It may come as a shock to people who understand my Afrocentric philosophies that my partner is a Caucasian male, but nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, he was the first white person I ever allowed in my life after a Pan-Africanist upbringing of believing that whites never wanted to associate with blacks; which is not completely false haha…
So one day as an over-worked and under-paid cashier at Panera Bread, a white dude approaches my register and clearly wanted to make conversation along with his food order, so I humor him to make the time pass by. Then, he mentioned a favored metal band and it blew my mind! As a metal fan myself, it was super cool to hear this guy being into awesome things without even knowing my interests; and at this point, I unconsciously had my eye on him 😉 He continuously swung by my place of work to chat and we even hung out a few times after my shifts, but it wasn’t until he confessed his feelings for me via text a few months after meeting did I realize he was flirting with me. Say whaaattt??? To my understanding, white men found African goddesses repulsive, so I was very confused of his intentions. I was never attracted to white men either and thought he had NO chance; au contraire mes amie!
We made it official almost 2 years later, which was a very dear and special situation, but there were several doubts floating in the air. Doubts that wouldn’t change my feelings about him, but ones that questioned my love for my people and our cause. Even before we got together, I considered myself a hypocrite for having serious feelings for him though I knew I had to quiet that voice in order to enjoy my time with this amazing person. But dat feeling doe! It crept up every so often and made me review my pride in being African, but there were many things I’ve experienced in our delightful relationship that made the voice completely shut the fuck up. In the 2 years we’ve been a match, I’ve witnessed/understood white privilege, white supremacy, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, social hierarchies, poverty in relation to food scarcity, and political corruption much clearer than I would have with any other person; this ALL from just being around him and observing every situation.
Being one with him has taught me more about racism (not on his end) than any book can, because no book can physically show me the life of a privileged white male with the world on his side and the system favoring him and his kind. Due to my interest in the observations I’ve made, I began to do more research on race-relations, governmental structures, and, of course, my own history; and I came to the conclusion, with much dismay, that we are not living in a post-racial society as our leaders want us to believe. This country is just as racist as it was 50 fuckin years ago, but the plan is kept under wraps so we can all comply and consume. Man, that was a hard pill to swallow. And we must remember here that racism IS white supremacy; they are the only group of people that, for generations, have successfully oppressed others that are different than them, and it sadly continues today. Just think about America’s (or the world’s) standard of beauty: blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, which, in my research, are technically genetic abnormalities haha. Also, think about the people who are highly favored on this planet: they’re white people hands-down. People of color treat white people next to gods because of their makeshift societal power and wanting to be accepted by them to move freely about the system. Kinda sounds like cooning to me, but we can’t blame those POCs (mainly Africans) for being victims of marginalization. Firstly, we are all slaves in the business we call the United States, yet the most enslaved of us all are the Africans.
Although it is said that slavery only existed for 245 years ending with the Emancipation Proclamation, it technically was against the law to own slaves until after World War II (explained better here) where the transition was made from traditional slavery to mass incarcerations; much like what is going on today with false and unjust imprisonment of black folk. So racism, aka white supremacy, is definitely alive and well and left a huge impact on African-American culture, much like the “slave mentality” most Blacks have where they sympathize with their oppressor, remain ignorant due to complacency, practice colorism, consciously act as pawns in a system that doesn’t support them, favor and admire whites, etc. This could also be called “cooning,” well at least it’s my definition of it haha.
But what about me? Am I cooning because I’m in love with a white dude?? Naw yo, not even close. I would understand if I still stayed in the dark about white privilege and refused to see white supremacy as it is, but that sure isn’t the case here. Instead of feeling like a hypocrite, I use my experience in this relationship to build my knowledge on race-relations so I can speak out about it. If anything, our bond has strengthened my Afrocentricity (not that it couldn’t have been done with an African man; oh, it totally could haha) because seeing the grass on the other side was surely not greener and it helped me understand that racism is indeed institutionalized; and that’s where it all started for me. On top of that, I never shut up about racism and white privilege to my boo! He’s probably sick of it but I totally don’t give a shit. I truly feel that I’ve helped him see the truth behind white supremacy, and because of that, he is a definite anti-racist. Also, I believe that with truthful education from actual black people, whites can use their privilege to attack or dismantle institutionalized racism; I could be wrong but they sadly have the platform. Although we Africans do not need white people for the evolution of our consciousness or revolution, I just know they could be useful in making white supremacy well-known in this country if they cared enough. Luckily I’m with one who cares 🙂
So, I am super relieved to let that nagging feeling of hypocrisy escape my ego because I want to enjoy my relationship regardless of the possible negative opinions of others or how Stacey Dash it might make me look. Though it did take me a while to tackle this internal issue, it heightened my passion of researching social injustices and gave me the ovaries to say something about them when others are scared to do so. Insecurities are a bitch, but I refuse to let them stand in my way of the elevation of my consciousness! In essence, I’m super happy with myself, my boo, and my Afrocentrism, and it all stemmed from taking a unusual chance <3