Is Zimmerman Running Low in White Privilege?

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George Zimmerman needs a damned hug

Where are George Zimmerman’s supporters? He needs you now more than ever!

After he was acquitted of murder, I couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some dude telling me how much Trayvon Martin deserved to die. Telling me that they would have done precisely the same thing.

For months afterwards, every time a Black kid committed a violent crime against a good white citizen, someone put his mug on Facebook as further evidence that Trayvon had it coming. Because, one violent Black kid automatically means that all Black kids before him, and all Black kids thereafter are also violent. The young Black hive mind.

The Knockout Game is a perfect example. It’s also a crystal clear case of media hype on a slow news day. Reporters take one incident, mix in an urban legend and a bunch of footage from all over the space time continuum via Youtube. Then, for a taste of authenticity they drop in a bunch of scary blurred images of Black kids and one other dude, who looks like an expert on something but really just wants to talk on camera. That shit is Internet gold. It had Black people lowering their heads in shame… Wringing hands; gnashing teeth…  Something had to be done!

Are young Black boys the only ones sucker punching people? Youtube says no. White boys are violent assholes sometimes, too. Google can give you a handful of incidents where white men sucker punch strangers with virtually no provocation. It will take about 30 seconds. The only difference is, they are isolated incidents while the Black kids who do the same things are part of a phenomena that has a name scary name and is “sweeping the nation.”

That same hype machine was working hard on Zimmerman’s behalf. In their hands, Trayvon went from murder victim to violent drug dealer. They beseeched us to wait until the verdict, while they waged a public smear campaign on a dead boy. He was a pot smoker… but so are a lot of people. He was a drug dealer… yeah, well he was never convicted, or even charged with anything. Shouldn’t the courts decide things like that?

You guys did a great job. You had rational people believing that Iced Tea and skittles were as dangerous as a Kel-Tec Nine Millimeter. Where the hell are you now that  your boy has been accused of aiming a pistol at his girlfriend? I’m interested in hearing how she had it coming. You know, because women are so hormonal. Tell me to reserve judgement until he’s had his day in court. Tell me that she lied. Because, like, 50 percent of all of the liars in the U.S. are women. Look it up.

At least tell me that I wasn’t there, so I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. That’s what you said about Trayvon. It’s also what you said about 19 year old Renisha McBride, when she was shot dead on 54 year old Theodore Paul Wafer’s front porch. She had crashed her car and knocked on his door for help. She was drunk, and high, and I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. You know, because assumptions are dangerous.

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Renisha McBride. Unarmed but dangerous, she was shot in the face while looking for help.

By the way, there were legions of 19 year olds out that night who were both high and drunk. It’s pretty common. It’s called being young. But for her, it was evidence that she was a threat, to be dealt with through lethal force.

Come on guys, in July George Zimmerman was your cause celeb. You were raising money for him. Giving him tours of gun facilities. What’s the difference between then and now? Is it because the alleged victim is white? Maybe. Or maybe you never gave a shit about GZ in the first place. But while thousands of white people were out there looking at hip hop videos and the news stories like “The Knockout Game”, and thinking about what they would do if… he actually did it.  He went ahead and killed a Black kid. For that he was afforded support, money and honorary whiteness in the eyes of the jury and nation. (Never hurts to have a daddy who is a judge.)

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Zimmerman’s ex girlfriend

He should have hung up his spurs then. Been quiet. Disappeared. But they didn’t bank on how much he liked resolving conflicts with his gun.

But I’m probably wrong. Zimmerman supporters are patiently scouring his girlfriends Facebook feed to justify that sometimes you just have to aim a gun at a chick. You know, because she had pot in her system, or had, within her cabinets, the ingredients for a pipe bomb or something. Soon, women who kill their boyfriends will begin to litter Facebook as justification. They’ll prove that she wasn’t so innocent.

Don’t let me down. Show me that you really believed that he wasn’t a sack of shit. Because right now it seems like you only want to defend him when he’s gunning down a Black person, and that’s fucking racist. We should be able to gun down every motherfucker that even looks at us cross, regardless of their age, sex or willingness to do harm. Including this chick, right? I mean, what makes her think she’s good enough not to almost get shot?  Drag this woman through the mud and show me that real men draw on their women sometimes.

