Allow me to introduce myself. I’m High-Yella. Half-breed. Heinz 57. Mutt. But, growing up I was most often just “White Girl”.
My dad is 3/4 Black, descending from slavery. I was raised Black, even by my “White” mom. Dare I say “especially” by my mom. I always felt, and resonated with, Black. Unfortunately, I’m insanely light-skinned. Fine, frizzy hair. Or, if you ask the Black girls in school, it was “good hair”. That was always curious to me. I always wished my hair was more like theirs.
All (literally, all) of the White girls I was ever around loved me. They thought I was pretty, were envious of my skin tone, admired my intelligence, loved my language and my sense of humor. If they had a race-related thought at all it would be that it was cool to be hanging out with a (even if only kinda) Black girl. But, I liked the Black girls. They were “real”, as I saw it. They’re from where I’m from, their language was like mine, they looked like I did. They danced like me.
But, they saw something completely different when they looked at me. It was like I was in that episode of Twilight Zone where there was a grotesquely ugly woman who went under for plastic surgery and came out beautiful, except everyone else had the characteristics she had originally and were aghast at how ugly she now was. I talk “White”. I look “White”. I definitely danced like a White girl. From all that I’ve gathered through the years, there are few things more deplorable to be than a White girl. And I was a White girl.
White people are soft. Indeed I was. I would do anything to avoid a fight. I remember spending recess and time after school with teachers, helping them grade papers and what-not, to avoid having to face some of the girls who had it out for me. I don’t communicate that way, and I don’t understand it enough to interpret it, either.
I gathered it was also not good to be too nice or generous, as I was. I figure it’s because White people are fakes. No one is that nice all the time. I don’t think my kindness would have weighed so heavily against me if it were the only thing I had against me, but it was only one of many. I might could learn to fight, and maybe I could quit using White language with some practice (I got plenty of feedback on the daily), but I fear I’m going to be stuck with this little nuance.
How could we explain this disdain? How could it be that Black girls loathed me for reasons that, if listed, would sound like innocence and sweetness incarnate (more or less)? Maybe I was goofy or something and didn’t truly deserve being liked. To account for this, we’ll be safe and just focus on the starkness of the contrast between Black and White girls’ impressions of me.
I believe this is just one of the myriad manifestations of the disgraces that plague Black history, that has now grown to be a cancer in itself. I realize this is a simple case of “we hate what we’re not”. I know of a lot of us get uncomfortable with how we feel about ourselves in the company of other people who have qualities we feel are lacking in ourselves. But, depending on your mind-set, you may have a different emotional reaction. Depending on who you are, you’ll respond differently to this emotional response.
An emotionally evolved person would see others’ blessings and experience feelings of love, gratitude, appreciation. The emotionally evolved person would feed from the positive aspects of an experience and use it to enforce hope and other emotions that promote happiness. Being one with your own emotions, you protect yourself from cancerous negativity. You have seen how tiring they are. So very consuming! Negative emotions are expensive in so many ways.
A socially evolved person is one who has an intimate and innate connection with their social circle. Their society. They understand the entire society as a reflection of themselves, and that they themselves are a reflection of their society. A socially evolved person realizes that positivity for one serves to elevate us all. To a socially evolved person, it makes no mathematical sense for a person to be made to feel inadequate by the successes of others in their society. A socially evolved person wants contribute to the strengthening of their society and that society’s reputation, and celebrates others’ contributions. He would insist on being a good representation of that society, and would earn respect on behalf of himself and his society knowing the reputation of the society would shine on him.
An introspectively evolved person has an objective and mature perception is of who she herself is as a human being. As life. As energy. This would be a person with confidence in who they are and their innate value to The One (the grand sum total of “all of us”). When we’re introspectively evolved, we are attracted to beauty and are attracted to it, for being around light helps to uplift your own. We see strength and gravitate towards it, as we realize that will serve to strengthen ourselves.
If we are in tune with who we are in our society, when we can fathom the magnitude of the impact we each have within our society, we understand we are each significant. When this is understood, we can embrace the roles and contributions of others. Everything and everyone has their space in this world. Like a ripple in the water, the effects of each of our actions affect an area that spans out much further from the pebble that caused it.
Realization of and appreciation for the magnificent beings of light we are, if it’s a new frame of mind, starts as a learned habit. If we’re not accustomed to seeing the beauty of ourselves, we’ve got to fake it ’til we make it. Because, no matter who you are, you have beauty to respect. Honor yourself. For, only when you can honor the beauty of yourself can you honor the beauty of another.
Perhaps we could start in this simple way:
Imagine talking to a psychologist all day when you’re having your self-talk. If we find ourselves saying something that a psychologist would pick us apart for, and we’ll know what that is, we’ll see where we need to adjust our ways of thinking to allow for more happiness, clarity, and productivity in our lives. Just imagine explain wanting to inflict harm on a person for reasons she’ll wrap up as:
- He has a nicer car than you
- She “took” your boyfriend
- She thinks she’s “all that”
- You want to build a reputation for yourself
- Someone caused not-threatening problems (e.g. stepped on your shoes)
You’d feel embarrassed to hear someone break you down that way! Only when you can be strong enough to see the honesty of those perspectives will you see the true weakness in those feelings. The self-destructive disease that is this unnecessary hate, misguided insecurity, and trying to position yourself above another by bringing them down rather than challenging yourself to raise yourself higher. You’d be ashamed to be shown that these under-evolved ways of feeling harms everyone around you. It hurts those who are made to feel they should dim their light in order to earn your approval (or avoid your hate). It hurts those who see your tendency and associate it with “your people”.
Let’s challenge ourselves to accept the beauty of the circumstances that make us aware of the areas we need improvement, growth. Be strong enough in your self-confidence to accept that we can be taught by the same people we teach. We can be lead by those we lead. And fires make action, and action increases strength. Strength is to be respected. Hiding insecurity behind anger and aggression is weakness. “Haters” are simply people who can’t find the strength to accept and improve where they’re weak. A “Hater” will always be weak. Love is what’s strong. Love is the only substance strong enough to build on. Build on. Build…
Build yourself, and therefore Us, on the emotionally nourishing ingredients that can be found in everything and everyone around you. Love, admiration, respect, appreciation, acceptance, hope, inspiration, strength, purpose. We cannot grow as a people when we are engaging in civil wars with everyone else in our own society.