle the media attention they are going to get, when they get the question asked, ‘are you okay with a gay teammate (when there are highly paid media trainer motherfuckers on standby for situations just like this)?”‘

Because of course, it’s about them, and their struggle. The poor things.

As the football field is unlike any other environment with humans in it, there have obviously been gay players embraced and protected by their teammates. It remains to be seen if an openly gay teammate will render these upstanding gentleman unable to do their jobs. Until Sam is drafted, though, we’ll surely see no shortage of conjectures about how his private life will affect the delicate balance of machismo or threaten the manhood of all who encounter him. It’s 2014. If we can allow a post-menopausal performance artist to masquerade as a 17-year-old named Lorde without the sky falling, if teams of formerly left behind children can be plucked from poverty and rescued from the land of Life Failure to become household names while double dutching in and out of court, brazenly harlem shaking beyond the Line of Basic Human Decency, surely a Defensive Lineman of the Year who is at least forthcoming about his off-the-field activities won’t stop the champagne, bankruptcies and paternity suits from flowing. In short: worry about yourself.

-Alexander Hardy

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For Colored Girls Who Don’t Eat Chicken Wings In The Presence of White People

Photo: SheIsDiva
I was inspired by a discussion about not eating chicken wings in the presence of White people (yes, for some this is a thing. Ask your nearest Blackfriend). This is for the many Black girls out there who eat chicken wings behind closed doors, under their office desk, in the dark, away from the eyes of their White coworkers. It’s okay, girl. Let it hang out.
untitled
Shea Butter Queen, what’s your name?
I see you there, marinating in shame
Nibbling daintily, fighting with guilt
Girl, don’t forget the nations your ancestors built.
Givers of life, nourishing kings on your teat
You’ve come too far to shy away from miniature meat.
So drop that fork. Put down that knife.
Gal, we is free now, unburdened by strife.
Shea Butter Queen, do you know you’re a boss?
Fear not those white eyes; from your fingers lick that sauce.
With one hand or with two, it’s all the same
Cocoa Goddess, don’t forget the reason you came
To this place of joy, where chicken parts are battered
And fried and coated magnificently; my heart, it does patter
At the thought of such pleasure, here for the taking
Don’t deny yourself, boo. This is love we’re making.
Shea Butter Queen, hold your head, suck that bone.
Be the bravest, Blackest marrow eater these white people have known.
Do it for Martin, for Mahalia, for Michael,
Don’t cover your face; Escape that shame cycle.
Sit outside and face the street,
Look them straight in the eye, from the thigh suck that meat.
Shea Butter Queen, worth more than crystal.
Embrace your true greatness. Now don’t forget that gristle.

 -Alex Hardy

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[extra colored]

Hi.

So, I have a penis newsletter. It’s called Extra Colored.
Consider it a supplement to this site.
It shall be a weekly-ish rundown of what I’m up to, what I’m reading, and more.
A buzzword I’ll likely continue to use when discussing it is “intimate,” so remember that.
I’ll toss some exclusive content in there. For example, the Colored Boy Survival Kit, which you can’t read without subscribing. So there.
Additionally, also, también, I’ll try and slide things in the newsletter before they hit my site.
So, if you don’t have enough people to tell you that you’re pretty and worthy of booty rubs, here’s your chance to get these things without having to sell yourself short on social media.

Get up in here: subscribe, and continue winning at life, unlike those who believed that ARTPOP would be enjoyable.

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Welcome to Miss Celie’s Book Club.

Alright.

So because I want to do my part in contributing to the collective intelligence of folks near and dear to me, I figure it is high time to start a book discussion group. I read and discuss books a lot, so why not make a thing of it?

So because fish don’t fry in the kitchen, welcome to Miss Celie’s Book Club.

This is for everyone. This month, I’ve chosen Long Division, a novel by Kiese Laymon as the group’s first selection.