Media Hype 101: The Knockout Game

Know this. Media outlets are desperate to go viral. The internet has been punching them in the guts. It’s been putting newspapers out of business and forcing local TV stations to search their souls. It must be tough to put thousands into a broadcast, and then break even with that dude on youtube who uploads video of himself building slingshots or getting punched in the scrotum.
But bad journalism has been around since before Birth of a Nation. Fear gets people’s attention. It makes you click links and comment.
So, let’s break this segment down a little bit.

1. Who is that dude? The brother that shows up about nine seconds into the segment. He looks like he’s thinking very hard. Is he an authority on the game? A victim? Does he have a doctorate in Criminal Justice from Temple University, and is he here to tell us what we can do to keep from getting knocked out by Black kids? Perhaps he could recommend a helmet for us to wear… Or, is he just the first guy that they saw after they left the studio in their big stupid news van.
That’s kind of important, especially since he is the only one whose face isn’t totally blurred out.

2. Why is everyone else’s face blurred out? Is it a snitch thing? It can’t be. They aren’t snitching on anyone. They are talking about something that anyone who has ever clicked on Worldstar Hiphop already knows. And they aren’t saying anything, really. But something miraculous happens when you blur out the faces of about a dozen teens. They all look like they are trying to hide something. They look suspect… Like, if you saw them, maybe you would wish you were wearing that helmet that the other dude never got around to recommending.

3. Watching the segment, I got the impression that those city streets were especially dangerous. I mean, four people were knocked the hell out. One was killed. I felt like screaming, “Dude! Where’s your helmet!”
But how many of the attacks they showed actually took place in Jersey City? The girl who ended up sprawled on the concrete was in London. The teacher was in Pittsburgh. If the “one hitter quitter” guy was in Jersey City, they would have interviewed him. “When you go around Black kids,” they’d ask him, “Do you prefer motorcycle helmets or Football helmets?”
That’s pretty important too, especially if you are suggesting that this thing is any more than an isolated incident, which they clearly are. A quick google search will lead to a few incidents in Brooklyn that they police are calling, “Knock out the Jew.” But just because the police have named it, doesn’t make it so. Remember the Central Park Five?

4. The segment clearly implies that Black kids are hyper violent. It does so by only interviewing Black kids with blurred out faces and asking them general questions which test their knowledge common ratchetness.
The message is clear. White people… get your helmets; or worse, your Kel-Tec nine millimeters. But it isn’t hard to find pictures of white kids being violent assholes. Years ago, there were videos of white kids running up and launching flying kicks at the backs of strangers in London. That, too, had a stupid name. Moments ago I typed in “sucker punch” on youtube and found a kid in Spokane Washington, “one hitter quitter”-ing a dude outside of a bar. Cops are doing it too, by the way. But no men in blue were interviewed concerning the Knockout Game, either as participants or experts.

This isn’t a comment on the dudes that think it’s cool to throw punches at random people. I wouldn’t lose sleep if someone beat the hell out of one of them. But I do have a problem with sloppy, sensationalist journalism. This story about a made up phenomena, with no attributable comments, supported by a bunch of unattributed footage from hundreds of or even thousands miles away, should never have made the air. It’s not journalism. It’s not even satire. At best, it’s racist propaganda.

My Dog Kills!

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My dog is a killer.

After we got him, I found a weird black and blue lizard on our back doormat. Its tail had been removed. There were chew marks on its plasticky skin. I picked it up with a Clorox wipe and threw it unceremoniously into the trash. No big deal, right? He’s a carnivore. The lizard was meat. I know how it goes. I learned about the food chain in 7th grade. But, he could have had the decency to finish it.

Last week there was a mouse-ish thing in our driveway. It was sitting next to the front tire of our car on a Sunday morning. The top of its head wasn’t there anymore. Like that scene in Hannibal. You know the one… I don’t even like looking at it. But, my dog was Hannibal. The mouse is was Ray Liotta.

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Sadistic animal theater. Sherlock, left, is played by Anthony Hopkins. Ray Liotta, on the right with the top of his skull removed, is playing the mouse that I found two weeks ago. Enjoy.

I picked it up with Clorox wipe, inside of a plastic bag. I tied it so tightly that not even its ghost could have escaped. I threw it into the trash. I boiled my hands.

I thought it was a cat. A bird. A coyote? We have all three down here in Atlanta. Our neighbor leaves tins of cat food out by his car port. Two or three times a week, feline visitors saunter into our yard and stare at us. As far as birds are concerned, I see so many hawks and falcons that they’ve ceased to be special. A few months ago there was a foot tall bird of pray tearing apart a squirrel at the end of the block. If this were Philadelphia, I would have tried to get a picture. This is Atlanta. I shrugged and kept driving.

