Stagger Lee`s Essay on Blackness
Stagger Lee is a friend of mine who rolls Jeeps, drinks Crown Royal, fights in desert wars to protect my sweet ivory ass and is generally much, much cooler than me. This essay is hers:
You know, I just looked at the HotGhettoMess.com site, and found it sad, yet funny. And it made me think�
Anyone on your site that knows me personally knows that I can be described as �the whitest black girl I (or we) know.� Even my girlfriend describes me that way, and she�s white.
Why? Is it because I know and use the proper pronunciation of ask? Is it because if I�m fixin� to do anything, it actually involves tools and taking something apart? Is it because I don�t use chemicals in my hair to straighten it out like, say, a white girl�s hair? I don�t understand.
Help me, someone.
Indeed, I am not hood. I lock my doors when I drive through the hood because I�m afraid of getting carjacked, not because I�m expressly afraid of my own people. I don�t listen to a lot of rap music, not because I don�t like it, but because there are only so many times people can be unoriginal before it drives me crazy. I read books because I like to read, not because someone said I had to read. I had roommates in college that were convinced I was white until they met me, based on phone conversations. Damn right I�m not hood.
Everyone knows someone like B-Rad in �Malibu�s Most Wanted.� You know, that one white boy (or girl) that doesn�t seem to understand that they are not from or in the ghetto. Everyone knows someone like Carlton in �Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,� that one black kid who seems so lost because he doesn�t know who he is. Most of us fit somewhere in between those two extremes.
I can still remember when my family moved to North Carolina. My mother fought tooth and nail to get me into the Gifted and Talented Program, because that�s where I was placed in every other school system I had been in. Finally, she succeeded, and that�s when I found out about stereotyping. This was the first time I found out that black equals dumb. From then on, I would be the token black kid in almost any and everything I did in school. And if I wasn�t the only black child in the class, there most certainly would not be a black male in there with me. In junior high, where image is everything, I remember hiding my report card from other kids so no one would think I was a sellout because I was on the smart kid track. When I got to high school, I discovered that the only time I had black kids in my classes was if the class was non-academic in nature (i.e., gym, band, shop). I was actually told by my �guidance� counselor that if I wanted to play sports on a varsity level, that I should pick the easier classes, if I wanted to keep my GPA up. That�s funny, because I had soccer players and tennis players in my advanced classes, and no one told them that they were too hard or taxing on an athlete�s brain. When I applied to NCSSM, my high school told me my grades weren�t good enough. Imagine their surprise when I got accepted and the little white valedictorian wasn�t. Then, they deemed, it must be because of demographics and Affirmative Action. I was subtly told that if I wanted to play sports, it would be better for me to stay at my home high school, which was in a more prestigious conference, than attend NCSSM because I would have more of shot of getting an athletic scholarship from a bigger school. Now, I�m not saying that they told me that because I�m black, but I�m pretty sure they wouldn�t have told me that if I were white.
In college, there was a new twist added; the black guy with white girl �problem.� I had friends whose daily conversation in the quad was about why black man X was with white girl Y, when there were all these fine Nubian sisters out there that he could have. They were totally pissed off about it, even though the white girl was as nice as she could be. During Homecoming, there was a white sorority that entered the step contest, and to the horrors of most black students, they won. Now, of course, according to the majority, it was rigged, and the white girls had to win because if they didn�t, they could claim reverse racism. They won, because they were the best. It�s as simple as that, but please don�t tell my Nubian brothers and sisters out there that there are white people who can dance better than they can. And Goddess help us all, when Eminem came out with The Slim Shady EP, whoo Lord. �That white boy is stealing our music just like Elvis did!� they cried. And like, hello, what was 3rd Bass, a rap trio that was 2/3rds white?! Somebody help me, y�all.
But the main problem, according to my contemporaries, was the interracial dating grand scheme. You know how some people are� white girls are stealing all the available black men that aren�t already gay, in prison, or married from us. That�s funny, since I haven�t noticed any secret plan from any white people that says �steal all the black men.� So I asked around, and heard all kinds of different reasons. However, the three that stuck out most in my mind were: 1) white girls are (supposedly) freakier than black girls. 2) white girls are more longsuffering or put up with more crap than black girls. And 3) they aren�t as ghetto, so I�m moving up in the world. Well, okay then. If you met your white snow princess at the local swap meet, guess what? She is ghetto too. If you believe what talk shows tell you, the average white girl that dates a black guy lives in a single wide trailer (yep, not even a double wide), shoots smack, and dreams of a day when some tall, dark and handsome black man with corn rows sweeps her off her feet to move to the projects with him, his 4 baby mommas, and 6 kids. You would think that if anyone wanted that, black or white, that we wouldn�t want him or her in the gene pool at all. But no, it�s all part of the plan of the white devils. Here�s a newsflash: I personally would say that 80% of white girls with black men are with black men that WE DIDN�T WANT TO BEGIN WITH. Yeah, I said it. And if you�re so concerned, why don�t you go find a man, instead of wondering about hers?
Now, of course, someone will point out the obvious, that I shouldn�t be saying any of this because I�m a lesbian. Yeah, but I�m a black lesbian, dating a white woman, so that puts me in the same category. But you know what? She doesn�t live in a trailer park, has a job that doesn�t involve the words �you want fries with that,� and she�s not dating me to piss her parents off. Here�s the best explanation I can give you: there�s mathematically more white lesbians than black ones. Therefore, it shouldn�t be that much of shock that I�m with a white girl. Should I go out and get a black girlfriend too? Would that make you feel better? Let me make it plain�if my girlfriend was ghetto, she wouldn�t be my girlfriend. There, does that make it easier?
So yeah, I will sit back and laugh at things like www.hotghettomess.com and www.templeofblackjesus.com. You know why? Because that�s not me, that�s not who I am, and that�s not what I strive to represent. Here�s another newsflash for you: if I�m not black enough for you, then you�re probably black. You�re the only people it matters to, anyway. Because no matter what else I do or say in this world, I�m still black. And I will be until the day I die.