I’ve been told before that I’m really pretty for a black girl, which is offensive on so many levels that I won’t even begin to list them here. However, after watching the HEB holiday parade today, I have to question whether or not people who use that phrase are really observing something accurate. Many people, typically people not targeted by those pageants, complain about contests like “Miss Black Texas” or “Miss Black America”. Although “the enlightened” in our country would fancy themselves more noble for being accepting of these segregated beauty contests, I contend that these exclusive pageants are in and of themselves racist.
I read an article in a local small newspaper about the author’s view that Fox News was divisive and discriminatory toward black people. Although I enjoy most of the shows on Fox, I was still very curious about the argument that the author was going to make, so I decided to read it. The first line, however caused me to shut down because of the segregationist nature of it; it was “Fox News Channel is divisive and antagonistic toward Black America”. I suppose anyone reading this would say, okay, so what, what’s the big deal,however I stopped there because the term “Black America” is divisive and antagonistic by its very nature. Anytime we begin to segregate ourselves then demand equality based on the segregation, we cause others to wonder what it is that we’re really asking for.
Although there was a time when black women and black people were not allowed to participate and compete with white people in America, that time has long passed. Why are we continuing to hold onto and praise segregation yet we continue to demand equality. I for one am tired of hearing that I am or someone else is pretty, smart, articulate, etc for a black person because my beauty, intelligence and sense of self do not require a qualifier. If we are in the day and age of the post-racial presidency, why don’t we begin to act like it and make sure that we identify ourselves as Americans first. Let’s put our money where our mouth is, let our fellow Americans off the hook for trying to “make it up to us” for past wrongs and enjoy this land of equal opportunity.
To quote my favorite talk show host, Michael Berry, “Equality is not achieved when you take the oppressed and make them the oppressors, it only creates more problems and adds to the list of victims.”