This issue has bothered me for god knows how long. Black people are not the borg (Star Trek reference). For some reason people believe that Black people are the same solely based on race. It’s ignorant as heck to believe this but apparently some do. I have no clue where this perspective comes from or why this myth exists. So let me break it to you. We are not the same. We don’t look alike and we certainly don’t think alike. If you are non-Black, I have a question for you. Are you the same as those who share your race? No. Like you, I am an individual. I am an individual who is proud to be Black. My Blackness is a part of me but it isn’t just who I am. So in response to this idea I have created a list of personal declarations. Please be advised that I do not speak for all Black people but as an individual I personally declare:
- That the Black people I know are not the same. There are conservatives, progressives, socialist, communist, 911 truthers, birthers, women, men, elderly, young people, rich, poor, middle class, LGBTQ, straight, married, single, single by choice, parents, childless, crazies, all of the above and other groups within the Black population.
- There is no singular collective “Black thought.” If you listened to the American media in 2012 all we heard about was the American “black vote.” ((Rolls eyes)) We all supposedly voted for President Obama because he defines himself as Black. Well that isn’t true. Some of us voted for him and some didn’t vote for him. What lazy minds forget is that there are different constituencies and coalitions within the Black American population. By the way, we all have the right to vote our political interests just as other groups do without having to explain why and be stigmatized for it.
- There are distinctive social, demographic, political and economical divides and differences within the Black population. We speak various languages and are from all over the world. There are different ethnic groups and cultures within the Black population. We have a potpourri of political views and values. Sometimes this can cause issues. Don’t believe me. Try telling a Haitian that they are Dominican or vice versa. Shoot, try telling some Dominicans that they are Black. HA! All it takes is for you to open up a history book and read. I personally love the differences because it means there is no singular definition of Black culture.
- Africa is not a country. Africa is a continent. Africa is neither destitute or full of despair. In fact, there cities, small towns, etc. in African countries that are flourishing. Few people know that the world’s richest Black woman is Nigerian. So I suggest you turn off the Eurocentric media, get out and travel.
- Black women do exist! We are more than half of the Black population. Last I checked I still have a uterus. ((Looks down and checks just in case I have missed something.))
- Black people like others have a potpourri of faiths and some have no faith at all. FYI, we are not all Christians. There are atheist, those who believe in one god, those who believe in many gods and those who are unsure. I have no clue who is right or wrong. I don’t care if you worship Xena the Warrior Princess as long as your beliefs don’t infringe on my rights. I have relatives by marriage of course (sorry honey) who are members of a cult. They are nice people but they are crazy as heck. I love them because they are nice people who happen to be bat crap crazy. They are not hurting anyone so I respect their faith. I personally have never gotten the holy ghost and I never will. If I do, I am calling a shaman or I am heading to botanica and buying some sage ASAP!!!
- We are not all homophobic. Ask the folks in Maryland. I am still waiting on apologies from these so-called progressive allies from the Prop8 fiasco. Your racist slip showed here, here and here. You know who you are.
- The age of “Black Leaders” in America died in the 60’s. Someone point a leader out to me. If there is one I didn’t get the memo. I am not following them nor do they speak for me. If you think there are Black leaders I want to know who are the white, Asian, Latino, etc. leaders? Why are Black Americans the only ones who are supposed to have leaders? Who said so?
- I don’t know every Black person who walks this earth. So stop asking me about your Black coworker. There millions of us. Do you know every person from your race or ethnicity? Heck, most of us do not even know our neighbors. Well maybe on Facebook and Black Twitter. Just kidding.
- There are plenty of Black folks who don’t like rap music. The largest consumers of rap music are White people. I have offended folks of every hue when I have said I have no clue who some crapper is. I don’t care about their life and I have not listened to their music. The only time I care is when they intrude on my life or disrespect my image. Most rappers out there today are straight garbage. I feel bad for the autotune generation. They wouldn’t know talent if a Marvin Gaye, Eric B. and Rakim or a Queen record slapped them in the face.
- The thug that sells drugs, robs, rapes and and kills is not a reflection of me. I don’t know them nor do I want to. They are a reflection of a messed up mind. I have too much Black pride to support anyone who poisons my people. Thugs, abusers, perpetual breeders who do not take care of their litters, self haters, colorist and others are the dead tree limbs that make a tree sick. I say cut them off.
- Most Black people are not poor, struggling, on government assistance and singing “Wade in the Water” while waiting on the lord to provide. We work. We create. We produce and contribute to this society. Guess who built Washington D.C. Here is a hint. They weren’t non-Black. If you live in America use your census data. You can see that most people on welfare or government assistance look like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. Just saying.
- Blackness does not equate to dysfunctional behavior. I don’t blame the media or non-Blacks for perpetuating this lie. They make money from it. The blame lies squarely at the feet of the plantation dwelling Black folks who promote this. See Twitter, the Hip Hop industry, Maury and every “Wives” show. Again, if they opened up a history book and had some pride they will see that we are ancestors of creators, innovators, survivors and thinkers who were amazing people.
Look if you don’t believe this list I suggest you go out into the world and speak to different Black people. Expand your circle. I bet you will find out that like you, Black folks see the world through the lens of their individual perspectives. And like all humans, we are shaped by our unique experiences. The truth is that some have been conditioned or refuse to acknowledge this because stereotypes are easier than acknowledging an individual. When we see an individual we see their humanity. They are no longer a member of a thing or the “other.” They are fully human.
If you disagree with this list tell me why. Feel free to add more or subtract Don’t forget to subscribe in the box on the right of the page over there —->
Remember a revolution always starts between two ears. Start yours today.