The Afronista Rants #2: Fine, I’ll Be Your Oreo

So I just finished reading a friend’s blog where she explains why she dislikes being called an Oreo.  If you have never heard this term, allow me to enlighten you.  We all know the cookie, the Oreo, two bits of hard nasty chocolate cookie covering a super sweet pre-formed circle of creme.  They are really nasty and they make your teeth black, but the point is they are white on the inside and black on the outside.

So other black people got this idea to call well-mannered, well-spoken, and well-educated black people oreos, because they, in their opinion, “sound white” and “act white.”  I’m not precisely sure what sounding and acting white means, but I’m going to base all of this on their opinions, whether I agree or not.

My whole life I’ve been referred to as an oreo, and I used to take offense to this.  After reading my friend’s blog, I think I have changed my mind.  You may call me an oreo if you so desire.  I am no longer annoyed.

As long as there is a clear separation between me and you, I am all for it.  I wouldn’t want to be confused with some gold-teeth wearing, saggy-pants, hood chick baby mama who doesn’t know that Africa is a continent and not a country.  I don’t want to be confused with someone who has several children by several different men.  I don’t want anybody to think that I have to stand in line at the food stamp office.  I want to make sure that you understand that I have a high school diploma, a college diploma and a job.

There is a huge difference between you and I.  If this neat label you have created works for you, then by all means apply it.  I’ve always been for segregation–segregation of the minds, of course, not the races.  Because I want to make sure there is a clear demarcation between what I represent and what you stand for.

This weekend, Trysh and I went to the mall in Security–I mean, Se-CURR-ity.  When we went into one of those urban stores, they were playing this song called “Bitch, I’m the Shit.”  I’m the first one to assail you with some profanities, but there is always a time to be professional.  I think blaring this at the top of the speaker volume in a store where small children might walk in is kind of a disgrace.  Because of Trysh, the dudes that worked there immediately flocked to her.  They eventually got around to me because I was looking so shocked and disgusted.

Because I’m goth, I always get the, “You’re not from around here,” bit.  I said, no, I was from Florida but I live in P.G. County.

Because I said, P. G. CounTTTTy and not P.G. CounNNNy, the two guys busted out laughing.  “Oh, you talk so proper.  Yeah, I can tell you’re not from around here.  You sound so white.”  Why is that amusing?  Why is it amusing that I should say words as they were meant to be said?  Why is this abnormal?  Why is it strange that I enjoy reading and the arts?

How do I sound white?  Don’t black people realise how stupid this statement makes them sound?  Of course they don’t.  Half the things that spew from their mouths is moronic but yet they don’t ever change their ways, now do they?  So, because I enunciate properly, I sound white, indicating that to speak like a mildly retarded four year old is to sound black.  So, basically you’re saying that anybody that speaks stupidly is black; therefore, black = stupid.  Because to me, that’s the argument you just made.  Don’t sound intelligent because you’ll sound too white.  Sound like an asshole and you’ll fit right in with the rest of the homies.  Do you even think about the things you say out of your mouth before you say them?

Why can I not simply sound educated?  I am, you know.  My parents didn’t kick out all of this money for me to come home and be like, “Yo, wassup,  moms.  I be like whoa.”

What?

But I’m supposed to be comfortable with, “Bitch, look at my wrist.”  I’m looking at your wrist.  What is it?  Oh, a watch.  Oh, I’m impressed.  You can’t spell watch, but you want me to look at your wrist?  And this is acceptable? I’m weird?

I’m confused.

When the young guys in the store asked me if I was interested in anything, I told them flatly, “Hell, no.”  Wearing jeans isn’t a symbol of being black, but the store did primarily sell jeans.  I don’t wear jeans.  But the rest of the stuff… I associate with hood life.  Gigantic oversized hoodies.  T-shirts that say PIMP.  T-shirts that say I LIKE YOUR MAN.  I don’t want to be seen in anything like that.  I want people to think I’m well-mannered, because I am and I went through a great deal of trouble to become that way.

So if I’m an oreo because I said counTTTy and not CounNNNy, I think I can accept this.  There were two girls that worked in the store.  A scrawny little thing in skinny jeans and half a shirt.  She was attractive so her manner of dress was not offensive.  It was the words spewing from her mouth.  I could hardly understand what she was saying.  She was trying to ask me if I wanted to try anything on, but all her words were a jumble, who could understand?

The other girl was a porky in skinny jeans and a half shirt.  Sad to say, she looked a mess.  After much discussion, it was discovered that these were not teenagers but young 20-somethings.  None of them were in college.  One boy didn’t even really work there.  He was just loafing.  I know that college is not for everybody.  But I hope that you have greater aspirations than working in a clothing store.  After you turn about 22, that’s no longer acceptable, unless you’re putting yourself through college, and even then, there are greater jobs to be had.

But I’m amusing because I said counTTTy.  I make more money than your parents make combined.

So, please, go ahead, and make sure you make a clear separation between you and I.  There is a huge difference.  I’ve always told my friends that I am always fearful that someone will lump me in the same group as that.  But now that we have clear-cut labels, it will be easier to discern the difference between you and I.

I can be your oreo as long as you understand.

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3 responses to “The Afronista Rants #2: Fine, I’ll Be Your Oreo

  1. First let me apologize for my run on sentences I am in a rush but I just have to respond to this I see you and I think alike when it comes to this subject
    I can talk about this ALL day long. I hate how we as blacks are expected to act a certain way. My son has dreadlocks but throws people off when he speaks. He speaks proper and listens to rock and loves Goth. My daughters also speak proper . I hate being around ignorant individuals. “why yo kids talk white?” Im like WTF is talking white?
    I love being black and would never change it But I am dissapointed in what our race (some not all) has become Our ancestors would not approve of this
    They are probably turning in their graves Let me tell you I went to the Flea Market several months ago and seen a little two year old boy with his pants sagging and people actually thought it was cute meanwhile I looked on in disbelief
    It saddens me how our race picks on a person for being smart and acting accordingly sure I may use the occasional words such as fixinto , yall, etc.
    but I know there is a time and place for everything
    Until then people like you and I can set examples for our race and hope that
    others will open their eyes and get the big picture (wishful thinking)

    Off topic but another thing that pisses me off is how you have these celebs who seem to help bring down the race (think BET) but thats another story LOL

  2. I left out out a whole sentence before the “until then” LOL thats why it makes no sense and dont even ask me what the sentence was because I accidentally deleted it.

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