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.

Tory

Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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No Responses

  1. Tory says:

    Your words, your rights. Go get your post on.

  2. staggerlee says:

    t–i borrowed this essay to post on my blog… lemme know if there`s some weird copyright thing saying that because i wrote it originally on your site, it`s your intellectual property and i will delete it posthaste!

  3. supremegoddessofall says:

    I love my non-ghetto baby! Seriously, dear, good article. Glad you were productive while I was in Cali.

  4. KahluaDiva says:

    I`m sure you`re not the whitest black girl out there, but I`m also sure it doesn`t matter. What I`m not sure about is how “hotghettomess.com ” triggered these thoughts. That, I think, is an interesting question. Thannks for your voice.

  5. F.A.Y. says:

    In your convos about interracial dating, did anyone think to ask the couple in general as to why they are dating?

  6. F.A.Y. says:

    I`ve dated all across the rainbow, so I guess i`m an expert on this. I don`t look at it as “ooh, i`m dating a ——- girl” because if I did, then i`d be more concerned with status than the girl. I dated the women I dated because of a combination of reasons, the least of which was the color of their skin. Besides, how many ugly interracial babies have you seen? They are few and far between. And usually the women who are complaining about there being too few “good black men” are not the “good black women” the men are looking for. And what are the traits of a “good black man”? Someone with a job, all his teeth, good credit? Someone with only one child living with his mother? What women tend to forget is that the guys who turn out to be “good black men” are usually the same guys that they wouldn`t go out with in high school (aka nerds), and the men they did want became the losers of life.

  7. staggerlee says:

    no, of course no one asked why the couples were together. it`s a lot easier just to make crap up. hotghettomess.com triggered it because, well, i know a lot of people like the ones in hot ghetto mess. i work with them every day, and it`s like they`re proud of being ignorant. but we as a people are the first to say that others are making a mockery of our race and culture. so which is right and which is wrong?

  8. F.A.Y. says:

    Both are wrong. Racism is when someone outside of an ethnic group demans or debases the cultural values of that ethnic group. So for anyone to say that the culture of black people is liquor stores, ghetto life, ignorance, pimps & hoes, etc. is completely wrong because the majority of black people do not live that way. To celebrate that kind of stupidity is racism, and there are black people who do that to themselves. It`s under the same note of saying all white people are rednecks who have the rebel yell as their horn (ala Dukes of Hazzard), are fat, ignorant, and keep Fleetwood in business. Dead all that garbage.

  9. stagger lee says:

    i know. that`s exactly my point. but we all know people that would argue otherwise. i`ve also met people who said i was wrong because if i was going to be gay, couldn`t i at least date a black woman? then again, i`ve also met people that have said that at least now i can bring down both races. this is more of a media backlash; in most tv shows, if there is an interracial couple, it`s going to be a black man and a white girl (in most cases). it`s much like the darker you are in an action/horror flick, the less time you have to live. on commericals, you won`t hardly see a black man with facial hair or dreads unless it`s for a product targeted to black people.

  10. stagger lee says:

    it seems like the underlying message says that if you (as a non-white) want to get ahead in life, you need to figure out a way to do just that AND not look back. you can look back, if you`re bringing up your people with you. but then if you fail, then you should have known better to begin with. it`s okay to be LIKE “the man”, as long as you don`t BECOME “the man.” if being black was truly acceptable, then every other commerical on BET wouldn`t be for perms, so that we can straighten our hair to look like white folks. if it were totally ok to be white, every ad in Cosmo wouldn`t be for self-tanning solution, so white people can be darker.

  11. supremegoddessofall says:

    or you can be like me and just be pasty all the time.

  12. supremegoddessofall says:

    power to the pasties!

  13. supremegoddessofall says:

    (especially the kind that strippers stick on their tits – go pasties!)

  14. Lincoln U. Queen says:

    I understand that you feel that many of the African-American women seem to be upset with your relationship. It is not a feeling of hatred, or jealousy. You must understand the psychological impact the past 35 years has had on our society. I am currently attending an HBCU(Historically Black College/University), and to see one of our Lincoln Men dating a white woman would be unheard of because of the past history of racism in this country. We do not completely accept it because of the problems it has caused in the past. Our mindstate is that of warning when we address any of our young black men who decided to date black women. To understand why people of African-American descent use terms like “ghetto”, “son”, “dawg”, or “fresh”, you have to grow up as an African-American individual. We have strived for so long to have our own identity, and self-worth that people will have the feeling that when someone outside our race approaches our men, they are stealing from our culture. In a

  15. Mercedes says:

    this was a cool essay i like it a lot that was nice

  16. staggerlee says:

    oh no, i don`t feel that many black folk are upset with my relationship, because some of us think that we didn`t even let any homosexual folks on the ships of the middle passage. i have my idenity, and i`m proud of who i am. and tory–i don`t so much roll jeeps as much as i roll a POS hummer. (i think somehow the article gave off the idea that i`m NOT black?)

