intro to racism

it’s pretty well know that i am black. at least, i hope it is, lol. but if you ask my pop pop, paternal grandfather, then i am black, haleiwa* saponi, irish & scottish. he always had the longest list so i just copied it for years, but i recently did the dna test thing & it said that i’m blackity black hailing from different countries along the west coast of africa, a few sprinkles from europe & a slight splash of native american. all of these different bloodlines & paths came together to make lil ‘ol me & i looooooove it. i think it’s super cool, but there’s a large portion of the world that dislikes me just by looking at me. it’s pretty stupid, but i mean, stupidity has been running wild for much longer than humans have been able to document. but since we have the ability to change and learn, i’ll share this little gem from the book of nadia.

sooooo back in like ‘04 or something prehistoric like that, i was living in the countriest country of north carolina with my mom. this was the “it takes a village” part of my life because in st. pauls, it’s literally just us! granted, i’m a lynch and not a ray, mckinnon nor williams, i still have their blood all up and through me so duh, it still counts. anyways, unlike the rest of my close cousins who went to the public school in town, i went to a private school a couple towns over. it was nice, i’m not gon lie…but it was unnecessary as far as education goes, as far as life lessons, i learned plenty! (all in elementary school, btw) unlike most public schools or most schools in general, i think, there was only one class per grade. but it was a full school, starting at pre-k all the way to 12th grade and the class size was about like 10 per class. we were pretty close to say the least. (random fact: my educational years align with the calendar years. i.e. in ‘04 i was in fourth grade) oh, in this big yet small institution for education, i was the only black person in elementary and there were about 3 other black people older than me. (i’m being nice by saying 3, i remember 2 for sure because i had crushes on them lol) in this school that didn’t understand my poofy hair or that i got extra brown over the summers or that i couldn’t host the sleepover because my house didn’t have an in-ground pool, stairs, or more than one bathroom, i learned how to be quick witted and be much better than alla dem at everything! cheerleading, basketball, any sport really, math, english, any subject really, but don’t forget the jokes, i’ve always been funny & overly honest, which people think is funny. my major fault was my relationship with the teachers and other girls in my class. like i said, there were only like 10 people in each class so i was stuck with these little girls that i couldn’t stand! they were mean, bourgeois, probably definitely racist, and just annoying.

so there was an incident that made me painfully aware of my skin color. here we go.

one day in my fourth grade life, i was doing something i thought was very commendable, standing up for a frenemy because that’s what any protagonist in every movie would do. my class was headed to spanish class, yep, we had a spanish class, which i was also good at, lol. but anyways, there was this girl & guy that called themselves a couple. we’ll call them “shawty” & “doowop”, and shawty is obviously the girl. so shawty was actually half black & half white, but you couldn’t tell by looking at her and, tbh, i’m pretty positive she didn’t want to admit she was black at all. her hair was long & curly, but not really kinky curly so she was easily white passing. doowop was a country white boy with a million and one anger problems. on this particular day they were having troubles in what they called a relationship, but i’m sure someone just forgot to sharpen a pencil or something. tbh, i’m sure i’ve surpressed most of what happened around the incindent so i’ll just get to it now that your have all the background. their small relationship troubles turned into this craaaazy big argument that mrs. rodriguez definitely couldn’t handle. doowop was yelling at shawty in a scary way, the way the guy yelled at jlo in “enough.” we, all the girls, got involved and tried to help shawty by creating space between them because he was getting closer and closer to hitting her. doowop pushed each of the four girls aside to get to shawty, but i was the last one between them. when doowop got to me he knew better than to touch me, so he resorted back to yelling, but this time he resorted to racist slurs & threats. he screamed, “i’ll stab you, you niggeR!” (extra emphasis on the r & i remember him spitting a little too) that was the first time i was reminded of “my place.” i retreated. i couldn’t do anything at all, it felt. i was immobilized by it. i was weak. scared. mrs. rod was right there btw, finally calling the office. idk if shawty or the other girls came to my rescue or even if i actually cried, it’s all a blur. the next thing i remember is sitting in the office explaining the situation, but i felt more like i was being blamed for the whole thing. oh! did i mention the headmaster/principal was shawty’s grandfather?! HA! that probably had a ton to do with it. but yep, that was my intro to racism & i kept that to myself for years & hidden from parents for even longer. i don’t think i ever told my mom, tbh.

i’m not sharing this story in an effort for sympathy or anything, it’s just a part of my story. but it’ll never my entire story. i’m out here thriving & so much so that shawty messaged me on facebook to “catch up,” lol. like sisssss, we were never friends, lmao. she even sent an old photo, y’all i was weak! and still am, obviously. unfortunately, i can’t solve racism, but i surely will keep trying! you should too, because duh, it’s the right thing.