Both cats and birds love mice. I used to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom every Saturday. Mice are like the Captain Crunch of the animal kingdom. Everybody loves mice.

We do so have coyotes. I saw one our first night in Atlanta. I was outside looking at the darkness; you don’t get darkness like this in Philadelphia. And a sleek gray coyote ran out of our neighbor’s front yard, across the cul de sac and right past me. It disappeared into the thin strip of woods behind our house. The fact that nobody believes me doesn’t make it any less true. So maybe a coyote murdered the mouse. Popped the top of its little skull off, and then left it in our driveway. As long as the murderer wasn’t our puppy.

This animal puts its muzzle in my daughter’s face. He licks us and nibbles at the edge of our kitchen table. Don’t ask me why. Sherlock jumps on our couch and he hides in the dirty clothes. I don’t want a murderer hiding in our dirty clothes.

I know what I sound like. One of those parents in the anti-drug commercials. The one that walks into the room and finds his or her son snorting coke off of a dead cheerleader. So he or she tells the child that dinner is ready, turns around and closes the door firmly behind him/her. I used to laugh at those commercials.

Today Sherlock was sitting there with something brackish and dirty hanging from his mouth. I thought it was dirty wet leaves that have been underneath a cinderblock for a year or two. Or, maybe an old piece of inner tube from the people that lived here before us. He came inside. I looked closer.

I still don’t know what it was. I won’t sully the purity of the world wide web by posting a picture of that mess. It was small. Small enough to fit totally in a little dog’s mouth.

I don’t know how long he had been chewing on it. Long enough that it was just a raggedy scrap of its former self. Which I picked up on the back of a frisbee and chucked into the yard. I considered the Clorox wipes but quickly determined that it was too gross.

I’ve had three dogs in my life. None of them were small. All of them were capable of killing the hell out of a mouse, or a lizard. But over the course of more than twenty years of ownership, I’ve never seen anything like that… that little pink and black scrap of mess. Maybe they were kind enough to swallow their kills. Or maybe they were content with the food and water that we provided, free of charge.

Yes, we feed Sherlock. His belly stays full. Which means, he leaves our house and hunts for sport. And when he’s laying down on any number of ruined pillows, he’s  fantasizing about his next kill. He’s in it for the love of the game. He’s a murderer.

I’ve written about Sherlock before, here and here. Those posts were about unrealistic expectations and poop. Since then, he’s become a much better citizen of our small house. He comes when you call him. He sits on command, and he hasn’t peed or pooped in the house for more than a month. But his body count is climbing.

Dispatches from the Bootyverse: What Random Dudes have to Say About Women they Don’t Know

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This is a picture of a real woman who lives out there, somewhere.

It may have been years ago. It may have been taken last week. Maybe it was photoshopped. Maybe not. But she’s somewhere out there, looking more or less like she does in the photo, though perhaps with looser clothing.

She’s a court stenographer in Phoenix Arizona, a school teacher in Alabama or a junior vice president with a corner office overlooking a neat man-made lake in Exton, Pennsylvania. But for a few moments of her life she was this woman, standing in front of a camera in this generic kitchen.

I took this photo from a Facebook page devoted to booties. A friend liked the page and then some computer somewhere crunched some numbers and said, “Maybe he’ll like it too.” And up it popped on my newsfeed; a whole page devoted to women in tights bending over. There are a lot of sites just like it.

Faces? Not so much. They usually end up out of frame or turned in another direction. The site is called, “Booties…” not “Faces…” Sometimes noses and mouths and stuff like that sneak in, but it’s mostly just pictures of women and their asses. Asses draped in lycra or spandex so tight that it doesn’t matter if she is wearing a dress, yoga pants or panties.

The photos are all pretty much the same. After all, there are a finite ways one can take a picture of a booty.

There’s the, “I’m going out!” selfie, which suggests that this is the woman that you will almost certainly hook up with the next time you hit the club. Sometimes these pictures are three in one, showing the model from every angle.

There’s the, “I’m cooking something,” picture (above). Which means that she would be an ideal wife, and you should marry her immediately.

There are the bedroom shots. Because after all of that cooking and going out, a big bootied woman has to get some rest. This one indicates that she probably likes sex. After all, when women take pictures in bed, they either just had sex, or are just about to have sex. Always.