  17. Afro-martian says:

    I didn`t read the entire article mostly skimmed; but I know the message (read and heard it many a time before!) Thank you Stagger, for writing it, I`ll come back and read the rest. Please check out this yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adarkershadeofpale/, for non conformists of color. You`re welcome to join. While I`m not a lesbian, the articulation and natural hair applies. You`re not only in a unique situation, not only because of the interracial relationship with a non-black person, but also the black community also rails against gay marriage and truly wants to keep our gay men (especially) and lesbians in the closet.

  18. supremegoddessofall says:

    my baby`s so articulate. 🙂

  19. musicfreak60060 says:

    My girlfriend also said I was the whitest black person she had ever met, and probably the “gothiest” black person as well. It`s all in good fun, so I understand what you mean. Reading that essay was like reading my own thoughts the past few years.

  20. staggerlee says:

    naw… we as black people can`t get rid of our gay men… if we did, who would sing the sizzling solos at church? who would design the choir robes? who would do the choir`s hair? BTW: if any of you have the Newsweek with Barack Obama on the cover, read the article about Bill Cosby… much of the same thing… good article.

  21. john says:

    its crazy

  22. Esha says:

    dont get slapped i might be 4″2 but i can beat yo ass

  23. esha says:

    naw i was just playin

  24. esha says:

    naw i was just playin

  25. a few thoughts says:

    I know there will be some responses to my following comments, but these responses are based on facts, not opinions like many opposers have. The reason why so many Black women are fed up with seeing a Black man with a White woman is because there is actualy a shortage of Good Black Men. There is an extremely uneven amount of college educated women to college educated men. Based on the statistics calculated by all HBCU`S COMBINED, the ratio of women to men is 6:1. Black women are passing their male counterparts. Based on many surveys conducted 81 % of Black men who responded said they were dating interracially becuase they couldn`t find a Black woman who was on their level (education and income). THIS IS A STUPID STATEMENT. But, maybe my view is biased, seeing as though I am from P.G. COUNTY, MD. and most of the females I know are classy, sophisticated, educated, and generally nice people. In addition, white girls are OVERTLY freakier than Black girls. If you go to any club in the area

  26. a few thoughts says:

    Stagger Lee: I don`t think there`s a such think as being the ” Whitest Black Person”. When people accept others saying they are being or acting White as a compliment, they are putting down their own Black race. You should tell them you are an IDEAL BLACK PERSON. The madia pushes so many negative images of Black people to the forefront, that Whites as well as Blacks, perceive that their general behavior. People should understand that evry race has their good and bad, but I do feel that the media, doesn`t display an equal balance of good when it comes to black people.

  27. staggerlee says:

    a few thoughts: thank you for understanding the idea i was trying to convey. however, i wouldn`t call myself the IDEAL black person. i still do some “ghetto” shit sometimes (there`s a reason for the quotes). ie: yes, i have an above avg. stereo system in my truck. yes, i drive though post listening to snoop`s “drop it like it`s hot” loud as hell. yes, if i have the amp and sub on, my girlfriend can hear my stereo from her house when i first turn into the neighborhood. but it`s not like i`m hiding any of this from the repo man, and my truck is paid for. hell, i don`t fit in at work just cuz i don`t have dubs on my truck.

  28. staggerlee says:

    plus, i still have the capacity to GET ghetto on someone. but by no means am i hood. am i an ideal black person because i can still relate to my hood rat friends and be a professional at the same time? that doesn`t make me ideal, that makes me a chameleon. and in the long run, if you can`t do that, you can`t get up in the world.

  29. gyurl says:

    All i have to say is racism is not the answer!! If a gurl is gay let her be and go ahead about your own business!! Don`t mess with shit that doesn`t concern you!!

