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They Say You're "Acting White"? You Probably Deserve It

I hope I don't go to long on this. I just want to address the utter garbage surrounding this "acting white" issue.

If you all don't know me, I was born in Africa (came here when I was a year old) so I'm at least partially removed from inheriting the black American experience. For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in what was probably the most whitest-mcwhitey state you can think of: North Dakota. Since the only other person of color you'd see outside college campuses were Indians, you can imagine what my upbringing must be like, especially with parents who were foreign.

Well, by seventh grade I moved to Athens, Georgia where the racial demographics have shifted considerably. Since I failed to drop the herb mentality I brought back from North Dakota, I got picked on regularly. And yes, on occasion I've been told I was "acting white".

I'm not (too) resentful though, because looking back I would have kicked my own ass for being such a herb. I was wearing a sweatshirt with a picture of a loon on it for chrissakes. And unlike today, I was pretty book smart as a kid and was placed in accelerated classes, which together made up a private school within a public school where they put all the white kids in. And I'm afraid to admit that I was attempting to identify with the white kids in those classes even though they all don't really want me.

What my point is that instead of identifying with my black brothers and sisters, I placed myself above them, either consciously or unconsciously, and tried to pursue the ways of white folks.

According to this study smart black students don't face a decrease in popularity if the school is predominantly black or if the school is predominantly white. It is only in racially mixed schools where it's customary for white kids to make up the gifted classes where you are going to find lack of popularity, or resentment, towards the smart black kids.

I say if those black kids were really smart, they would challenge and refuse to take part in the educational segregation that was taking place in that school. But I expect that they are like I was, trained monkeys looking to please their white masters. The same goes for black kids and their parents who accept vouchers to attend private schools, leaving their other black brothers and sisters behind to fend for themselves in their inadequate public schools instead of staying and trying to fix the problem for all.

The same goes for everyday situations. If you find yourself being embarrassed by black entertainers while laughing or ignoring the guys on "Jackass" or other shows, then you are acting white.

If you treat a fellow black person as an invisible man or woman when you cross paths on the street, then you are acting white.

If you dump on black rappers for all the phantom ills they have done to the community, while ignoring the violence and pathologies that regularly occurs on other venues of entertainment, and ignore the fact that at whites buy at least 60 percent of all hip-hop albums, then you are acting white.

If you demean blacks for having "illegitimate children" while failing to note that the percentage of black children living with single mothers has fallen during the last decade, then you are acting white.

If you continue to apologize for and demonize black people for the disparities and injustices that continue to plague this nation, then you, my Oreo cookie, are acting white.

Those who defend themselves say that it's not "acting white", it's "acting right". And therein lies the arrogance and scorn for black people that proves that criticism right.
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