Watered Down Black People
In explanation of the title, a story to set the stage needs to occur so that you, reader, can have a full introduction from where this perspective comes and will journey. First a definition: Watered Down Black refers to the level of melanin a person of African heritage has in his or her skin in conjunction to American identity and cultural experience.
Why report this offensive term and write about it? Personally, I discovered that I may be more pro-Black racists than I figured. The story will explain, but not excuse. Hopefully, there are others of us out here who can identify and rectify our thinking together because of this article.
"People are intimidated away from polls at times because of the presence of one or more groups."
Stood a man preparing to make his leave of his friend only to notice she watched an intense drama on the television about naturalized citizens' disenfranchisement at the voting polls through intimidation. The subject spurned him so that he went into a sermon of how he would respond to a person trying to intimidate him after he came to the country legally as a new US citizen.
A man on the television intimidated legal citizens into not voting because they were sworn in newly to the nation.
"How absurd! These new citizens know the laws of the country better than those of us born here! There is no way that man could intimidate them away with what he says if it were real life," preached he.
"It happens, babe," responds his friend as sympathetically as she could to his indignation. "People are intimidated away from polls at times because of the presence of one or more groups."
"Look, I don't care who was at the polls. The only way I would be intimidated is if a person came specifically to me and said they would kill me if I voted. Wearing swastikas and White supremacist regalia would not affect me at all," sermonized the man in full indignant swing.
"A whole rally of the Klan would not deter me if all they said were words. Heck, I hardly pay attention to people when I go vote anyway. I know that new citizens know their rights and would not be kept from voting by an idiot like that,' he continues referring to the man in the television show frightening off the voters. "I would go to jail kicking his butt! After all those people went through to get into this country, there is no way they would let this man intimidate them!"
"Watered down? I am brown, not like this man."
Tirade over, the man intensively watched the show featuring a group with several African American lawyers and investigators attempting to figure out legal ways to prevent voter intimidation. Noticing something else seems a bit off in the show, he becomes suspicious.
"Where are all the Black people," he inquires more rhetorically than anything.
"Right there," says his friend confused at his question. "This show has a lot of Black people in it."
"No, I mean the real Black people. Brown people like me and you."
"Oh, there are no dark people, Wakanda, Black African people in the show," she responds chuckling, thinking him being a bit silly. "Also, you are not that kind of Black either."
"I am brown. The people on that show are all not brown. I want to see someone that looks like me."
"Look," he says pointing to a fair complexioned man. "He is not my complexion."
"Well, it could be the lighting that makes it seem that way. You are that complexion. We are all a bunch of watered down Black people anyway."
"Watered down? I am brown, not like this man."
"Sorry, but you are not as dark as you think. Anyway, we all have some White mixed in us."
"Not all Blacks come in the same shade in Africa. Just like the White people in Europe, there are different types of Black people. Greeks, Italians, Portuguese don't look the same as the English, French, and Germans who are all White!"
"Not in America. We are all lumped together as one group both for Whites and Blacks. And you have some nerve saying 'Where are all the Black people.' You did not consider those fair complexioned people, whom you resemble, real Black people."
Guilty, he bid her farewell stung by the obvious offensive stance he took on racial matters.
Would it prove racist against other Blacks for some sort of Black purity that is unlikely, if not impossible, to have from a generational Black American?
More Racially Black than You
Because this article does not question the racial identity of bi-racial people who identify as Black, it is strange. Personally, anyone who identifies as Black, I accept as such. However, just as the man in the story, Black people whom I do not know, but understand as racially Black triggers another state of separation.
Television is known to place Bi-racial or fairer complexioned Black people on screen though that is slowly changing since the 1980s. One of my chief complaints was that there are Black people on a particular show, but they are not dark enough. Then, when a Black person is on a show that should match my estimation of what I wanted, the claim follows that it was only done so that people would not complain. Or, they are the token Black person because there are not that many in the country for there to be a Black person in that area unless he or she is Bi-racial.
Another complaint is that why would they find a person who looks so ethnically different that he does not look like he is from America. The list could continue of offensive desires that I have expressed at one time or heard others express in person or the web in articles or comments.
White people do this too. Yes, the White supremacist do it. They exclude people who are not "White" enough from their groups. Not to say that there are none that exist, but how often is there news about Italian White supremacist? At one time, Italians ruled the world, but never have I heard tales of Roman purist trying to cleanse the Empire of people of other races in modern times. In fact, Rome isn't braggartly at all! It doesn't have to be, either. That's another story.
What does that make the Black people who do determine the mysterious Blackness levels, multiple groups and people who do so to each other? Would it make us racist against other Blacks for some sort of Black purity that is unlikely if not impossible to have from a generational Black American?
Exploring this aspect of Black American cultural corollary is not so easily explained in an article less than 2000 words. Such an article broaching the subject leaving an opportunity for others to expound upon aspects relevant to and of the subject is a step to awareness. As intellectually stunted as it may seem to write, Black people are as diverse a people in intelligence, culture, heritage, religion, etc as any other group on the planet--even Black Americans share this diversity with its limited group.
There is NO Single Representation that Equates to a Standard to determine how Black a person is culturally. Why should there be such an unwritten, subconscious standard of Black in the minds of millions of Americans, also of Black heritage about what contitutes Black ENOUGH in appearance?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Rodric Anthony