  30. Nie-nie says:

    What part of n.c r u from an oh yeah that was deep. i feel you but i think i`m gon stay strait and black and try to put up wit my blackmen

  31. supremegoddessofall says:

    she`s from W-S, but doesn`t live there right now

  32. Chykn says:

    Gay is not positive at all. Gay gurls are just nasty… GAy is not the answer If you are gay you need JESUS CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE Especially gay BLACK MEN thats just nasty All you must remember GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE GOD ALSO MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT AMBER AND EVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aint no thang but a chicken wang dont drop the soap dont hate the player hate the game I`m O-U-T Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Chykn says:

    Gay is not positive at all. Gay gurls are just nasty… GAy is not the answer If you are gay you need JESUS CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE Especially gay BLACK MEN thats just nasty All you must remember GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE GOD ALSO MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT AMBER AND EVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aint no thang but a chicken wang dont drop the soap dont hate the player hate the game I`m O-U-T Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Tay Tay says:

    WHAT THE FUCK!!?! You go to be a nasty motha fucka to wanna fuck someone who is like you. Come on ladies why would yoiu want anotha females tongue in yo click. Come on niggas why would you want a dick up yo ass!!! i know this on female name Brandice who likes this kinda shit and licks out different females every night thats nasty.

  35. Stanka says:

    We was in school today, hot as I don`t know what. Then this gril was stinking so bad and had the nerve to sit by me. I was mad as a bitch!

  36. james says:

    stop all this fucking cursing because god dont like that shit. Let the gay people do what they want because they going to hell for that not you. So don`t worry about it!!!!!

  37. james says:

    I dare one of yall to curse at me

  38. staggerlee says:

    then buy adam and steve a wedding present already.

  39. Taelor says:

    right on wit ur article babe,it was awesome. im a white gurl datin a black guy and boy have i lost a friend or two over it. i mean my parents aint really cool with it and all but i really dont dare wat they think cuz im out tha house as soon as i graduate and that aint long. but we all the same on the inside, just flesh ,blood ,and bones. and really i want my chold to be by a black man because every friend i have that is interracial is very pretty and is an excellet student and athelte. so yea u i wanna learn so more bout this so somebody holler at me at lil_tipzy_babi@yahoo.com ok!

  40. Taelor says:

    oh and all yall need to lay off tha Haterade cuz if she wants to be lez she can be lez if it makes her happy its her life not urs and we aint livin in the Bible this is real life so get used to it babes .oh and i meant child in my first comment not chold

  41. Afro-martian says:

    Hey Stagger, Read this article in its entirty this time, again, it`s inspired. Dropped the link into a few cyber-ghettos, just to stir the pot a bit. >:-) Hope you`re still in A Darker Shade of Pale.

  42. staggerlee says:

    yeah, i`m still lurking in a darker shade of pale. i want to hear more about jada`s band but i don`t think i`ll make it to ozz fest (the army thing and all). taelor–thanks for the good comments… i didn`t realize when i wrote this that THIS MANY PEOPLE would read it. i`m pretty impressed.

  43. roberte says:

    Girl, i loved ur article. preach sista preach. I`m a black man who is also accused sometime of being white. I agreed with just about everything u said in ur essay. i would love to hear ur thoughts on other things. please do me a favor and email me at redman1222@yahoo.com

  44. staggerlee says:

    i still can`t believe this many people have commented on this article… thanks to everyone that liked it, and piss off to those that didn`t.

  45. Natasha says:

    Wow, I really like your essay. I`d always thought that I was the whitest black girl out there. I have a friend who is the blackest white girl I know. Let`s just say that I am just so past the racial thing and waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. I grew up on military bases around the world and currently live in South Korea. I`m not specifically looking for a black man. Who wants to be with someone who`s pimp-stepping and wearing too much Sean John? Those are the mean I steer clear of. In fact, most black men I know are ghetto and not worthy of a second thought. I`d eventually like to get to know someone with some brains. You want to turn me on? Have some brains and be able to carry an intelligent conversation; you skin color doesn`t matter. Right now I am dating a South Korean medical student. 😛

  46. staggerlee says:

    you know… that`s a phenomenon that i haven`t seen much of, american women with korean men. do the korean nationals give you two much of a problem?

  47. Afro-martian says:

    I agree with Natasha on the men thing. But I still love my brothers and although I`ve dated both in an out of my race, I still have hope for a Black man with REAL brains and intellect and KNOWS what to do with them. As with all races we too have our pesudo-intellectuals.

  48. staggerlee says:

    well, yeah, doesn`t everybody? it`s just from having been to korea that i haven`t seen a korean man with an american woman… feel free to comment on that.

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