And there are the photos that feature strip clubs, or twerkers, or twerking strippers, or, in one case, air twerking. This gets special mention. A faceless woman (her back was to the camera) plants her feet on either side of a narrow hallway, so that she is doing a split about five feet from the floor. And then she twerks. If there are more extreme examples of twerking, I haven’t seen them. I’m not exactly a twerking connoisseur. But she makes the woman who was twerking in the freezer section of Walmart look like a lazy bum.

These pages pop up regularly. For a number of reasons, I ignore them. The other day, however, I checked one out. You should do the same. Then go to a random woman, and look at the comments. I’ve included some below.

For the women, these were just some pictures. Maybe they wanted their fifteen minutes of internet fame but the pictures could have just been play between two partners. Some of them may not even know these photos exist. I don’t think any of them were looking for poorly written marriage proposals from guys in lockdown. They might not even know that the picture is out there in the Booty-verse.

Just like the photos, the comments fall into certain genres.

The first guys psychics. They can tell what a woman is like, just by how she stands in a picture. They are the kinds of guys that believe that professional wrestling is real.

A gorgeous charm seductive dominate one

outstanding figure. Wonder what the heart is like?

Stuck up

Nice strong black woman

Queen

Rest assured, this wasn’t a magic picture. It did not convey any emotional sentiment greater than, “Look at my butt…” if that. Was she strong? Perhaps. Or, maybe she was a basket case. It’s hard to tell from a photo. Same with her being dominant, or for that matter stuck up. Is she a queen? I guess, in that hotep metaphysical sense. But that dude didn’t remark that every woman on the page was a queen. Just this one. Hmmm.

Then there are the guys who mistake the booty site for an auction. Nice or mean, they are doing the Facebook equivalent of checking their teeth and making sure they have thick, strong ankles and child bearing hips.

 Perfect…No Tattoos…Yes, yes yes..

Lame!…….empress me u bovine do something different (Empress? Is this one of those compliminsults?)

If it wasn’t for the ink, I’d give you a call. (Somewhere, a young woman in yoga pants sighs in disappointment)

She kan cook 4 me ANYTYME (How do you misspell can?)

She still need to lose a lil more weight she has cantankles instead of ankles other than tht she’s cool.

Then there’s this guy. He’s frugal and honest. This dude looked past the woman’s behind and got at a truth that most of the other guys either didn’t notice or simply overlooked. She was putting too much salt into the pot. And behind her, the water was running for no good reason.

This is the girl (not the one pictured above. She probably uses salt sparingly) that most of the commenters wanted to run away with. They wanted to jump the broom and make babies with her, which they would take care of and raise in a responsible manner. But only one guy was smart enough to see that she is careless with both salt and water, and would therefore make a poor choice for a wife.

Dam! This bitch is throwing too much salt in that pot.

And she’s letting the water run. That’s a high water bill.

All of the punctuation and spelling was left as-is.

I will not comment on the dehumanizing use of the word bitch, or the inherent sexism of the booty industry. Maybe some other time. Not now. Because the idea of these dudes getting arthritis in their thumbs commenting on these pictures… pictures of women that they don’t know and will probably never meet, was so powerful that I had to comment on them. I carefully copied their words and pasted them to a document, which stayed open on my computer for almost a week.

The comments are the realest things on those pages. The women took the photos and then they were finished. Their lives moved on. The men, however, obsessed over their reflections like moths colliding with a windowsill. Their comments were stupid. That they some of them felt the need to pour out their hearts in a 1/2 inch by two inch comment bar is even dumber.

But life isn’t easy for men. Sometimes you just have to find your comfort wherever it comes up, even if it is as a facebook Like recommendation. But this dude from Arkansas said it best, I think. His humble, totally unedited words speak to the loneliness that a lot of men face before they find that perfect woman’s ass to settle down and raise body parts with. Enjoy…

im searching for a women like this an always have been just sumone whos true to heart not into drinking or drugs sumone that will support her man as her man does her just hoping to find my true love dont think ill ever find it on here (Insert sad faced emoticon here)

I’m Taking a short Blog-Cation. Be Back Soon.

Things used to be so simple. I woke up in the morning, took one or two kids to school, came home and wrote. 

