Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Black Card

No, I'm not talking about the AmEx (or is it Visa/MasterCard/Discover? I'm not even "baller" enough to know which is the status symbol ) with the unlimited spending power.

I'm talking about the ambiguous mythological "black card" or "black pass" that is constantly being turned in or revoked amongst ourselves (black people) and issued to non-blacks. Yesterday during "Mayergate" (if you missed it you didn't miss much) @TweetMeBlack had this to say:

We are the only race of people that are FOREVER trying to award people w/
blackness... I've never had an asian, white, award me w/ theirs.

Especially when most times these hood & nigger passes are handed out to
whites for ridiculous behaviors! #Ugotarrested? #ublacknow

Interesting thought, no? What does it really say, the fact that we are willing to give away "blackness" and the reasons we cite for doing so? Of course, many people would say that someone of another race should feel "honored" to be given this "black pass" because it means that they are being accepted, embraced, yadda yadda yadda. I guess I can see what they are saying to an extent. Who wouldn't want to wear the badge of cool, power, and endurance known as BLACKNESS? (In reality, probably more than they'd imagine, but that's the thinking.) But come on, is that really all being black is? Of course not. And the things this pass is awarded for... You know the lyrics to all of Jay-Z's songs? You got multiple baby mommas/daddies? You got the "black girl" neck roll down to a T? You wear your pants off your ass? Whaaat, you speak ebonics, too?! Oh you're down! *in Oprah mode* You get a black card, and you get a black card, and you get a black card!

And what about those who feel the need to pull someone's black card? Members of our race who do not have certain "common" characteristics or don't fit the mold for what's considered Black (for example, Black Republicans) are said to have turned in their black card. I can't count the number of times I've had my black card revoked for random infractions, including not liking soul food or kool-aid, not knowing who certain "it" rappers were, talking "white" (since when does white equal proper? I missed the memo) and not living in the "hood."
Really, is that all it takes to be black or lose out on my blackness? Can I not value my heritage, where we as a people have come from and the contributions of those that look like me because of such frivolous issues? My black experience isn't black enough? These assumptions indicate that we are all a homogeneous people with stereotypical traits, do they not?
Yeah, okay... When I hit that glass ceiling in corporate America or get followed around the store I'm sure I'll be issued an immediate apology once I explain that I no longer have my black card...
I'd venture to say that those who are willing to give away "black cards" to others do not fully appreciate what it means to be black. I'd also state that they are not aware of the value of the ethnicity of the "recipient" of their gift. Think about it: could it be that you don't hear of "Chinese cards," "Jewish cards," etc. because of their love, respect and understanding of their heritage & culture. Of course I understand that we were not able to maintain our own culture as others has, but that's no excuse (and I know you know what excuses are).
I'm all for loving and embracing people of other races, cultures, etc. Open up, be "down" with one another, all that good stuff. But handing out "black cards"? Irrelevant and unnecessary.


KMac said...

This was great.
I think a lot of the people who deem themselves the "puller of black cards" take their comments as jokes, but imo, it's a bit of an insult. I think we're getting to a point where we want to "joke" about everything, and it's becoming detrimental to our culture as a whole.

Tori D. said...

I agree. And if we don't take what's ours seriously, how will anyone else?