I was first introduced to Kiese via an essay of his that was featured on Gawker called “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance” and I was floored. His writing spoke to me both plainly and vividly, directly and knowingly. The motherfucker can write. I sped through his essay collection, How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America over Christmas break, and couldn’t wait to swan dive into this book, so here we are.

Going forward, I’ll talk suggestions and we’ll vote for future selections. This will be an interactive situation. As such, in the future, we’ll participate in discussions via social media and other platforms using hashtags like #MCCB, etc. It’ll be a grand time.

What you need to do:

Purchase the book. 
Grab it from Amazon via Paperback [HERE] or Kindle [HERE]

Read the book.
Book selections will be broken up into digestible chunks. This means you need to actually READ the damn book. To clarify, you can absolutely just plow through it, but for the sake of discussion, it will be split up as follows:

Section 1: up until page 49 (the end of the section titled “CLICK THAT.”Finished by February 15
Section 2: pages 51-120 (the end of the section titled “THAT WORK SHED.” Finished by Feb. 22
Section 3: pages 123-194 (the end of the section titled “EYES HAVE IT.” Finished by March 1
Section 4: page 195 to end Finished by March 8

After each section is completed, we will convene here and via social media to discuss, question, consider, argue, agree, disagree, and learn. Drop me a quick line via email (mentioning BOOK CLUB or HERE ARE MY NUDES in the subject to grab my attention) or Facebook and I’ll keep you abreast (or apenis) of all of the happenings. I foresee a video chat and music video featuring R. Kelly, King of Morals Literacy, in our future.

Welcome aboard. 

Also, my weekly-ish newsletter Extra Colored has launched, containing exclusive content, journal entries, my opinion on the matter of white meat vs dark meat (chicken, that is), and curated links of cool. Get on board: here.

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Dear Multicultural Superbowl Ad Rejectionists,

Whew.

Looks like 2014 is off to a hell of a start, huh? Looks like the Libs are out to infiltrate your pleasant, homogenous swamp waters with filthy words like inclusion and tolerance and their integrationist, diversity jibjab. Pish posh, right?

First, you find out that via its Golden Globe win that 12 Years A Slave is a historical drama, which means the tale of an enslaved Nigra is goddamn fiction, which means that slavery is no longer in practice in America. This is is bad news for you as someone keeps outbidding you on that spiffy Subjugator 5000 Cotton Gin on eBay and that cotton won’t pick itself. Woe is you, right?

Then, Cheerios, those damn nigger lovers, brought back their beloved race-mixin’ family and their biracial child for the second year in a row in this commercial which has led to yet another cross burning on your collective virtual lawns. I can imagine that the mere thought of that nice, clean, obviously self-hating white woman being defiled by that African mongrel–their images broadcast globally on the one  night you turn away from FOX News–was a source of suffocating rage. You probably knocked your moose head off the mantle when you got to swinging that cross around your living room, didn’t you?

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The stream of #WhiteTears on the Cheerios Facebook Page

You poor beasts. 
NOW, Coca-Cola, now apparently a sign of patriotism, aired a commercial with multicultural rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by a diverse cast of voices in Senegalese French, Tagalog, Hebrew, Keres Pueblo, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, and English. 
You were beside yourself with Hasselbeckian fury. You were personally offended, confused, enraged, outraged and whiteraged, sure to remind us that it “has nothing to do with race.” Ah yes, because the last time one of your precious American songs was sung, by someone who wasn’t a white person, who dared to wear a Mariachi outfit, you totally kept your cool. (See: Mexican-American Boy’s National Anthem Sparks Racist Comments). Seeing the expected blowback, I watched the ad twice to make sure it didn’t feature Osama bin Laden singing a few lines in Klingon surrounded by Cuban freedom fighters painting #Benghazi onto the American flag. All these brown faces, singing this good clean American song, written no doubt by a good, clean American m—

Never mind.

The nerve of Coca-Cola, not only having FOREIGNERS sing “America the Beautiful,” which may or not be our national anthem….

