To be an American is a dream for many. But they don’t realize that the dream comes with a heavy price – giving up one’s own culture for that of White America. You won’t be successful in this country till that happens. You must assimilate or die. If you don’t have European skin or features, then you must at least act White. You have noticed how most foreigners who come here become ‘White’ – at least this is true for Asians and Middle Easterners. They move into White neighborhoods, hold White collar positions, dress White, and even sound White when they don’t have a strong accent. They have White friends and often White spouses. (People from the Middle East are classified as White in the United States.) To be American means to be as White as possible.
Blacks, on the other hand, have never assimilated as well as others. Though we have been in this land almost as long as the Whites, we are still treated like second class citizens in a country that the blood, sweat, tears, and even the deaths of our ancestors helped to build. We are not a part of White culture unless we have a White parent, or are adopted into a White family. Even then, one knows one is not like the others. We live in separate neighborhoods, are buried in separate cemeteries. In my city, we go to schools in our own areas, which tend to be predominantly Black and Hispanic. We work menial jobs even when we hold college degrees, dress differently – unless we happen to be that ‘token’, and then we do try to assimilate for that job – speak differently, and have mostly (sometimes all) Black friends. We date and marry our own, for the most part.
When one is White, one is privileged. This is why I don’t understand how there can be poor Whites. They must be lazy as hell, addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, or simply have zero ambition because if I were White, I would not be in the situation I find myself in. I would have gotten married 20 years ago, definitely wouldn’t have dropped out of college, and I would no doubt be the successful writer I always hoped to be. I would be living in my own home, probably out West, and my husband would be a handsome, prosperous guy with a good career, a non drug user or smoker, intellectual and well read, with a taste for travel and adventure to match my own. He’d also be a cat lover, gourmet coffee aficionado, and the type of real man who doesn’t hold sexist views of women – and politically middle of the road. I could never marry an outright Republican or Democrat.
Black women cannot get those things unless they are able to snag the type of Black man who wants to work for a living, an educated man who can dress well when he wants – and not like some high school kid, the way most middle aged Black men dress these days. When Black women want more out of life, they either must get it themselves, date and marry a White man, or live the life my two younger sisters are living, working hard to raise their kids on their own, with the aid of food stamps, no marriage in their futures because let’s face it, Black men just aren’t the marrying type. They won’t even marry their fat White trophies, except the celebrities and they always have models and actresses on their arms.
Remember OJ? Ha ha, who can forget him? They will never allow us to! He thought he had made it – formerly all White country club allowed him entrance as a ‘token’, he lived in an area of LA where if you saw any minorities, they were the hired help, he had a White blonde wife, mixed kids with good hair, a fat bank account, White friends galore, and even tried to dress, behave, and sound White (he reportedly hired a speech therapist to help him to eradicate his Black way of speaking). Yes, he made it all right – into the slammer, where Whites feel all Black men belong!
When one becomes as White as possible without actually having been born White, one has made it. That is what the American dream is, becoming White, a part of that distinctly American culture. That is what White culture truly is – the dominant culture of this nation. When I was growing up, the old TV shows from the 60s and before were full of White faces. I only saw darker faces on TV shows aimed at Blacks – The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford & Son, Diff’rent Strokes. I mostly saw White baby dolls on commercials, one never saw the Black versions until one went to the stores. They all had blonde hair and blue eyes, of course.
I have trust issues anyway, but with White people the trust is barely there. I don’t trust White cops and if I were a Black male, I’d fear them. I was told to be wary of the White teachers when I was going to school. I learned on my own to become cautious with the White children. I received a secretarial science degree from business school, only to go from one temp job to another just because I was not the type of female they wanted at the receptionist’s desk greeting their clients. Not White enough. So I went into other fields only to hurt my back doing repetitive piece rate and production work over the years. Life sucks when you aren’t the right color. And yes, institutional racism still exists. It always will in this country when the White male is in control, and he will always try to maintain that control.
White people don’t realize how very lucky they are to have been born into privilege.