Damned one way or the other.

If I:DSC_0098

get good grades

speak “properly”

like science, math, classic literature

pursue higher (and higher) levels of education / knowledge

prefer classical music

play and enjoy chessBig Blue & Me - 04 03 11

apply my knowledge of etiquette

dress stylishlyCute

strive for upper management and beyond

have good credit

display a substantial amount of wealth

enjoy going to the theater (stage productions not involving Black themes, actors and actresses) or the symphony


Then I:12 15 12

am called “bougie”

am accused of forgetting where I come from

am suspected of doing something illegal to have gotten what I have

must have slept with someone who had connections

achieved my successes only with the help of Affirmative Actionme and my books

am an anomaly and my behavior must be scrutinized to see why I don’t behave the way I’m “supposed” to

And boy, are we excited!

am still not allowed into certain circles because despite having worked to not fit the stereotypes, I am still BLACK on the outside, and therefore still not worthy.


Grab bag and test shots 042No matter what I do, I won’t fit in. No matter how upstanding my behavior, how vast my education, how clean-cut and “non-threatening” I appear, the color of my skin will “always” (I hope this begins to noticeably change during my lifetime) dictate how you treat me. Does that make me a victim? Only if I believe it to be so, and I don’t.  I haven’t been a victim since I grew strong enough to defend myself and smart enough to know how.  What I have been is treated with disrespect, followed, misjudged, discriminated against, and not seen as being capable all because when someone looked at me they saw their beliefs and prejudices; their preconceived notions instead of plain old, regularly dressed, just going about my business – me.The expression I imagine her having as she says the line

I can’t control how others perceive me. I can only control how I see myself and how I react to the ways I’m treated.

Eh. I’m not really going anywhere with this.  These words / ideas were sparked by a blog post I read earlier and I decided to roll with it. To write it out so I could come to grips with what I thought the post’s message was.  I may have misinterpreted what the writer was trying to say so I came here to process it for a bit in the only way I know how.  I wish there was a way to PM bloggers so I could ask my questions privately. It’s hard to really know what someone’s intent was or gather the deepest truth of the writer from the words you see posted and I prefer to get that information directly from the source – knowing someone’s truth goes a long way toward promoting meaningful dialog.

Bah. Okay, I think I’m good. We’ll chalk this one up to general musings and keep it moving.  I do so enjoy the way other’s provoke me – I find it stimulating when I’m triggered to ride my own trains of thought.

8 thoughts on “Damned one way or the other.

    1. Not this time. That blog post (http://blackgirlsallowed.com/2015/01/08/10-aspects-of-black-psychosis/) was on point and left little I had to process. In fact, it went a long way toward clarifying the behaviors I was raised with, where they may have come from, and such.

      This other blog post seemed to be a backhanded way of saying “you deserve what happens to you” when it came to discrimination but I’m not sure that’s what they meant.

  1. Great post! I think often times the greatest pieces are written as just simple (actually complex) outpourings of emotions & internal conflicts. I’m not black (I’m white) so I can’t pretend to truly understand the situations you describe b/c obviously I haven’t lived those experiences, but I have seen these things in action & it’s so sad. I hope some day the world really will be color blind. At heart we are all the same.

    1. Thanks :-). I’d be happy where diversity in skin tones was just accepted as the norm. Meanwhile, we talk, we share experiences, we exchange ideas, and hopefully come to see and interact on a case by case basis; as individuals, one to another versus judging and reacting to a single, trait (stereotype).

    2. And you know, I bet if you took a minute, thought about the different groups and networks you’ve been in or associated with you’ll find that one person who didn’t fit the mold. It’s easier to identify based on skin color – the different expectations of one group or another, but that type of built in expectation comes with all stereotyped groups. “Rich, white kids” are expected to act a certain way, to think certain things and if they don’t, they’re often labeled, ostracized from their communities. It happens to everyone who dares to be outside a perceived box.

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