…but these commies (your words) had the mysteriously brown grandbabied gall to have these…people singing the song that may or may not be the American anthem, in “languages that do not know what freedom is.”
Oh yeah, in need of a good laugh, I joined you folks down in the swamp on the Coca-Cola Facebook page where anti-inclusionists and thousands of people who start their Aryan love poems with “THIS IS AMERICA, where…” showed up by the African-transporting slave shipload to voice their displeasure. I don’t know about you, but I had a good time.
Fun continued:

This woman has obviously never been to a country where American tourist dollars fatten the economy aka anywhere.

Forget that the U.S. doesn’t have an official language.

I must commend you. You’re so creative with your xenophobia-encrusted racism. I must also commend your clever mastery of code words. The whole newly patriotic lot of you. Seeing as how your beloved America was built by murderous British castaways who would possibly still be screwing one another in in huts were it not for the (forced) kidnapping and violation inclusion of, ahem, other cultures, your screaming points would be so much more accurate if you just substituted ‘MERICAN for WHITE. Speak what’s really on your heart, beloveds.

Because that’s what you really want to say.

This is the most succinct encapsulation of your White fear. You fear fine ass Richard Sherman karma. But that’s neither here nor there. My question to you is:

To quote Lauryn Hill, Our Lady of Destructive Jamaican Penis, “you might win some [see: Macklemore] but you just lost one.”

Look. Times are changing. Lynching is (hopefully) no longer the main event at the family reunion and you can’t keep the darkies away from the soda fountain at Woolworths. AND, as long as your little Tammy keeps hanging around Tyrone and Raheim, she’s going to keep bringing home beautiful brown grandbabies that you can’t deny. It’s a new day, Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly. Accept it.

Have a multicultural ass day.

-Alex Hardy

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It Happened to Me: There Is A Clueless White Writerperson on XOJane And I’m Suddenly Feeling Very Uncomfortable With It

Photo: Yoga Sole Brooklyn


Perhaps you have heard the furor about this piece over at XOJane, “It Happened to Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes and I’m Suddenly Feeling Very Uncomfortable With It” where the author painstakingly takes us through the stages of her newly envisioned grief in a magically delightful scenario of imagined racially based hate.

…….


January is always a predictable month on the Internet: it is inevitably jamdamnpacked with spillages of accidental racism from well-intentioned Whitepersons who have sworn to dole out new horribleness, new inventively offensive comments, and for the most part, whose cups of privileged cluelessness runneth muy over before February rolls around.

A few hours ago, as I tap-danced into my exceptionally fuckery-filled Facebook timeline, a fairly absentminded white woman put her good sense aside directly before my eyes. It appeared she had never pulled head from ass while browsing the Internet–she was Self-Victimizing around thoughtlessly, flossing her superiority, looking confused and painfully misinformed.  Within the first few paragraphs of patronizing misdirected sympathy, I saw the attention-craving victim inside of her do a snowball, turning into rambling self-satisfier and then self-appointed hero. Before we made it into our first race-themed blunder she had stooped down atop her whiteness and privilege, head raised high into her own ass, proud and supremacist. She stayed there, self-aggrandizing, for the rest of the article.

I was drowning in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at the enemy every time my head came up for air (roughly once a minute). I’ve seen people self-immolate or blow up on the internet many times, and it’s a sad thing, but as a person unable to turn away from a tragedy there’s nothing you can do about it. At that moment, though, I found it impossible to stop thinking thoughts of sudden and indefatigable lice about this woman. Even when I wasn’t positioned to stare directly at the enemy, I knew she was still staring directly at me. Over the course of the next five minutes, I watched as her need for a cause turned into temporary lunacy and then a quest for Emmy-winning white saviorhood starring Julia Roberts. I felt it all directed toward me and my body.

