Yesterday, I was carelessly flipping through channels, trying to find something, anything, that would allow me to empty my mind for a few minutes, before refocusing on the multitude of readings and papers due for any/all of the four English classes I thought it a great idea to take this semester. I needed a break… before I broke. So while flipping, I stumbled upon a Dr. Phil episode and tuned in just in time to hear a young black girl say, “I know I am Caucasian.” I was as hooked as I was stupefied. Her name is Treasure. She is sixteen. The following is the part of her story we were exposed to… because you must know there is so much more we are not privy to.
I had only missed approximately ten minutes, so unfortunately, I spent the next forty minutes or so (gotta have that commercial time) listening to one of the saddest realities I have heard. Treasure, who is as dark-skinned as I, informed all of the world who was unfortunate enough to be listening in, that she does not believe she is white, she knows she is white. She knows it in part, because every morning she wakes up, she wakes up with an amazing life and if she were black, that would not be the case. Additionally, she knows it (aside from knowing it in her blood and bones), because her ears are not black people’s big ears, her lips are “not too big or too small, but perfect,” her hair is “naturally straight” (I smelled the chemical all the way in my home; but who am I?) and, her body is very much like Kim K’s, who has the perfect body (it is not and she does not). Another tell-tale sign for Treasure that she is in fact not as afflicted with blackness as we, is that she speaks very well (she does) and she does not behave like us. She called black people “hood rats, fat, ugly, niggers, losers and hoodlums.” She said Hallie Berry and Lupita were “hood rats, disgusting and ugly” and the only reason they were ever name “Most Beautiful” was because black people needed a “token.” She said all of us were criminals and all end up incarcerated. She has contacted the KKK, says she would be honored to attend their meetings and look forward to the day they send her a hood. She says Trump is the best president ever.
She is sixteen. And, she is in such a crisis (although, according to her, we are the delusional ones and the ones who should seek help).
As I listened to this young lady, I vacillated between wanting to hug the stupid out of her and wanting to fuck her up! But, I quickly realized… she is already quite fucked up! I, like all of the audience, watched and listened with my mouth hanging open and my skin crawling. I spent the entire show wondering just what went wrong and who was responsible for the brokenness and crisis this young woman was in. Because I, like most who would experience her, find it necessary to ‘blame’ someone or something. The alternative, that this is just who she is, invites the thought that, without a cause, she is beyond repair. If we cannot blame the go-to, parents, her social circle, some kind of physical or emotional abuse committed on her by a black person, colonization, something we can identify, address and fix, then we are left with a severely damaged young lady, unleashed onto an as-yet unsuspecting world. And here’s the thing, this world, our world does not need one more person, especially a black person and one young enough to have many years left, spewing more hatred at us. We are already struggling under the weight of a hate that has spanned generations and one that buckles our backs and dents our souls. We do not need those vessels of hate to consume what should be one of our own and unleash her back onto us. We need her voiced raised in solidarity with ours. Not against ours.
Something happened to this young lady. And sadly, something will continue to happen to her as long as her damage is not reversed. I am sickened by what I heard. I am devastated with what I am left to feel. I realize it is so easy to hate her. But, why bother? She so clearly already hates herself.