Mixed Up and Out
I just spent a dizzyingly nauseating half hour on the phone with “Sheila” who is the best female friend I have in the world who is not a blood relative. Regular readers might remember my mention of her in my review of the film, The Blind Side. Sheila breathlessly told me every tiny detail of the time she spent this weekend with her one-year-old grandson who has a white mother. When the baby is visiting, Sheila’s parents and brother (the baby’s great-grandparents and great-uncle) always travel 2hrs one-way to spend every minute with him. These same people cannot not get along well enough to travel around the corner for any other reason. Yet, they make this pilgrimage in silence and, then, for an entire weekend all sit there with goofy grins on their faces following EVERY move of the baby while they make the sounds you’d expect from a fireworks audience.
Sheila’s son, “Eli,” was a 20 year-old high school drop-out with no job when the white woman got pregnant. Before the baby was conceived and after, this white woman has cursed Sheila out on the regular even though she has lived in Sheila’s house at times. Even though her son was too young and too ill–prepared and even though Sheila and this woman had practically come to blows several times, when Sheila learned that Eli had impregnated this white woman, at no time could she plausibly pretend not to be overjoyed at the prospect of having a “mixed” grandchild. She tried to keep the corners of her mouth turned down when telling me that her son had gotten the woman pregnant—. No baby in that family comes close to the adoration this child receives. Those old folks even spend their meager social security checks buying clothes that that this baby may never get a chance to wear.
I am so very sad. It seems our greatest reason for existing as black people, in the main, is the hope that we can shed some significant part of our color and hair in successive generations. Life’s greatest prize (from a biological imperative) is to match one’s genes with the best prospect possible. And, in the main, black people believe this means a person who can produce our progeny with lighter skin and hair that is less nappy. All we want is to look more like the people who hate us.
Admittedly, Sheila and I are not as close as she thinks. Because we cannot discuss ending the system of white domination (racism), I can share so little of what I’m really thinking about any topic.
Black people are so mixed up that— sooner than we can imagine— we may be mixed out. And, I really believe when we are on the brink of that, we’ll begin to cherish what we have been trying so hard to stamp out. But, if that time ever comes, it will be too late.
I am going over to the Black Science Fiction Society now to see if I can find some content to promote—because we must rid ourselves of this self-annihilation virus we’ve been infected with through television, magazines, movies, children’s books, etc..