I know I'm Black, but I've never been Black enough for Black people. Tell me, how different can you be before you cross that line? Growing up I couldn’t afford the right clothes, I couldn't always keep my hairline in order, I wasn't interested in sports or rap music, the line was in there somewhere. They laughed at me, they bullied me. I was an outcast in my own community, so, my friends weren’t Black. We had no labels. Yes, I'm Black, but who cares?
All that “Blackness” didn't seem to serve my peers well, it certainly didn't salvage their graduation rates. Their priorities were out of line, it was clear that what made the Black kids Black wasn’t something that was in my best interest. So they were right, I was different. I’m an individual, I forge my own path. Eventually my individualism was noticed by my high school's Republicans. This club was my first introduction to politics given my family was never particularly political and at first I didn't care much for the low tax talk and whatever other fiscal policies they were promoting at the time. It was the individualism that spoke me. Individual liberty and personal accountability.
It didn’t really bother me that there weren’t any other minorities in the room because I left those labels behind. I was there as me. In fact I opened up to them about how the Black kids treated me and they told me it’s because they’re Liberals - if everyone isn’t the same the whole thing falls apart, individuals aren't welcome. They told me that Black people like to play the victim, playing the race card and using identity politics to point fingers at White people when really they’re the biggest threat to themselves. From Black on Black crime to single parent households, the wounds were self inflicted, and that’s exactly how the Democrats wanted it.
I felt accepted when they told me I wasn’t like the others. They even praised me for it, and I praised them. They were individuals and I wanted to be just like them. An individual among individuals, that’s why we all think so similarly. Almost as quickly as I’d joined the club they appointed me to be their spokesperson for most social positions. Their only Black member speaking for the whole organization - now that’s respect. I was finally getting the recognition that I deserved and I carried that confidence with me into college, where after word got around about my rejection of the Black groupthink I was sought after by what seemed like every fraternity in the books (except the Black ones) and, unsurprisingly, the College Republicans.
Yet again I was confronted by my Black peers about my choices in company and affiliation. Strange twist of fate, cruel irony, whatever you want to call it, somehow they were now the ones feeling betrayed. They outlined how Conservative policy has historically damaged and continues to damage the Black community. They urged me to read Black history, pleaded with me to reconsider my positions, even dared to suggest that my friends were using me because of my skin color. Really? The only people who have ever accepted me for who I am? Unlikely.
It’s funny when the shoe is on the other foot, but really nothing ever changes. When I refused they just wrote me off, casted me out just like in high school. They’re all the same. They’re the real racists. I almost feel sorry for them and their victim syndrome. This country demands tough skin. I think about long nights and wild parties where my friends and I cracked race jokes. Looking back I definitely got the brunt of it, well between me and Tim, the only Asian guy in my fraternity, but we didn't care. Political correctness and race don’t matter. I didn’t care when they dressed up in Blackface on Halloween or when they included the n-word singing along to rap lyrics.
You wouldn’t believe how many of my Black peers tore into my friends about saying “racially insensitive” things about me or supposedly using me for a quota, a “token”, to make their beliefs appear more appealing. What they don't understand is that I don’t mind them using me as an example of a Black who doesn't care because it’s true. I’m glad they feel so comfortable around me. It’s like they don’t even see me as Black and that’s how I know I’m included.
So, have I ever been the victim of racism? I’ve had interactions with “racist” people, sure, but I’m not a “victim”. The less we talk about race, the more we ignore the racists, the quicker their ideology will disappear. That includes Black racism against White people. We can’t care about these things, if we can't let them go we’ll never move forward. If something ever did bother me, I was reminded to stop being sensitive. I know that facts don’t care about feelings and good jokes have no boundaries but admittedly at times it was hard to know where the line really was, if one existed at all.
As the years have gone by I’ve noticed that my political affiliation hasn’t really rid me of people associating things with my race. It’s been suggested that my race had something to do with my accomplishments, something that only seems to get worse with more success, but soon enough they realize that I’m not like the others. I separated myself from that community long ago. I have allegiances to no race, just people. I’m an individual.
For all this negative talk about White people they sure do love to share my quotes all over social media, often to counter the Black racists, the real racists, on the Left. Does that sound like the Party of racists to you? They love me, and racism is the opposite of love, but the last time I tried to explain this to a group of concerned Black people they responded with the most ridiculous thing - “they love you because you hate yourself, even more so because you can’t even see it.” You're all wrong, they love me because I’m an American, I’m a Conservative, and i’m an individual, just like them.