I was completely unable to focus on my being a human, instead feeling hyper-aware of my mahogany-hued uncrackable blackness, my enviably unfuckwitable sense of rhythm, my well-versedness in these unmistakable signs of proximity to “some bullshit” that I have been in close contact with way too many damn times. My chocolatey black boy body. Surely this attention-seeker was noticing all of these things and wishing she could be me for them, stereotyping me, resenting me—or so I imagined.

I thought about how even though The Internet comes from thousands of Al Gore-approved engineer hours, it’s been shamelessly co-opted by clueless patronizing wanksters as a country club for out of touch White men and women. I thought about my beloved sanity-based Internet that I’ve visited for years in my imagination, on which articles are very well-thought-out and often very rooted in things other than imagined victimhood and no one will try to put a deluge of oppression-seeking horribleness upon your spirit during a time in which I was a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood. They preach the gospel of colorblindness, that their style of being a privilege-oozing member of society is approachable for people who are not incestuous swampfolk, people who don’t truly believe The Heist was actually better than Good Kid, those who walk upright, non-Beliebers, and human beings; that it is non-poisonous and humane. As such, the Internet is populated largely by faux activists, girls who cry out, “[Gods] of [Mount Victimhood], Hear My Cry”, and broke Carrie Bradshaws, who are often all the same person, hey girl; there is a much higher ratio of those with the weakest of grips on reality to sanefolk than use of condoms should, in theory, result in, and you always see the articles freshly-published despite being marinated for a week in distatefulness and supremacy, from Evian-toting, Upper-West-Side yoga stereotypes who don’t realize they have just described themselves.

I realized with horror that despite the colorblindness preached by the people who compose and publish things marinated in distastefulness and supremacy, despite their purported claims of lifelong humanbeingness, despite my attempts to surround myself with people who have grips on reality, words demonstrating firm footing on Planet LookingForExhaltationViaVictimization were bountiful and not very far between. And in the large and constantly rotating roster of Oppresionistas, I could only shake my head in disbelief that I was, unfortunately, much to my dismay, for all intensive purposes, despite beans not being capable of burning on the grill, face to face with “some bullshit.”

Woe is me.

I thought about how that must feel: to be starring, in a Truman Show kind of way, in Who Wants to Be A Victim?, a woman soon to deal with, for the first time, via Twitter (and probably via FedEx in the form of a bouquet of dead flowers sent to your mother’s 9-5 because Internet folks have no motherfucking chill and will therefore never have nice things), a Rejected Apology Era Justine Sacco-level windfall of hate that by all accounts seems to have been avoidable had you read your Application to the Sisterhood of Pity Me For I Am White Yet Kindhearted And Now, I Pray, A Hero aloud to a friend. What could I do to help her? If I were her, I thought, I would be retroactively mad at myself for not asking Santa F Baby for one of those memory-and-race-themed-infraction-erasing Men In Black things for times like this, and wish to be sent, via Greyhound direct message, straight to hell, to say whatup to my demise, as quickly as possible—I would not want anyone to look at me or notice me. And so I tried to very deliberately avoid looking at the enemy each time I was on Facebook more frequently than I should have been but this isn’t about me, but I could not avoid the enemy’s If-You-Thought-I-Wouldn’t-Bring-This-Back-Around-To-Me-And-My-Pain-You-Were-Wrong ass digipamphlet to Miss Anne’s School For The Oppression-Hungry, as it was reposted and I was tagged for commentary six damn times just the same. Trying to ignore it only made it worse. I was tweeted about the shit. I thought about what the person who will likely come out of this whole shit with a damn book deal because that’s the way the post-racial cookie crumbles could or should have done to help herself. Would a simple “What Would Ani DiFranco do?” whisper have helped, or would it be futile against a cup of clueless that runneth the fuck over? Should I tell her after I stop laughing how devoid of understanding I was while reading for the duration of my forced conjugal visit with her unique brand of FoxNewsIsSureToCallMe  and encourage her to stop reenacting that damn episode of “Maude” (aquí) where Bea-Arthur-As-Maude met Florida Evans for the first time and was just drunk on self-satisfaction (and Moscato) and overcome with pity for Florida, the poor Black beast surely devoid of dignity and in need of mucho sympathy,  or would that come off as massively condescending? If I asked her to articulate her train of thought to me so I could just listen, would she be at all capable of telling me about it? Perhaps more importantly, what could the system do to protect me more effectively from such a broad range of oppression-seeking missiles launched from the Antiquated Racial Attitudes Naval Base? Is having more racially diverse group of friends enough, or would it require a serious sit down with Al Sharpton?

