A race with restrictions

Jaira Stanley, Writer

Apparently, my race comes with a list of priorities and requirements.
This is the concept of the black card, an imaginary card that all black people are born with, but mixed people must earn. The card is constantly under threat of being revoked if the black person does not act “black” enough or in proper “black” ways.
This hidden inside joke that we hold against each other is nothing but a mental cage we put ourselves into.
As a black female who doesn’t really like most sterotypes of my race, I don’t want be told on a daily basis that I “act white.” Yes, I do speak properly, and no, I’m not mixed. Not every black person needs to know who G-herbo or Kodak are.
“Acting white” is a phrase that associates me with a Caucasian female.
This mentality slows us down as a black community. We should not be defensive against our own race.
Especially living in a world where when we walk out the door, we have a strike against us just because of our color.
We should not be considered “white” just because we would rather listen to indie music instead of rap.
Ostracism is a trait that was embedded in us a long time ago during our history of slavery. We should not let this mentality encompass us as a people.
A young black teen who listens to heavy metal or classical music shouldn’t be ostracized by her own race, especially a race that has been oppressed for wanting to be themselves for years.
Before we begin to fight for respect from other races, we need to look and see how we can respect or ourselves first.
“Oreo” is the term associated with a black girl portraying society’s expectation of a white girl’s traits. It is an derogatory term to me, and telling me that I am not black because of the music I listen to and the way I decide to do my hair isn’t going to shock me into becoming some hidden standard to my people.
Another thing: do not take the fact that I care about my education and strive for A’s doesn’t take my “black card” away. Black excellence is not something to be taken as a foreign concept.
Living in a society where being black is already a strike against your back; we shouldn’t poke our discriminatory thoughts on our own people and then beg for equality.
We have to work from the outside in. Neither my music nor my taste in food are identical to yours, but we must understand that individuality is what makes us so excellent.