January 30, 2010

Uppity bitch

This is the story of a little girl who tried to be like everyone else.

(me. it's me)

No this is a blog post while my nails dry, the story of my life will have to wait.

So lately I've not really been writing the entries I should/want to write because I haven't felt much like it. Class and campus have devoured my living soul once again.

You're wondering about the title aren't you?

Let's start with a real story this time.

I have Astronomy I Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's probably the most basic class I've ever taken thus far and I'm really not going to whine about being "challenged" anymore at this point.

In any case, it's an auditorium class and therefore huge, full of students, full of nice warm bodies which is good for the winter. Also in the class is an older black gentleman who sits in the front. I was first aware of this man while I was sitting opposite of him on the other side of the room--I heard his voice. He asked the prof a question--not a dumb question or anything, just some clarification. Fine.

The folks behind me snickered. They kept making comments every time the man said something and I decided that rather than deal with passive racism, next class I'd just move somewhere else.

The man's voice--no, I won't tell you, it doesn't matter. Next class period I moved to the front row and I think I accidentally took the man's seat but he moved to a larger desk that I believe is usually set aside for students with disabilities although anyone can use it really (the class is arranged like a theatre, the big desk/table is a standalone near the door). So not a problem, or so I hope. I was already to take notes and everything and as the lecture rolled along the man asked questions, laughed at the prof's jokes, joked back with him, such things like that. It should have been fun.

But...it wasn't for me at first. My cheeks burned and I started wondering why the man couldn't just be quiet. He was so...so...

I was so embarrassed by him and I couldn't believe it.

This continued on for a couple more class periods until I had my usual epiphany. In this case I fell asleep in class, partly because I was genuinely tired and partly because I didn't want to hear the gentleman speak anymore. After about 5-10 minutes I reckon (it's a 2 hour class) I finally woke up and carried on taking notes as normal and the man was still talking & asking questions, suddenly I didn't feel so embarrassed anymore.

First off, our astro prof kinda fails at that whole explaining thing. Second, it's not like astronomy is ridiculously easy or anything. Third, why the hell am I being embarrassed?

I used to figure, well, what one negro does reflects on me and makes me look bad. Never vice versa. Why? Why on earth am I holding other black folks to some ridiculous standards? Can't we just carry on and be human too? Not all of us are interested in paying attention to/living up to Whitey's standards.

When did I become such an uppity bitch?

I spent so much of my life trying to be that DIFFERENT negro (no wonder I became the safe one) and justify my own existence I suppose I expect everyone to go through the same pains I do/did. My old mantra of "I don't give a fuck what you think, bitch!" came back hard and I could fully enjoy class again. I can do what I want. Who am I to police the behaviors of other POC? How disgusting.

This is the story of a little girl who tried to be like everyone else.

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