Monday, June 15, 2015

Faking Being Black does not Replicate Being Black

I just read the stupidest Time article about Rachel Dolezal at least "walking the walk" of being black because she passed herself off as being black. Yeah, no, really, no. I think I can speak to this as I have spent a good deal of time in the black community and I have two biracial children and one black son.

I dated an African-American man from age eighteen to about age twenty-two. I spent a lot of time listening to black music and dancing in black clubs and hanging with black people. I was the white girl who could dance. Actually, I was the rich white girl who could dance because I came from a pretty ritzy neighborhood. Although I experienced what it was like to date a black man in the 70s and, therefore, had some intersection with how blacks were treated and I suffered some abuse for dating a man who wasn't white (from both races) and gained some understanding of the difficulties of racism that blacks the end, I was a white girl from a rich neighborhood and I could go home. Blacks were already home.

My second learning experience was in St. Louis, Missouri were I ending up working a midnight shift in an IHOP in a very bad area of town (I was passing through - not trying to pass - attempting to pick up money to get to LA). I worked there about a week and made about $1 hour because the pimpis and hos and almost homeless didn't tip very well. I complained to one young black girl about the crappy pay and she told me she had been working there for a year. I remember asking why she didn't quit and she replied she didn't have a way to get another job. I learned something that day; she had little education, a horrible home situation, and lousy employment opportunities. I had an education, a car to drive away with, and a Daddy to call for help. And I was a rich, white girl who could always go back home.

Time passed and I married a man from Jamaica. I had two biracial kids and adopted one black son. I have had a many interesting experiences raising my children but very little issues with racism. Yes, once in a while there was a little something here or there, but, really, not a lot. My worst problem with racism was trying to get my kids bussed from a mostly white community to a black community for a magnet program and having them turned down because they were too black. So I homeschooled them. Even though I had nonwhite kids, I had the benefit of being a totally white mother.

My kids are all grown up now and as I walk around town, nobody discriminates against me because I have three nonwhite children; that is because I am still a rich white girl who can always go home.

Rachel Dolezal, too, has always been a white girl who could pass as white and could always go back home.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Nice to read from someone who has been there and done that. I would say more but why waste a good comment Well done whoevr you are, and thanks to Pat for posting it.

Pat Brown said...

Hi, Anonymous 8:53...actually, I wrote this piece myself and it IS about me and my experience! But, thanks for the nice words.

Thomas Baden-Riess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Brown said...

Thomas, I had a great time raising my kids and not really having any problem with race. Not sure which photo you are talking about! I have one recent one of me with my granddaughter (she looks pretty white as she is 3/4 white); then I have a much older photo of me somewhere on my FB page or blog and that is probably me holding my daughter who looks mixed because she is biracial. So two biracial children, one black son, and one 1/4 black/3/4 white granddaughter! And, no big issues! I am still white...hah!

Thomas Baden-Riess said...

Yes I think too many people who marry another race become blinkered, victim-types on a mission to crucify white people. It's good to see you can still see reality.

I think the photo I was reffering to was on your other blog, our lives in the forest at one time. It looks like you were about 20-25, and I think you were holding a biracial child. I just presumed it was somebody else's kid at the time.

You should really write an autobiography sometime Pat. Lots of different experiences in lots of different walks of life. Would make for a fine tapestry of a book.

Pat Brown said...

Yes, Thomas, that would have been me with my daughter; I was probably standing next to an African woman also holding a biracial child.

My key to having children of mixed race or another race is simply not to get all bent out of shape over things. I never made much of any of the color stuff; I didn't give THE speech: I told my kids that how they present themselves in public was THEIR problem, that if they wore thug clothes and acted like a thug, people would be scared of them, including the police. I told them they had a responsibility to the community to make THEM comfortable, not to expect this the other way around. All three of my children have grown up with little incidents and no fear of law enforcement.

I raised my kids to understand that all cultures have value and we should respect and appreciate them all. I also taught them that history nd the present is always going to be fraught with people who misuse power and people who misuse victimhood and that we, ourselves, just have to conduct ourselves with character and be responsible for our own behavior. I taught them that life is not always fair but to do the best we can with the cards dealt and be thankful that we don't have it worse.

I thought of writing a book called "Media Whore and Other Realities of Life".....::laughs::but, I have to tell you, my humor and stance on things tends to tick a lot of people off; I don't play the victim card and I speak the truth (at least as I see it) and I am not at all politically I think the book would not sell well or review well! Rachel Dolezal, on the other hand, will have a bestseller.

Thomas Baden-Riess said...

Lol, well there's still enough people in this world who want to hear the truh and who appreciate a non PC take on things. And you have that quote from Kate McCann -- the one about you being an 'interfering bitch' or something or other -- you could stick that on the back cover!

As for how your brought up your kids, sadly, the erosion of common sense and the creation of a society full of people seeing themselves as victims with rights, instead of people with free will to make responsible life choices, means that your philospophy on life, is I'm afraid, going out the window. I'm sure we'll really pay the price for this eventually, when the next generation come of age.

rob said...

Pat, I'm in agreement that you should write a book. We generally don't hear people tell the story that you do, only the waa-waa side of things. I've went to school all my life with blacks and other races, and many see the world same as I do. But others, and amazingly, the most educated and well-off financially, want to tell how mistreated they are.(?) I have no problem with Obama's race, just his politics. My best Hispanic friend got so pizzed off at Trumps early statements about Hispanics, but I asked her, you're not a citizen, just living here on a green card, so what do you care? And she agreed. She also said, if she could vote, she would have to chose him over Hillary if that was the choice.
I love people who can speak freely about life. I am white, and I do not discriminate. However, if I see someone I identify as a thug, regardless of race, I lock the car doors.
I don't really know what I'm trying to say here, other than I am sick of the current state of this country, the racial atmosphere, the progress that has been lost.
Let's just forget the whole thing.

Pat Brown said...

I agree, Rob, I feel like the progress made racially is taking a downturn....and I am very sad about that. While there certainly is still progress to be made and blacks in this country still do have to deal with racism and a variety of issues, I think what is happening now is not going to benefit anyone in the long run.