Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not Black Enough?!?!??

Recently Mike Freeman, a writer for "Bleacher Report" a sports website, commented on the Seattle Seahawkes decision to trade Percy Harvin. Citing an anonymous Seahawks player, Freeman reports that a big reason Harvin was traded was because of his continued animosity toward quarterback Russell Wilson, which was dividing the locker room into pro and anti-Wilson camps.

Near the end of his riff on the Seahawks, Freeman said this:

"There is also an element of race that needs to be discussed. My feeling on this—and it's backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players—is that some of the black players think Wilson isn't black enough."

"Not Black enough?" This notion did not begin with Seattle Seahawkes player's. It is a long held belief in the black community that if you don't meet certain criteria or fit a certain mold that you are not black enough, or you "don't keep it real". The dubious distinction of not being black enough is bestowed upon anyone who is black or African-American who does not follow some twisted kind of monolithic status quo. Ironically, this label is most often applied to those who are successful and don't fit the negative stereo type of what it means to be Black. It's a fascinating pathology when you think about it. Black people who are of the opinion that other Black people are not Black enough because they don't fit some sort of bogus, perverse standard, or should I say lowered standard. This lowered standard does not represent anything that any of us wants to be or chooses to be. 

This question is never asked in reference to anyone who is starving, living in the ghetto, incarcerated or has multiple baby daddies/mamas. Are poor living conditions, bad judgement, disfunction and misfortune considered black enough? If so, I'll never be "black enough".

It seems as if some of us are using the very same stereotypes once used to demonize us, in an effort to define ourselves. A classic example of self destruction.

One of the most beautiful things about being Black is the diversity within the the culture. From President Obama to Flava Flava, we are an eclectic group of people who should not be marginalized, especially not by each other.


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