I backflipped away from that article and promptly broke down crying. The Internet, a beloved safe space that has helped me through many dark moments of boredom and sexlessness in over [none of your business] years of use, suddenly felt deeply suspect. Knowing fully well that five minutes of perhaps self-importantly believing myself to be the undeserving target of a racially charged foolishness is depressing, is absolutely not my own psychological projection, is a drop in the bucket of “some bullshit,” is the tip of the iceberg in my climate change-affected Sea of Frustrations, I was shaken by it all the same.

The question is, of course, so much bigger than unbridled self-importance—it’s a question of enormous systemic failure. But just the same, I want to know—how can we browse the Internet in good conscience, when such mindlessness is afoot? How do we create a space that is accessible not just to everybody, but specifically to sanefolk? And while I recognize that there is an element of spectatorship to my experience with this quest for Emmy-nominated White Saviorhood starring Julia Roberts, it is precisely this feeling of not being able to avert tragedy, not knowing how to look away from the carnage in the comment sections, that mitigates the hope for change.

-Alexander Hardy

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A funny thing happened today.

I made my debut on CNN today. And it felt wonderful. This guy? Elated.

(CNN) – On Friday, Madonna posted a photo to her Instagram account of her teenage son, Rocco, throwing a punch in a boxing ring with the caption: “Nobody messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out!” she wrote below the picture, adding the hashtag “#disni—a.”

Yes, of course.

When the inevitable public outcry began of her use of the n-word, the photo was deleted and reposted, its caption replaced with, in true Madonna fashion, “#get off my d—k haters!”

None of this furor is accidental.

The pop icon is no stranger to controversy, but now it may be time to examine the consequences of her latest cultural tourism in the name of reinvention.

Read the rest here.

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Whitenicous and YOUR Self-Hatred

My latest for EBONY:

Nigerian-Cameroonian pop singer Dencia has found herself on tongues and pages across the globe as of late. However, the newfound spotlight has little to do with her heavily-auto tuned music and everything to do with her controversial new skin care line, Whitenicious. Presented as a remedy for dark spots and hyperpigmentation, “the luxurious skin product” comes elegantly packaged with hopes of a brighter, pigment-free future.
Translation: For a fee, you, too, can be a contestant on The White is Right.
As the story began to circulate, cries of judgment and justification have rung out from every corner of Negrolandia, on Nigerian lifestyle blogs and Black American web spaces alike. Links accompanied by images of her newly milky-white body glamorously modeling the unblemished possibilities of Whitenicious have peppered my social media timelines daily for the past two weeks. Everyone has an opinion on Dencia, who, the Internet has decided, obviously hates herself, and her drastic transformation.
Read the rest over at EBONY, here.

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crowd participation: "I’ve studied you": On White Fear and Pathology

note: i’m recognizing the importance of my community. this community is not a strictly defined body, but an expansive, layered, segmented mass of minds, near and far, who influence me. for the better and in negative ways. those near me inspire me to be a better human, son, and black person. i aim to be better at living, writing, and sharing, and here is where i’ll live out those attempts. in doing my bit to release less terribleness into the world, wednesdays will be devoted to speaking to, with, and through my community, and thus: crowd participation. every wednesday. you’re invited.

