I’ve been called black a few times by black people, and I have to tell you, it felt great. I can understand why Dolezal would want to “identify” as black. Now we have some leftist black people “welcoming” Dolezal to blackness, which again must feel really good. I bet she feels affirmed. I bet she even feels forgiven — forgiven for the sins of some white people against some black people in the past. That’s how I felt, on some cavernous level of my guilt-besotted psyche, when a black person has called me black from time to time.
Don’t believe I was called black? Why, because I’m an articulate geek? You racist! Kidding. A fair question: Why was I called black by some black people? Short answer: because I have on occasion embodied certain attributes typically attributed to black people. I was a rapper, for starters. Oh yes, I was a rapper. I was good at it. I can still do it, but I don’t do it often these days. So there’s that.
But there’s more to stereotypical blackness. There’s the straightforward way of talking. There’s the not giving a damn what people think if you have an opinion that goes against the Zeitgeist. There’s the speaking out loud from the heart. That’s all commonly attributed to blackness. I had those things. Still do, but even more so now.
There’s the walking with some swagger. There’s the extra helping of masculinity that stereotypically goes with being black and male. I have a little of that extra helping of macho, but not quite as much as your stereotypical black man.
I supported Trayvon. I spoke out against racism against blacks. I did my good little leftist part of guilt-tripping anyone who dared question the prevailing narrative about race relations.
And this is where I probably won’t be considered to be an honorary black person anymore. I no longer have leftist opinions, which is points against me. I could still be called stereotypically black insofar as I am becoming more and more honest the older I get, but my street cred is fast waning.
I’m a Segway tour guide, for crying out loud. That’s about the stereotypically whitest thing I could do. (I have black coworkers, but they’re subject to the same laws of cultural stereotypes I am — they’re not as stereotypically black as they could be, strictly due to working at a Segway tour company.)
There are such things as cultural attributes. You see more prevalence of this or that trait in one culture than you do in another. That is true. But here are some “black” things things that can and should defy color barriers:
Not giving a damn
Standing up for what you believe in
Speaking from the heart
There are probably others, but you get my drift.
I’ve also been accused of “trying” to be black. That accusation was, at the time, completely true. I was working in the sales department at a newspaper on the East Coast, and I was the only white man in the whole place. Dozens and dozens of black people and one older white lady — those were my coworkers. I tried to blend in by taking on the speech patterns of black people, even more than I already had begun to do so since pop culture had been working on me for years. One man said to me once, “You’re just trying to act black.” I was thoroughly embarrassed, because it was true.
And then there was the time I got tipsy in downtown Minneapolis and was invited on to a black party bus. I didn’t know anyone there, but had randomly befriended some black guy on the streets. We just were talking chummily around bar close, and he jokingly called me “FBI”. That was my nickname, apparently. Well I got on the bus, and within five minutes I was asked for $15 admission, and when I pulled out my wallet, someone knocked it out of my hand, and someone else grabbed it, and it was passed to the back of the bus. The leader of the party bus, a woman, managed to get my wallet back for me after I pleaded with her to help me. Nothing was missing from the wallet. Then she kicked me off the bus by literally shoving me out. She apologized for the wallet trouble and for kicking me off. So my little color barrier crossing wasn’t a complete wash that night.
Race politics sucks. I hate it. I hate the way it makes leftist whites such as my former self feel as though they have to compensate for a sin they never themselves committed. I hate the way it makes some black people suspicious of all white people. I hate the way it divides the nation and the world. I hate the way the leftists use race as a cynical ploy for votes. I hate the way the leftists haven’t helped black people one bit, but have only harmed them, by enslaving them through the satanic device of temptation. I hate the way leftists look down on blacks and condescend to them by expecting less out of them and making excuses when a black person messes up. That is so completely disrespectful to black people as human beings that it’s a wonder more people don’t see right through it.
But leftists themselves don’t disgust me. They are a mirror of my former self. I was just confused. I didn’t know how to interact with the world. I was afraid of my own impulses, because I had been trained to believe I was a racist deep down, even though I have never harmed one single black person in my entire life, and that’s saying a lot, because I know a lot of black people, and I have indeed harmed some white people.
I understand Dolezal’s psychosis. I used to have it myself, to a much lesser extent. Many people have it.
So what now? How is a white person supposed to act? How about just act like someone who wants to excel in life? How about act like you care what another individual is saying to you and going through, right in front of your face?
The stereotypically blackest trait of all is honesty. If that trait really is a cultural thing — and I believe it is, to some extent — then let the leftists among us honor black people by emulating them, by being honest with them, with each other, and with ourselves. Dolezal was not honest. What she did was an affront to humanity.
Be you. Do your best. Learn from other cultures, as I have sometimes done, and try to emulate the best character traits of all worlds. That’s my advice.
(And most important, be a conservative. We love minorities more. Sorry, low blow. But seriously. No, I’m kidding. Not really.)