7 Tips For Non-Black Minorities That Think They're Better Than Black People, But Now Realize That They Ain't Shit Either By America's Standards
January 20, 2017 was a frightening day for a lot of minorities in America. For Black people, however, it was just a Friday. The thing is, we’ve been through this before. We’ve always had to deal with people like Trump and his supporters. So when he won the election, feelings of fear did not vibrate through the Black community. Disappointment? A little. Fatigue? Absolutely. But fear? Nah.
Why can’t the same be said for other minority groups? Why are some of you so surprised? What more preparation did you need to survive as a person of color in America? I mean, everything one needs to know has already been published in history books. You’ve had access to this history. Plus, there are roughly 38 million Black people in America today. I’m sure one of us could have filled you in. Oh, wait, we’ve attempted to do exactly that for a long time. However, many of you fought us to become the preferred minority instead of joining us in our fight for equality. Several times in my life, I’ve heard members of non-Black minority communities say things to minimize the plight of Black folk as if our struggles were mutually exclusive. Systemic racism doesn't exist. Black people need to stop being lazy. Stop looking for a handout. Slavery was so long ago… and so on. Hearing this from Bob, Fox News' most loyal viewer, would come as no surprise. But to hear that from other minorities cut deep--especially the Latino community. I was always confused by these critiques because other POC have no problem referencing Dr. King or following his model but they don’t like Black people.
Unfortunately, it seems as if a lot of you have been caught off guard by the drastic changes taking place in this country. Here’s a little secret, it’s always been this way. You probably never paid attention because you assumed you had privilege. Let’s face it, other minorities LOVE what Black people can offer, especially our money. However, if given the chance, many of you would decline the opportunity to be Black. Now that you’re starting to feel that pressure, you want us to join in your fight but here’s another bit of harsh truth; It was never our responsibility to be the ambassadors for all minorities. We just assumed the role because we’re too damn nice. Even when other groups have been apathetic toward our struggles, we chose to be inclusive.
Nevertheless, you’ve chosen to tread your own path and that’s alright. We just won’t be on this journey with you. We have our own issues to tend to. But, as a parting gift, and as our last act as ambassador, here are 7 points of advice on what to expect going forward:
They will always be aware of the fact that you’re not white. You can learn golf. Dance off beat. Stop seasoning your food. Watch The Big Bang Theory…whatever you want. You will always be what you are and they will always recognize that.
- Your history will be re-written. 50 years from now we’ll hear the story about how some guy named Paul invented the taco in his parents’ garage. (They love that narrative.)
- Be prepared to have important parts of your culture be repackaged as innovative, hip, and mainstream.
- Yes, they will enjoy your music but not invite you to dance with them. For them? Yes. Your value will be reduced to your ability to entertain.
- Your education won’t matter. For eight years, they treated our Harvard educated President and his wife (who happens to hold two Ivy League degrees) as incompetent and undeserving. Yet, his successor should consider enrolling in a social studies class at whatever middle school is closest to the White House.
- Expect them to blame you for your own victimization without acknowledging the history that contributed to. Look on the bright side, at least you get to skip slavery and Jim Crow.
- Get used to backhanded compliments. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told I was different from the “other” Black people.
With that being said, your journey will be arduous. But, remember, there is no greater teacher than firsthand experience. With said experiences should come empathy and understanding. I leave you with the same words President Obama left the White House Press Corps, Good Luck.
Written by: Khalil/ @steveflytower
Husband. Father of two. Lover of hot wings. Southern Rap Connoisseur. Introvert.100% unlikely to hold the elevator for you.