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What Exactly Does It Mean To Act White?

When I was younger, one or two ignorant black people in my school, would accuse me of acting like a white person. I didn’t get it then, and I sure don’t get it now.

It all seemed to stem from the fact that I wanted to learn, and I had no time for shiftless idiots, who’s favourite pastimes included playing truant from school. There was no way that was ever gonna happen, that’s just not the way I was raised.

My mother was a nurse, who was on her way to becoming a doctor when she had me, and my father was a policeman who became became a lawyer, then started his own business in lieu of practicing law. Being an abject failure in school, and hanging out with kids past eight o’clock at night were not part of their plans for me. Speaking like an uneducated numpty was also not part of their plans for me, however, because I used proper words when I spoke, and because smoking weed when I was at high school, held no attractions for me, I was labelled a ‘square’. Seriously, moi, square! Can you Adam and Eve it??

I can’t recall the first time I was accused of acting white, but every time that accusation has been levelled at me since, it never fails to annoy the shit out of me. Mostly because to me, it seems that because I don’t speak the way some black people expect other black people to speak, I’m instantly labelled a white-wannabe.

Using ebonics or patois isn’t my thing, it never has been. If I tried either, I’d sound faker than Pamela Anderson’s tits. That’s just not who I am.

The irony is, I understand, and have more of an interest in black history, than 99% of the people who have accused me of acting white. I know more about the world, period, than 99% of those people. Quite frankly, I’m more intelligent than 99% of those people.

I want to know why some black people believe that unless you act a certain way, you’re selling out and white-washing your blackness? Who says that the ability to articulate one’s thoughts is a white-only feat? Since when is the hunger for education and the need to always strive for better, a trait that only white people are allowed to have? Seriously, what the hell?

Why have I brought up this subject, I hear you ask? Well, I was on Youtube last night, watching a Kerry Washington interview, (Love her so much) and some of the comments – mostly from (American) black men it seemed to me (There seems to be a trend here), were just so unbelievably racist. She was accused of selling out because she speaks eloquently. Yes, her diction seemed to be a problem with some folks, who accused her of faking the way she spoke in order to fit in with whites. How ridiculous are some people?

As far as I’m concerned, that right there is the kind of attitude that makes life difficult for blacks who understand that knowledge is power, and that the ability to interact with a divergent group of people on different levels is a good thing.

Rant over.