Before you freak out, please read this entire blog. Thank you.
Before we got into the whys and hows about this blog let me just tell you a little experience I had on MySpace a few years back. I’ve always been an ardent supporter of gay rights. I’ve attended PRIDE rallies, I’ve volunteered my time, spent my money, and have been engaged in the gay community for nearly 20 years. A couple of years ago, I was on MySpace and read a blog about gay marriage and the blogger was looking to rally other gay people for blog protest. I commented on that blog and said that you don’t have to be gay to support the cause. I feel everyone has a right to love and be loved regardless of your lifestyle. His return comment made my heart hit the floor: Well, Regina, saying lifestyle is offensive because it denotes choice. I had no choice in being gay. WHAT? Is it possible that I – a practically card carrying member of the Pride Parade – OFFENDED a gay man? I have more gay friends than anyone I know! I’ve done a lot to advance equality and I’ve put my money where my mouth is and here I am offending someone.
What does this have to do with why I feel bad for white people? Our social climate has changed and is continuing to evolve. We have many people of mixed ethnicity and many more who are in interracial relationships. Just going back to 1964, there were still 9 states where Jeff and I couldn’t legally be married! As we grow and change to accommodate our changing world what we label ourselves change as well. We were black, Black, Negro, African-American, Black American, and Colored. Different regions will denote different preferences. There was a big movement this year to have Negro removed from the Census forms but we still have the United Negro College Fund. Call someone colored now and take offence but we still have the NAACP and that CP still means Colored Persons. The Black Community is MY community but if I was not in the community I would be baffled by these idiosyncrasies as well.
But the shifts in the paradigm don’t end there. As I mentioned earlier, we have an exponential growth of people of mixed ethnicity. It was mulatto, then mixed, then biracial, then multi-ethnic, and now who knows! Paula Patton just said that biracial is offensive. As a person of multiple ethnicities I feel like I can’t keep up! How are white people keeping up?
Even white people with the best of intentions, like my intention to support the gay community, will have a hard time finding out what is the right way to approach us. I know that Jeff has asked me questions and my first reaction was WHAT but once I settled in and let him ask and looked at it from his perspective it was never his intention to say something wrong he just wanted to know more.
April is Confederate History Month in Virginia. I think it would have been more palatable to have Civil War History Month or something that didn’t evoke a connotation of white supremacy. I DID NOT WRITE THAT THIS WAS A WHITE SUPRMACIST THING. I wrote that I wish it didn’t FEEL that way. Again, I felt bad for white people. We have Black History Month, BET, Black Power t-shirts, Starz in Black and the list goes on and on. With our ever changing social dynamic, I have to ask is it fair that we can have all that but if you wear a White Power t-shirt, write Stuff White People Like, or have Confederate History Month should it still FEEL wrong?
We are discussing it tonight on the show at 10pm ET. Call in to discuss it live at 646.716.8825 or feel free to leave your comments below and please, be mature about what you post.