Black does not blend.
It is bold: in color and and life.
It’s a a magnificent, silk, ebony fabric that one reconfigures throughout life: sometimes wearing it as a cape and feeling superhuman; sometimes as a scarf that perfectly accentuates all that we are; sometimes as a turban circling around our heads and making us feel regal; and at times as a gown that billows around us when the wind blows, causing us to feel beautiful and ethereal. Sometimes, when we let others get their hands on it, it’s tightly twisted and knotted around our necks making us feel as if we may suffocate.
Then there are those who feverishly stuff it into a pocket and allow just a small corner of the cloth to peek out, like a handkerchief. These people are Desperate-ados (they are desperate Black people who will Do anything to be accepted by White people).
Desperate-ados are the people who have allowed the media and a falsified history, to convince themselves that White people, culture and values are superior. These Desperate-ados are willing to do anything – including socially, geographically and physically isolating themselves from non-White people — to be accepted by White people. Even the description “Uncle Tom” is an understatement.
I want to be clear, Desperate-ados aren’t simply people who don’t fit your stereotypical idea of Blackness. I’ve always been amused (and frustrated) by people who seem to have a checklist of all things it means to be Black: he listens to rock music—not Black; he skateboards—not Black; he’s a Republican—not Black; she straightens her hair—not Black. Naw — Black comes in all different varieties and flavors. We are as complex and diverse as any other race. Rather, Desperate-ados are those who have shed their Blackness like snakeskin, avoid Black people like snakes, and treat even a snake bite by a White person as a favor or a gift. Essentially, if they could, they would be born again White. But since they can’t — they try to tuck away their blackness like a handkerchief in the inside pocket.
Now, understand that my basic modus operandi is that I don’t give two fucks what other folks do. If you like it; I love it. As long as your behavior doesn’t affect me and my circle—do whatever you do, boo. I used to feel sorry for — but completely unbothered by — Black people who wanted nothing to do with me, my Black folks or Blackness generally (his loss, I figured). But, I’ve recently come to realize that his loss is also my burden. His shuckin’ and jivin’ does indeed mess up my groove.
It’s hard to groove with others, when the Desperate-ado has already set the rhythm. The anti-Negro, the Desperate-ado is our representative to most White folks cause he’s the only Black person some of them deal with. Only 4 out of 10 White people even have a Black friend, and in many instances guess who that friend typically is — a Desperate-ado. He has worked hard to be in their presence, to date them, live with them, socialize with and be accepted by them. So, when a White person says some foul shit, touches your hair, makes a racist joke, talks crazy about affirmative action, etc. don’t blame the White person . . . blame the Desperate-ado who trained that White person to think that all of that shit was okay. The Desperate-ado has made themselves the most user-friendly, White-compliant Black person in the world, and White people love him because they get to say they have a Black friend, but don’t have to deal with any “Black stuff,” be challenged, or grow. It is drive-thru diversity: quick, easy, processed, artificial but filling.
White folks will whip out their bootlegged “Black-Friend Card” liberally. “Well, my Black friend says that Eminem is the best rapper around.” “Ben Carson said that racism is over.” “Even Doug agrees that cops wouldn’t kill Black people if they would just follow the rules.” The Desperate-ado (the dude who hasn’t associated with Black people, outside of his parents, since he was 6 years-old) becomes their credential, their authority on all things Black. The Desperate-ado validates racist, conservative, homogenous ideas.
This Desperate-ado has also made them think that they have their own, independent, Black-cred and Black-knowledge — that they are down. Some of them even think that they are more down, more knowledgeable than your Black ass.
And if you complain about anything, drop a little knowledge about anything, you are militant, angry or unhappy because their Black friend doesn’t act that way. The Desperate-ado’s “truth” is a lot easier, more convenient and more comfortable to believe than yours—so they will stick with him, they will promote him, they will put him on TV, or invite him to meet with the President-Elect. It’s the most convenient way for a White person to say that they embrace diversity; and for a Black person to excel. It’s a beautifully symbiotic relationship for the White person and the Desperate-ado; but causes severe damage to Black folks and to long-term race relations.
So what are you going to do? Do you become more like the Desperate-ado, and stuff and hide your ebony sheet as much as possible, so you can get the benefits of White acceptance? Or do you embrace all that you are and wear your Blackness as a cape, knowing that you will probably not reach the heights of financial and career success? The biggest problem lies in the fact that this question remains viable in the modern day.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more