That’s how it was. I put out post after post. Some of them were really good. A few of them even managed to get themselves read. Most of them went unseen by anyone but my wife and I. Then stuff got in the way. Stuff like money and responsibilities. You know; grown-up stuff. 

A little over a year ago I was the valet supervisor at a high end garage in Philadelphia. It was the coolest, most humbling experience I’ve ever had. 

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I got to drive great cars, at the Union League. It’s kind of like the Heritage Club from Trading Places but it’s real. So are Mortimer and Randolph, more or less. Well, those dudes might have been assholes, but they had some really cool friends, and their friends drove some incredible cars.

I miss them. I miss my coworkers. I miss Philadelphia. Most of all, I miss the money. The money was good.

I knew it couldn’t last. Working at the League was tough. If you offend the wrong member, they’ll get you fired. Crash the wrong car? Fired. Okay, so there was a $1,500 limit; do $1,499 or less in damages and your safe. But in a garage full of Porches and Bentleys, that’s virtually impossible. 

Some of you are asking why there are any accidents at all? Well, you put 800 cars in a 9 story facility that was built to house about half that. Then put a crowd of drunken rich people up front, all wearing tuxedos, slinky gowns and uncomfortable hi heels and hard bottom shoes. They’re tired. They all want their cars right now. And if it takes too long for their Jaguars, Porsches or  Jeeps (not everyone can rock a luxury car) to come, their egos will begin to shrivel like moldy grapes. 

So, 10 guys, getting hundreds of cars for hundreds of angry people. All speeding around a garage that is too narrow for two-way traffic. I’m surprised we had as few accidents as we did. 

It wasn’t a way to raise a family. I loved that job, but six years was long enough.

When we moved to Atlanta I was going to start a business writing websites and brochures  and anything else that might need words. Circumstances got in the way. Instead of hanging out my shingle, I took a job as a manager at the High Museum of Art. 

When that contract ended, Chadvs began. Since then, it evolved into something totally different from my original idea. I started out talking more about science fiction. You don’t know that. Those posts went totally unread. I didn’t really find an audience until I began to write about my wife and family. But Chadvs is more than just a shameless grab for page views and followers. This blog got writing everyday. I haven’t done the for years. It feels good.

That said, I’m taking a small break. For the next week or two, I will be making fewer posts. I’m putting together my professional website and a professional blog to match. I build websites and write content by the way. I hear I’m pretty good. I’ll be focusing on people just like me; people who took a leap of faith and are following their passions. I want to help, by making their web material quickly and for less money that you might expect. I’ll even consider bartering and making a sliding scale arrangement. 

Anyway, I’ll be back soon. Until then, I’ll be posting some of those posts that I really liked. The ones that nobody else really paid much attention to. Lucky you. You get a second chance. 

 

An Open Letter to my Little Light Bright Daughter

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That’s my daughter. She has dimples and her hair is the color of burnt copper. She’s smart. She does puzzles, and then she dances and pets the dog and tells it, “No!” in a way that is decisive and direct. She even knows kung fu. Her four inch kick is tha bidness! (Her foot gets about four inches off of the floor) My kid is the bomb.

The day she was born, the nurse looked at her woozy chocolate mommy and said, “She’s beautiful… Is her father white?” I was in the room. My eyes were bloodshot because I had been up almost all night. I was wearing the yellow plastic bracelet. The one that they give to people who are going to be there for days, not hours. But the circumstantial evidence of my daughter’s color outweighed the nurse’s common sense.

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Just so you know, I am my daughter’s father. And I am pretty light myself. Light like Al B. Sure, but without the “good” hair and the velvety voice. My mother is light too. Her father? Even lighter. Still, with the exception of a native american from the Creek Nation (I think), all of my people, right back to the 1800’s, were Black. I come from a very long line of assumptions.

I’ve been called half of one of everything. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Spanish… The part of me that people think isn’t Black sounds like a bad joke. A Jap, a Jew and an Englishman go into a bar… That other half stays the same, though. No matter what the mix is, the foundation is Black.

In case you’re wondering, I still get the Black treatment. My high yellow ass has been called nigger more times than I can count. Not nigga, but N-I-hard G sound, Hard R sound. Once there was a 12 inch knife backing the word up. I’m pretty sure it never crossed his mind that I was light skinned; perhaps even half white. If it did, he’d just make sure to put all of the knife into the Black half, I guess.