I was first introduced to the brilliant mind of Brent Welch the day after the Zimmerman verdict. I was living and working in New Orleans, in the middle of a much-needed mental health break, and more importantly, a break from Panama. The day the verdict came down, I was at work, and can clearly recall a White family from Shrevport jumping up, hugging each other, and having an impromptu dance party. They were elated. I was furious, but wasn’t sure what to do with my anger. So. I smo…drank. And I danced it out. And I broke things. And I talked through my fury with friends. 

“I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still hurts,” I would say many times that week. 


The next day, on Facebook, I happened across the following post, which feels like it spilled from my heart. Brent beautifully encapsulated both my acute rage and my general frustration as a result of interacting with Whiteness, my feelings about the verdict as well as my thoughts on Whiteness at that particular point in time. It shook me, surprised me, the extent to which his words moved me. Judging by the response to this, he touched thousands of hearts and succinctly verbalized the anguish of many. I will be forever indebted to and appreciative of this gift to the world.


This read is neither short nor easy, but it’s worth digging into. I originally to republish a short story, but I was reminded of how this spoke to me and, given the type of news that greets us daily, I’m not the only person who needs to see this. So, I’ve asked for permission to republish this here, originally from Brent’s Facebook page. Enjoy.

____________________________________

“we don’t want to talk about it.”

I often critique the behavior of black people. Many don’t understand that I do this out of love. It is because I want us to get better, that I criticize and point out inconsistencies in our thinking, and how they hinder us. I criticize those I love. But now, I have to criticize white people, specifically white American culture. This critique does not cover every white person on the face of the planet or even in this country. It is a generalization, though what I’m pretty sure is an accurate one. First, you may ask me what qualifies me to make the forthcoming statement. Well, I’ve studied you. For 31 years, I’ve observed and studied you. I learned about you from the look in my mother’s eyes when you called my six year old sister a monkey when we were on vacation in San Antonio. I learned about you when I was stopped at SMU on more than one occasion for walking around campus at night. I learned about you when two of your young daughters came to my room in the honors dorm asking me if I had a fake gold chain and bandana to loan them for a class project they had. When my first college roommate’s dad met me and immediately asked me if I was there on scholarship, you taught me something. I learned about you when so many of you fantasized about and called for the torture and murder of Michael Vick on Facebook groups and in chat rooms and the comments sections of articles. I learned about you a few days ago when one of your old ladies in front of Neiman’s wouldn’t even let me pick up her cane. I learned about you when I dared to sit (impeccably dressed) in the Mermaid Bar at Neiman’s waiting for a friend. You guys relaxed when a white girl showed up and greeted me. And yesterday, I learned about you, in the verdict and the surrounding commentary concerning the Trayvon Martin case.

This is what you don’t want to accept: simply by virtue of having a black face and open eyes, my culture has a Master’s level understanding of race relations, the judicial process, and culture and ethnicity. Most of us have honorary doctorates, bestowed on us by American life, in “How White Folks Are.” Because this is the thing: a minority culture is always more knowledgeable about the majority culture. Why? Because we have to figure out how to live through and survive by your systems, in your institutions and industries, and among your conversations. But you do not have to understand us, because in large part, NOT understanding us does not affect you in any readily tangible way. And as proven in the case of Trayvon Martin, sometimes understanding you doesn’t even work. We can’t even defend ourselves when you follow us down a dark street with a loaded gun. We are insignificant to you.

