Sunday, July 09, 2017

Oreo Has Left The Building

Its happened again...I'm 30 years out from leaving Montbello High School, and I swore I wouldn't let myself feel like this again.

But here I am, back to the Oreo of old.

Long story short, I belonged to a Facebook group about food, started by a person I knew in high school. Mostly, pictures of food and recipes are standard posts, but occasionally a question about food is posed for others to chime in an opinion. Sometimes the questions are about Black food and culture, but today it was even more specific - are there foods that White people cook better than Black people?

The responses were not unexpected for this Oreo.

Back then, as I do now, I lived in a world where I wasn't "Black enough" for my own people and, well...a person who didn't belong with White people because of her Blackness. I enjoy all kinds of foods, but I prefer Italian. I listen to most kinds of music, but I'm still a Durannie at heart and will most likely pick Barenaked Ladies over Kanye every day. I didn't reject the advances of boys/men based on whether they were the same race as me or not - they got rejected because they were jerks, not my equal, or just not attractive to me. I married a man who made me laugh, was my intellectual equal, was kind and loving, and happened to be blond and blue-eyed. That last part - not a prerequisite.  And I was recently told that I had that last "prerequisite" in high school...that I rejected Black guys for White guys. Huh. I think I remember dating exactly 1 guy...he was Mexican.

But, I digress. I watched as people responded. Most answered "nothing." There was one "air." Someone actually put down a food. Then one person said they didn't know because they had never eaten "White people food." Man. I finally answered there were a lot of things and, as a matter of fact, my husband can cook the shit out of soul food. And then I left the group.

After I unfollowed and left the group, I thought I should have said that no group makes a food better than any other group. But then, that wasn't the point for me. It was a reflection, an opinion, on my choices. And not a very good opinion. Someone had said White people might be able to make a version of Black foods, but it would not be the same or better, ever. That made me angry. My man, with all of his imperfections, does everything. He cooks, he cleans, he parents, he loves me for who I am, with all my imperfections. Who are you people to say, because he is White, that he is less-than? In any respect? And that I am less, because I chose him?

There is a line between Black pride and being the racist you profess to fight against. I refuse to participate, especially when I get to look into a set of blue eyes, a set of brown eyes like mine, and a set of coffee-colored eyes that are a perfect mix of the two of us.

This Oreo has left the building.


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