You’re really pretty for a black girl

Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron performing a...

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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.”

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27 thoughts on “You’re really pretty for a black girl

  1. There will always be people who discriminate based upon race, sex, attractiveness… You’ve stated my long time argument perfectly. If we all treat each other with respect due a human being, then there are no differences. Bless you!

    • Precisely! Karen, I challenged myself a few years ago to discontinue referring to people’s race or ethnicity when I describe them unless it is absolutely necessary (perhaps for a police description or something). In the last several months I challenged myself to discontinue referring to my own assigned race/ethnicity in my descriptions of myself and begin with the significant roles in my life (i.e., Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Teacher, Photographer, Opinionated Conservative :-), etc.). I have found that it has done wonders for my paradigm. Be Blessed!

  2. It always boggled my mind that people who were purporting to compliment Mr. Obama on being “articulate”. He’s a politician, a college graduate, and not unintelligent. Why wouldn’t he be articulate? It’s politicians who aren’t articulate that are the news.

      • I’m not a fan of Mr. Obama, and I was offended by the remark. The one that really got me was the “I forgot he was black..”‘

        Yee gods and little fishes! If I do well, say so, don’t say I did so well you forgot who I am and what I look like (as if that has anything to do with how well I did or didn’t do!).

  3. wow well said to bad you will be drowned out by the sharptons. it is easier to spread ignorance then it is to spread enlightenment. you may quote me.

  4. I stand up and clap LOUD! GIRL YOU ARE SO RIGHT ON! Why can’t we be people…Americans…love the “segregate but demand equality” doesn’t match…Stand up and salute you girl!

  5. I am curious as why a person who has one black parent and one white parent for example consider themselves black? In fact why do we consider them black? Even if both parents are white, but one grandparent is black, they still consider, or considered black.

    I would like to hear people thoughts on this.

    • Well Kenton, I can’t claim to know someone else’s motivations, only the historical reasons for it and it started with the “one drop rule”. My husband and I do not discuss race/ethnicity in the house and we encourage our children to identify themselves by their relationship with Christ and others. We have never suggested a label for them and will allow them to label as desired (hopefully it will simply be “AMERICAN”)

  6. Ever since I can remember I have always felt that the very premise behind entities such as the NAACP, BET, Jet Magazine and other items made to be exclusively black were fundamentally flawed for the reason that they were made as an answer to white racism whilst they were in fact based on race. As a man of European descent I can say my critisims of this type of racism has never been a popular idea. Nevertheless, racism is racism and ultimately it hurts all mankind.
    Love You Hun!

    Joseph

  7. You, young lady, are bringing a tear of joy to my eye! I commend you on your cogent, thoughtful and inspired writing! Would that we could progress beyond race, ethnicity, religion, and other qualifiers or limiters. Then we will be a just and righteous nation.

    Keep up the great work.

    jvb

    • I appreciate the sentiment. Although I am one person and just one voice, I hope to encourage many to begin speaking out and changing the way that they begin to see themselves. I believe that if EVERYONE begins to define themselves by nationality and not skin color, we will build a stronger America!

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