So I’m going to be all the way real when I say this: I am not Black. I mean, other than the very obvious fact that my skin color is BROWN, I don’t understand why I have to be labeled as Black just because others chose to identify me that way.
There are a more than a few people on my various social media accounts who are going to be SMHing their way to the bank with this one, but let me explain. “Black” is a catch all term for people of darker color, but in the US, it’s specifically a reference to anyone who appears to be of African descent. I make this distinction because, in Sweden, my fiancé is “Black” even though she’s originally from Sri Lanka. But this exposes the true issue with identifying anyone with a color: no one can agree on the value of said color.
Here’s where I’m going with this: What does it mean if I call myself Black? I don’t claim the title of American either, but because I’m a citizen of this country, the term “American” serves a purpose. What purpose does it serve to call identify with a term as superficial as “Black?” Does it mean I’m automatically part of some brotherhood of dark-skinned people? Or is it just a lazy ass way of identifying people that was created during a time when people thought all types of ridiculous things. Yet we still cling to descriptors like “Black” or “White.” It’s kind of silly at this point.
And yeah, there are people who try to go the polite route of “African American” (man, I’ve been using a healthy number of quotes in this post), but I have two issues with this:
- I identify with Africa as much as I identify with, say, the Philippines. I have an appreciation for the culture, but I’m far removed from both of them. Trust me, Africans aren’t claiming my privileged non-Black ass.
- You say African American, but are you really thinking “Black?” I remember on this news clip where a reporter called an African dude African American. LOL. How is this any different from saying “n word” instead of “nigger.” The thought process is the same, but people think saying it in a polite way actually accomplishes anything.
These are the reasons why I’m not Black. If Rachel Dolezal wants to take on the unnecessary burden of this archaic means of identification, so be it. I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but that’s precisely why race will always be an issue.
Race is important to our current world. People discriminate based on it. They kill because of it. They exclude. But just because it’s an issue doesn’t mean I need to live in that world. I can play my part to help make the world a better place by identifying as a human race and not a color, right? If you want to identify me that way, feel free to. It still won’t be my reality and nothing anyone can say will convince me otherwise. I’m fighting for the struggles of ALL people, not a subsect.
I am Andre.
I am not a color.
I AM NOT BLACK.