Written by Vanessa Clark
I hate white people, the kind of white people defined in history as executors of slavery over every known race bold enough to cross the American borders. Sea tossed, river drowned and frost bitten people from every corner of the world coming to an unknown land ignorant to the robbers who lie await to steal every original idea from their cultures. I hate those white people, the ones who murdered, maimed and enslaved every race and ethnicity that differed from their own. I don’t hate them because they were ”white”, I hate them for what their hatred has done to an entire country, an entire world. The white people whose self-induced superiority is responsible for the microscopic influence and space that inhabits my own mind.
In this one body flows many races. My bloodline consists of African, Spanish, Taino Indian and Dutch mixes. Due to these mixes, I’ve been called a mutt several times in my life and no matter what the situation, comical or hateful, it always made me feel less than human. My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is African American. My Puerto Rican traits are physically more visible and I was predominately raised with the Hispanic side of my family. My skin tone was the perfect caramel combination of both my parents and my hair was a bit coarse and thick like my father but also curly like my mother’s. But oh the jealousy that fueled years of bullying just because those two features didn’t look black enough or Hispanic enough.
When I was in junior high girls use to throw gum in my hair and even after hours of trying to work it out of my hair I ended up cutting it out anyway. I was considered the conceited Puerto Rican ho who tried to steal all their boyfriends, as if! My, my what jealousy does to the brain. My curly hair in all its glory could cause my fellow peers to invent scenarios in their minds where I was so much better than them with my “good” hair that obviously I was sleeping with their boyfriends. Needless to say, I had more guy friends than girlfriends.
Being raised by my Hispanic side of the family made me more aware of how non-black everyone else treated me. When I stayed with my black family I had one member that use to tote me and my twin sister around leaving my brother and older sister behind for looking too black. We curly haired, light skinned baby dolls were trotted around other black family members to be shown off because of how pretty we were. And on my Hispanic side, some of the great grands didn’t want anything to do with my dark-skinned father, going as far as calling him a monkey. Well great grands, then what exactly does that make me? More importantly, what does that make my son? I believe in the power of knowledge and I’ll instill the same belief in Noah. Loving everyone because we all bleed red is an absolute revelatory forward way of thinking but he’ll also know that he comes from every shade of white and black known to the human eye.
If those hated white settlers could have their way my brain would continue the tug of war and I’d somehow end up hating myself. The Spanish part of my blood owned the African part of my blood. What a convolution of territory and pride. So which side should I stick up for or be more proud of? Spanish conquerors, who made a mark in history or African slaves who’s lives were used to make that mark? It’s not a “white” thing, even my Dutch great grandfather was a slave, and it’s not a “black” thing. Being racist means having the mindset that one race is superior to others but what if you are made up of more than one race can you even the scale and consider them all superior? I do. I’m a racist.