In every Black person there is the potential to be a very cancerous cloud welling up in there chest.
I feel it in my chest to. Sometimes it climbs up my throat and into the back of my mind, and grips my brain. It forces me to doubt myself; to look at my current failures and equate them to my very identity, an identity I did not have control over in the first place. It meddles with my judgment, consequentially lowering my performance in almost anything I do. It operates like a cloud that’s been hovering over my head since birth but its vice is rooted within my psyche like a virus.
Self inflicted anti-blackness is a real thing that effect real people at an alarming level. The seeds are planted at birth unavoidably, as racism is an unavoidable thing for a person of color, especially a Black person in the U.S. It’s been written about in books like The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, where a young black girl associates beauty with “whiteness” and wishes she had blue eyes.
But of course it goes farther than that in the real world. Honestly I feel like I could write a whole book about this because it is actually a huge part of my life, and the largest way I experience racism. The most important point to me is education right now.
Every academic failure, every mediocre test result, every wrong answer on anything, I chalk up to me being Black. This was before I turned 17 where I officially became woke and my third eye opened, but even now I struggle with that demon inside me that suggest that maybe the whites are right. Maybe I, the monkey boy, am simply not apt for any sort of intellectual pursuit. Maybe my mind is operating at a lower level genetically than my white peers. How would a simpler minded person like me know that I’m actually stupid? Do mentally handicapped people know that they are mentally handicapped? Does a frog know it’s a frog and could never comprehend the concept of a smartphone?
Really, you could inundate me with evidence from either side, but my strongest argument for myself is that either way, I know that I am a human being, a homo-sapien with a spinal chord and nerves, and I can do anything I want if I try hard enough. I know within myself lies a potential that could rival any sort of status or prowess a white person may attain. This alone is enough for me to build a foundation for myself to fight that anti-black demon.
But I know many of my fellow brothers and sisters fight this same demon. Those who are not keen on the history of Black people, who do not understand how at every turn we’ve been overwhelmed or shunned or used and how we as a civilization were not able to approach our full potential, those who have been brain-washed by the American education system, would look around and find reason to believe that anti-black demon.
They would ask why we haven’t built anything, or why Africa is in the state it is now. They would ask why there is so much violence in the Black community and not in the poor white community. They would see white people performing well at everything they do on the TVs they sit in front of all day. They’d see white people as the paradigm of excellence.
As a pragmatic person, long ago I said “Fuck all that noise.” But as I read up on our history I didn’t have to blindly run though that miasma of negativity.
Plus, I had no real reason to think I was inferior to my white peers. It’s a hollow point to make because it implies that me being excellent at something means that every Black person is excellent, or that they need to be excellent to be seen as equal, because they don’t. But I’m going to say it anyway. I dominated all the way up through middle school, hard. I’m talking if there was a C or too many B’s on my report card I would cry. I had such an intellectual confidence; I believed I was going to be invited to a Mensa meeting in the future just because of how well I was doing with no effort.
I’m not performing well at all now really, but there’s a Black astronaut and really I don’t care what anyone thinks of me academically, unless it’s about my writing, which I consistently get high marks on.
I could get into creativity as another validating variable but that’s defeating my whole purpose. That idea that another race of people are lesser than yours is barbaric, and a Black person should not have to feel like everything they are doing is being scrutinized by judgmental racist.
What’s my conclusion? If you’re Black or a poc; keep working on loving yourself because your worth is completely contingent on you. If you’re white: don’t be an asshole.