Other Scripts: رشيد (Arabic), راشد (Arabic)
Means "rightly guided" in Arabic.
Behind the Name (have you used this? Goddamn, you didn't even know you needed it)
Oh irony of ironies.
You see, I may have mentioned before, but for a short period of time I had a white step father. I pretty much blame him for everything I have against, psychologically, against relationships between white men & black women. Let's just say he did a lot of dumb shit and turned out to be emotionally abusive, yet still manages to be in my mother's life. I just kind of
hope he dies send threatening letters plan elaborate murder plots like a James Bond villain pretend he's dead. He's dead in my mind. We're fucking done professionally. During the course of this post you will come to the realization that I. DON'T. LIKE. HIM.
But this isn't about him, really. See, in his former life, Rashid (or as I called him, Rashid W) went by the simple whitey name of Gene. I never figured out what was Gene's problem, but after a really dramatic & painful scene in which he left my mother, he went away to Nebraska & married a younger black woman and proceeded to become even more, if you'll forgive the phrase, fucking crazy than he was. I mean Arkham-esque.
So fuck all that. Mommy still keeps in contact with him on & off when he's not off being a goddamn case, I have no idea why considering what he did to her, but that's a different story. So he starts sending her emails signed "Rashid". Wondering what the fuckhead was up to, as it turns out Gene has converted to Islam.
So, when we knew him, he was Presbyterian. Then he was just Christian, then Baptist, then Mormon (I was already pretty atheistical, so...fucking Mormon though? AUGHH). So at this point I'm like, pick a lane, pick a team, or join my side and give up.
But I decided to make Rashid W useful and launch a post about more important things. And so, welcome to the second, relevant half of the post! I should mention that it's going to contain generalizations & my US-centric point of view.
I am sooo bothered when I see white people converting to Islam.
See, I'm an atheist so I really shouldn't care, but I'm also black so I care about everything. When I was but a wee tot I remember hearing that Christianity was the "white man's" religion, I think that's actually something Malcolm X alluded to (I'm afraid to google it)? But in any case I always thought that was kind of stupid considering I don't think it was Chad and Ross (Ross is my new "white guy name", don't ask) out there getting stoned and eaten by lions & shit.
But that was then, now when I say "Christian" it kind of depends, but I see some white dude, then I start lol'ing. But when I say Islam I'm pretty damn sure however you view Islam, you're seeing right...now...a person of color in some state, maybe a covered woman, maybe a man in a turban (why are you seeing this? Why?!)
So like I said, it just irks the hell out of me when I hear about white people converting to Islam. I feel suspicious--why are you converting to Islam? Do you truly believe in it? Do you know the history of Islam? But if that's what you want to dedicate yourself to then great...but...why? When I heard the news about Rashid W I just thought to myself, "Wow can people of color have nothing?"
I feel the same way about Buddhism, but I can explain that--every white person I've seen convert to Buddhism is some hipster white kid that's soooo ooovveeer western philosophy. Same thing with Taoism. Just eye rolling.
And naturally I'm not bothered at all by people of color changing from Christianity to _____, but I've noticed that I feel some tinge of apprehension when people of color convert to Christianity. First off, I think of slaves in America being "converted" to the "goodness" of Christianity, and the fact that modern day Christianity DOESN'T LIKE YOU, also...yeah I'm an atheism, religion baffles me anyway. Also something else for another day.
So to wrap this up, I just feel like this sudden conversion is...insincere considering Rashid's habit of religion-hopping. It doesn't seem like anything is going to make him happy, not that I give a fuck about his happiness. I think thta's the way I feel in generally when I hear about Ross changing his name to...something. It never feels sincere to me, even if it is (and I admit more often than not it probably is). It's probably just my paranoia & mistrust talking to me again.
July 20, 2009