WHO ARE YOU?
White Americans suffer from a group pathology of paranoia. For thousands of years, you have feared the other, the different. The word xenophobia means “fear of the other/unknown” but literally translates to “fear of the other side of the mountain.” This is not to be confused with the evolutionary “fight or flight” that all humans have in response to alert and terror. It is an anthropological truth, that when you were skulking the hills and caves of the Caucasus mountains, you realized a tried and true method of survival — kill what comes. And this is what has made you an imperialistic, conquering people, with a blood lust for security, even above truth and freedom. You have an unfounded, paralyzing, overly reactive paranoia and fear. This fear is why a peculiar slavery has happened at the hands of Caucasian descendants throughout the ages, from the Roman enslavement of brown people in biblical times, to indentured servitude, to American slavery, Jim Crow, bombings. How can you eat corn on the cob while a mangled and burned body hangs from a tree? Need I go on? It is why you take technology and ingenuity and always turn it onto weapons of mass destruction. It is why you fervently beat the drums of war, so proudly sacrificing your sons so that you can continue to over buy and over eat, a constant confirmation of having enough. It is why you gave us your Jesus to pacify and calm us, a placating promise that everything would square in the end, if we pray. And while we bow our heads and pray, you make deals in rooms that we’ve never seen, and directly and indirectly plan our subjugation, and our demise. You fear everything that would overtake you, and in our greatness, you surmise your death.

So, you taught us to fear ourselves. This is where the pathology festers and infects. You taught us to fear our “disgusting” wide noses, our “cartoonish” full lips, our kinky “filthy, matted” hair, our “dirty,” skin. You made us see dirt instead of opal, to feel naps instead of wool. You convinced us of our savagery instead of our kingship, all behind a barrel filled with gunpowder that the Chinese originally intended for alchemy and fireworks. But you had other plans for it. I dare not call you evil, because I would have to believe in evil. But you do share a pathology, a psychological underdevelopment that has literally created our present world. A refusal to understand that slavery was, as comedian Louis CK points out, only 2 grandmas ago. And life didn’t suddenly become great when the Emancipation ink dried. Do you think it is just a coincidence that you have controlled THE WORLD? India, Africa, southern Asia, the Tropics. Your ancestors killed millions, plundered, and raped for that, and you unknowingly enjoy the privilege today and then balk that we notice that you enjoy the privilege.

And since you taught us this fear by force, we have internalized it with force. The streets of Chicago are filled with boys who fear other boys. They hate them as perfectly as you have hated us. Our entertainers degrade and ignore women who don’t at least look white and persuade our youth that their African features are ugly, all to a catchy melody. So our brown and black children learn of their lack of worth the same way they learn their ABCs, musically…from rappers and singers who are owned by white people. And they do what you have taught them to do. Kill. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. They kill. But your fear wont let you see that you had anything to do with it as long as you didn’t pull the trigger. You see, fear stunts intellectual growth. Fear sets cavernous and erroneous pathways in the brain that are rarely reset. Your brain has become your Caucasus mountain. And you fear and kill anything that may be on the other side of that ridge or cortex. You fear thinking. Thinking that maybe your seemingly innocuous daily actions are hurting another person or group. Your staring, your frowning, your following, your comments, your prejudgments, your profiling, your jailing, your sentencing. And then after Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict, black, self-proclaimed provocateurs and white apologists wondered aloud “Why’s everybody so emotional? Blacks kill blacks everyday.” Because this story hits a highly reactive core. It invokes a spiritual memory that blacks folks have of being beaten, lynched, hanged, spat on. It’s a reminder that you can do anything you want in this country to a black, even one of our kids who just went to the store for some candy and tea. It’s easy to be provocative and controversial when your son isn’t laying in the ground.

But here is the crux. All groups have pathologies. The difference is that one person’s decision in your group’s pathology can negatively impact my entire group. A verdict, a tax code, a court precedent. Where one word from one of you can influence global markets, it takes millions of us to physically boycott to see a similar result. That cant be said the other way around. Therefore, it is not for you to fix it. You wont fix it. We have to do it. And for you, we have to repeat the sad but true refrain, that “sometimes change comes one funeral at a time.” Hopefully your kids, who grew up with people who look like me, will outthink you. Will grow and develop where clearly you have not. And then they can begin working on their end. But we won’t wait for that. I hope we don’t. It is now our time to act.

Brent Welch is a people watcher from Dallas, Texas who enjoys travel, eating delicious food, and science. He tends to write things down sometimes. More of his work can be found on Spanky Lee. Tweet Brent @SpankyLeeWriter. Like his Facebook page here.

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