I’ve also been told that I’m not Black enough. One of my employees at my previous job told me, “I’m Blacker than you are.” He was a white dude with a  bowl haircut and buck teeth. He would have been right at home The Andy Griffith Show, but he was  from North Philadelphia. All of his friends were Black.

For a lot of people, Blackness is more about class or geography than genetics and genealogy. That’s bad news for white people. Not only are a whole lot of them two paychecks away from financial ruin, but they now they have to surrender their whiteness at the door. Psyche! It doesn’t work like that.

When a Black person has his Blackness revoked they don’t issue a white passport. We are in exile. Neither here nor there. White people, on the other hand, can be dual racial citizens. They can earn Blackness. It can be granted or bestowed upon them. And they don’t have to give up their whiteness do so. How’s that for affirmative action and reverse discrimination?

If you’re Black, you’re never more than a few syllables or shades away from being a racial orphan. Meanwhile, the Black community bestows honorary Blackness like it’s a supermarket club card. Bill Clinton? Honorary Black man, sworn in right after we found out he liked soul food and smoking, but not inhaling weed. Barak Obama? A half Kenyan who married a Black woman from the South Side of Chicago, had two Black daughters, and not only inhaled, but took photos of himself looking damned cool doing it. But to some Black people, he still isn’t Black.

Justin Beiber? He’s earning Black credits right now. Miley Cyrus? Twerking her way toward her hood pass. Drake? If Facebook comments are any indication, his Black card is provisional, and it’s hanging by a thread.

One day I’m going to have to talk to my daughter about this. One day she’ll come home and someone will have asked her, “What are you?” I got that a lot. Or, they’ll tell her that she isn’t Black. And nothing that she says or does will convince them otherwise. But she’ll try. She’ll try hard… because if she isn’t Black, then what is she?

Or they’ll tell her how privileged she is to be light skinned. I read that recently in a post from Ebony.com entitled Dear Beautiful Daughters Who Happen to be Racially Ambiguous… What followed was lot of nice, fancy ways of saying, “you’re lucky. Now, don’t fuck it up.”

Most of the it looked like pretty good advice for any little Black girls out there. “If you’re going to get naked in the media, do it for a cause…” Um, yeah. I guess posing for a PETA campaign is better than pole dancing for wrinkled dollar bills in a grainy Youtube post.

“Use your privilege for good. People will listen to you…” That’s cool, right? I mean, wasn’t it Voltaire who said, “With great power comes great responsibility?” Maybe it was Spiderman’s Uncle, right before he died. The problem is, her privileged is assumed, while not a single challenge that my daughter will face was ever mentioned.

We’re lucky to be light. Right? White people like us more. Doors open for us. Glass ceilings retract. Cops pull us over less frequently. Water boils a little bit more quickly and butter has %23 percent fewer calories if you are light skinned. That’s the assumption. That we live a life of pseudo-whiteness. As if such a thing exists.

I’ve never been anything but light skinned, but the paper bag test wasn’t so long ago. I also know the family dynamics that took place in a lot of households, where the light child was favored. I won’t try to suggest that light privilege doesn’t exist.

Some of it, though, is mythology. Were all house slaves light? Absolutely not. But that’s the perception. We were the ones sleeping with Master, and snitching on the hard working dark brothers and sisters out there in the field. But being a light skinned child was no guarantee of preferential treatment. After all, how many mistresses would want evidence of their father’s or husband’s bestial – we were regarded as sub-human –  infidelity serving them biscuits in the morning? Not many.

On the flip side, with the prevalence of rape perpetrated by master on the slave, is it really a privilege to be the one turning down his sheets and laying out his clothes at night? Anyway, did a thing like privilege even exist on the plantations in the deep South?

Anyway, one day I will sit my little awesome girl down and try to explain to her that she is Black, and nothing can take that away from her. I will tell her that Blackness is big enough for little brown girls and little cafe ole girls, and onyx girls and buttered popcorn girls. It doesn’t matter what you sound like, or what music you listen to. No matter where your from, or where you go, you’re Black. And it’s all beautiful. I’ll tell her that all of you are sisters, even though people just outside of the door will tell her otherwise.

As for the privilege that is her skin color, I’ll tell her to listen. Listen when people talk about those things that lurk in your blind spot. After all, she’ll never be anything but what she is. But just because she listens, doesn’t mean that she has to own it. Because if privilege comes with the very real threat of exile, then it isn’t any kind of privilege at all.

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Stepson, Daughter, Stepdaughter. All Black