A discussion of race, politics, media and the like… What I see is what you get.

There is a reason you Hate-Self…

Are you familiar with Uncle Ruckus? Ever seen a Black person with their own blue eyes? Genetically speaking, that is nearly impossible. Do you continue to spend your money in a store even after the sales associate makes it clear they think you may steal something? How about, “You are pretty for a dark-skinned girl”. Do you refuse to date a Black person (and you are Black) because “white girls/guys treat you better”? Would you move to the other side of the street if a group of dark-skinned guys was walking toward you in the city but wouldn’t think to do so if they were white? Do you dismiss any racial animous that your political party, and their henchmen, use for political gain and play on the racial fears of the majority culture but, on the other hand, call every mention of race and it’s legitimate application in politics racist AND you are Black!? Ever heard of the “Doll Test” experiment performed in the mid 1950’s where Mamie & Kenneth Clark concluded that prejudice, discrimination and segregation caused Black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self hatred? Did you know that Anderson Cooper just re-formulated that experiment and reported on it 2 weeks ago on his show and the results were basically unchanged from 60 years ago!? I could go on and on… It’s as insidious as the air we breathe. No one will admit that they “hate” themselves though. It just doesn’t make logical sense to do that. But how many times have you attributed something negative to the entire race when race really had nothing to do with it? Why do you, and I, do that? Where did it come from?

Last year I heard one of my family members say that she would never hire anyone Black to do any work on her house. “You know us. We don’t service our customers well. We are lazy and we don’t do a good job! I would just rather get the white-guys. They will do it right the first time”. I guess their ice is colder too…
I have even heard members of churches, who own businesses, say they would never deal with their own church as it relates to business. “They trifling over there and they don’t know how to take care of business. You know how Black people are…”

What we are talking about here are stereotypes. Stereotypes of a race of people that have been accepted and perpetuated for generations by the same people that are negatively affected by said stereotypes. Hence, you have been told your negative traits, as attributed to the race by those that would demean and dismiss you, you have accepted these traits as your own and will even partake in the stereotype in order to prove them right. You. Hate. Yourself.
The roots of these stereotypes are based on a mindset set by the majority culture before, during and after slavery, Jim Crow and they continue presently. Have you ever wondered what the psyche of Black people would be like without western colonialism, European imperialism, being sold and taken from their native land, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, hundreds of years of chattel slavery, lynchings & beatings, the lawful fulfillment of white supremacy, the degradation of Black philosophy, religion, culture, sexuality and psychology all done with the help of local, state and federal laws meant to reinforce one skin color over another. No wonder we suffer with this problem. It reminds me of Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary lecture I heard once where she discusses PTSD (Post Traumatic SLAVE Disorder…not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. S/N: is there a difference between these two? That’s another discussion for another time). Self-hate is no accident. And neither was it’s implementation. It’s about time we recognize it in ourselves and in those around us… Time to call it out!

Leave a comment and share your instances of personal or public self-hatred…


2 responses

  1. greeneyedandblack

    Are green or grey eyes as nearly genetically impossible as blue? If so, I would like to invite you to the next reunion of my family. How tired am I of being asked if I wear contact lenses? I always, always wonder why that matters to anyone, especially strangers. Why is changing hair color not questioned as frequently as changing eye color? There are other indicators of self hatred. Please remember everyone is welcomed to purchase colored contact lenses, not only Black people.

    June 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    • ablackmanjr5

      Actually, genetically speaking, Black people with green or grey eyes, while not as common as brown, are seen with regularity in my family as well. I would also agree that changing hair color, as well as eye color, can be a symptom of self-hatred. My point in the blog post was to raise the point that to change your eye color to one that is NOT seen in Black people, to me, screams of self-loathing. I could make the same point with hair color or hair straightening but that was too easy. I was trying to bring out some much talked about and some not so talked about issues surrounding this issue. I would also mention that you are right that other people can buy colored contact lenses but the context of those people changing their eye color is not the same as Black people changing to an eye color not seen in Black people and is, genetically, almost impossible… I thank you and appreciate you for your comment…

      June 7, 2010 at 2:20 am

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