College was an interesting experience for me, because I really hated it.
I meet teenage women of color at times (I give back and that crap, so I volunteer at places) and they think I’m so neat and they are impressed that I went to college and want to know what school I went to. I get conflicted as to what to tell them. Should I tell them the truth? My truth seems so harsh.
Most people of color always say this, “I loved college it made me such a better person and blah, blah, I was so happy to have the opportunity to learn to kiss ass properly.”
I hate the taste of ass.
It also taught me that certain people of color will screw you royally if they think you’re going to take their spot or if they want your spot.
(I’m putting out the dirty laundry.)
Among the arts and academia there is the Highlander syndrome, meaning there can be only one ethnic person allowed per genre and all people of color who went to college learn this game. They learn to either play it or take themselves out of the game.
That’s why the one black chick that hung out with all of the white girls was the only black chick, because she knew she’d be replaced if anyone went up to them owing to the Highlander syndrome, so of course she would completely bad mouth, make crazy eyes, or do whatever she had to do to stay the only black girl.
So college demonstrated to me many things that I already knew:
There are lots of assholes in college, in fact being an asshole is part of succeeding in college.
If you don’t believe in the views of the mainstream and that capitalism is fabulous, that your point in life is to be a good little worker bee, and you’re not willing to back stab for the betterment of the system, you’re going to be waging an uphill battle the rest of your life.
Pseudo progressive bullshit is encouraged: the focus of hyphenated cultural days (which there are lots of in college) is about food, dancing, and music. The other stuff is a downer. If I were in charge Asian-American history month focus would be the internment camps, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and how the LAPD let Korean merchant’s stores burn to the ground in 1992.
And if you don’t understand and embrace those three things your life is going to be very insanely hard.
Keeping it real is hard work.
You have to bend down and give up your given name of Kunta Kinte and say your name is Toby.
I’ve got a lot of scars from my higher education experience, but they finally caught me, cut off my foot, and I graduated (that’s why sometimes I limp around an issue and say the N word instead of just writing the whole thing out.)
“Toby, please come up and get your degree in watered down ethnicitiness.”
The only cool people of color left seem to be in their 50s. That’s sadness right there. The people of color now are all so well behaved. I have an African-American friend who is so paranoid about seeming aggressive and loud that her voice has become a permanent whisper. No one ever gets mad. When I’m out in the world there seems to be lots of things to get mad about. There seems to be lots of things to get loud about.
There are still a lot of poor black and Chicanos out there and I don’t think it’s just because they are all lazy. Unemployment is up for lots of people, but you know within the black and Chicano communities it’s quite a deal higher.
College is good for watering down people to nice safe little hyphenated adjectives.
African-American sounds so very, American. People who looked like me didn’t even have the right to be a complete American until the 1970s.
Chicanos and blacks, we’re the bad minorities, so what are we afraid of? There isn’t anywhere to go but up from here.
I am not a hyphen I’m an African or black, since I think it sounds way more assertive. I think it says to America, “you are not ok and I’m still here and I will be here forever and no I’m never, ever getting over it, so don’t even ask.”
I’m going to be very controversial here and say I don’t have a problem with other black people using the N word with other black people. Don’t freakin’ care. I think the obsession of the use of the word by intellectual black people and people who aren’t black is one of the most stupid phenomena of American culture, almost as stupid as reality TV. Black people not using that word is not going to make racism go away, it will just make black people who want to get tenure feel better.
I wish people were as concerned with ending real racism at the instituions of learning that they work, get grants, and drink coffee at as they are with a 15 year old kid from Compton saying to his friend, “What’s up niggah?”
I love the African-American studies teacher who lives in Santa Monica (or some other bs progressive exclusive enclave) with her white husband and tells of the horrors of using the N word and how people in Compton shouldn’t use it, because it’s bringing us down as a people.
Oh it’s us? The N word is bringing US down? No it’s bringing you down my “sister”. What’s bringing us down is classism and racism, but you know whatever get’s your book published.
I understand people of color who are the only member who look like them on the faculty at a college are very concerned at how they look to the people who let them through the door, but how is that the guy in Watts or South Central or Comptons problem?
It’s kind of fucking not.
And white people still can’t use the N word, because my cousin Tiny is 300 pounds and will kick your ass that’s why.
Fast forward to about minute four, if you want to understand the Toby reference.
by Browne Molyneux
Sidenote-I in no way am implying that have to just stick to your “own” kind with the interracial marriage example, but I’m just saying, don’t be a little bit of bullshit. You know what I’m saying right? If you don’t live in the hood and you don’t visit the hood, don’t use the hood for material for your thesis, book, movie, grant, because really how are you different than a white person stealing someone else’s identity? I never understood why there was this double standards in regards to that kind of bs. I know you feel you have to give your life a point since that’s the role they gave you, but how about actually living the things you talk about, just being a person of color doesn’t give you the right to judge what you will never understand if you’ve never lived in the projects or a “bad” neighborhood.
Oh and another thing- Also college can be great, but it just wasn’t for me. I have no desire to be a 9-5 person or to be part of mainstream society, so I really felt it was a waste of my time. Nothing wrong with being a capitalist, but if you don’t have dreams for capitalist endeavors it’s going to be very disappointing.
In addition- My cousin Tiny is not 300 pounds, he’s 290 and no one is going to kick anyone’s ass, but on a serious note: Why do you want the right to call a person a slur? Why is that so important to some people?