CELEBRATED NOT TOLERATED: WHY BE SOMEWHERE YOU’RE NOT WANTED

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“I wouldn’t want to belong, unless I belong.”


I was recently reading a story regarding Hollywood actress Gabrielle Sidibe’s visit to the high-end Chanel retail store. While in the store, Sidibe said that she experienced racial discrimination while seeking to purchase a few items. And it wasn’t until the other Black employees in the store saw who she was, that the tone of the store clerk changed. She then began to act in a much nicer manner. But my question is why didn’t she leave the store? Why would you want to shop at a store if you feel they are discriminating against you based on race? Well, I have a few theories on some of those reasons.

One of the views I have on people who patronize places where they are not celebrated, but tolerated is because a self-respect issue. Your self-respect comes into question when you are willing to belong to a place or spend your money in a location where you are not accepted. Purchasing items in this business actually reinforces a feeling of your lack of self. But more so, the individuals treating you in this manner know that you are willing and able to deal with it. A way to show people is to not patronize, not to add to their growing business. Your actions speak louder than what is being said out of your mouth. So you can’t demand respect and go to people where you are disrespected.

But to me, this is a bigger problem than just racial concerns in America. We as a collective love being apart of something that is perceived to be this great thing. And would love to put emphasis on the word, perceived. Perception is a big reason why we seek to be a member of a group that doesn’t accept us. You see it in school where the kid is ostracized from the group. But instead of hanging around kids who want to be your friend, we want to hang with the kids who don’t like us. It’s because the ostracized at times tend to be the people who ostracize others themselves. Now we want the respect that we are not willing to extend to other people. Yet there is still another theory I have on wanting to belong to something that rejects you.

And that reason is lack of self-actualization; not realizing your true wealth. You have very financially wealthy people who command more money than the businesses they frequent. Yet they act like the business is doing them a favor. It comes from not knowing your true value and what your money can do for you. If you really did know what your money does for you, you don’t go back to the business. You think if Bill Gates walked into a store and they mistreated him, he would make a fuss. He most likely wouldn’t return because he knows the true value of his dollar. He has shown this through the various initiatives he has been apart of globally. My money growing a civilization is more important than buying trinkets. So when he does walk into a store, it’s festive because he doesn’t need you. You’re not doing him a favor, he’ knows he’s helping you.

In the end, you will always have people who want to belong to something. And like I said before, it has to do a lot with perception. We perceive something to be great and yet it really is not. But we hold things up in society to be special that are not. Food, water, air, shelter are important, not tote bags and cars. But that is the power of perception in our society.


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OH, HE’S BLACK: THE OBJECTION TO DATING BLACK MEN

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“Why they object.”


I read a recent post on Instagram where a statement was made regarding model Ashley Graham. She is currently married to a Black male and stated that at first members of her family were apprehensive. See, if you haven’t already guessed she is White and he is Black. But why, why is it still an issue of whom you bring home of another ethnic group? But most of all, why is it persona non grata, in dating Black men? As a Black male myself, you know all the stereotypes connected. But all men and women have them in some shape or another. Yet it is us who parents are the most against in dating their daughters.

All the reasons for not wanting a female to date Black men I have heard them over and over again. But these same responses exist in other men. People say their reasons as if it is perfection on the other side. Then what is the real reason for not wanting your daughter dating Black men. One reason is that even though we are told racism is not much of an issue today like in the past, there is a fear. You know that if your child does give birth, chances are, it will look more African American than anything else. And you know that people in society are prejudice. It’s easy to say I am lying, but when your grandchild comes home after being teased and discriminated against, it becomes a different story.

You become forced to face the inevitable. How do you tell your grandchild it is all in your head? Easy to say to me, not so easy to say to them when we live in the real world where these types of people exist. But another reason why parents are so apprehensive is because of fear of what might happen to their child. And I don’t mean from the man, but society. She is now in the line of fire just as much as me. Everything he is subjugated to, she is touched just as much for being with him. So it’s yet another smack dab in your face situation. No parent wants to deal with the idea of their daughter coming home crying because she was threatened because of who she dates. But this is a reality when in an interracial relationship.

Well, why won’t people confront their families. I mean, if you don’t agree with it should be easy right; wrong. If anything it’s harder because your family are not people you chose, but they are the only family you have. So if your interracial relationship don’t workout, they have to work. So the tolerance of dealing with family is higher than a relationship because family is more guaranteed. And that leads me to my third reason people are apprehensive. You can lose a lot when choosing to date outside your ethnicity. Because you might not get opportunities because you’re with who you’re with. You think it’s because someone else is better, it might be because who you are dating rubs people the wrong way.

In the end, I don’t think the views will change that much. I know me as a Black male, and as a overall human being. If people are not willing to accept me for me, I don’t believe I could deal with it. But I guess some people want the other person that much. And I guess that’s what it boils down to; how much you want that other person. Others are not willing to give up that much, but some are, and for the ones that give everything up, it’s worth it.


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