Usually my posts are fun but… we need to talk about this shit. Crazy way to start off a conversation. Hi, is your boyfriend/girlfriend secretly a racist piece of garbage? If you’re a POC (person of color) and you’re dating someone who says and does messed up stuff regarding your ethnicity… you might want to keep reading. If you’re NOT a POC (person of color) and you’re dating someone who says and does messed up stuff regarding someone ELSE’S ethnicity, you should definitely keep reading too. Time and time again (especially now) there’s always been some jerk on the internet talking huge trash about [insert ethnicity here] people and you look at their profile… and they’re in a relationship?! After reading the sickening (not in a good way) comments made by this person on social media you sit there and think, “how can this person BE in a relationship?! ….they’re crazy! And racist as fuck! Who would be with them?” Well… it happens. And sometimes the person who’s WITH the crazy/secret racist doesn’t fully know who they’re with. Or worse yet, they know, but they don’t want to see it (cause who wants to believe in the worst of someone when they love them right?). Some hold onto hope that maybe they can change this person, others just try to ignore it as best they can to get on with their lives. But I’ll tell you this… it’s not helping. Am I speaking from experience? Fuck yes, I am. I dated a racist.
I guess I should start with my own experience, maybe you can take a page from my book and see the flags so you can save yourself some grief cause let me tell you… you can’t help people that don’t think there’s anything wrong with them.
It was 2015, and I met this guy out in Grass Valley, California in one of my art classes. At first it seemed great, we made each other laugh, had fun, and talked all of the time. But then as we got into a relationship and more comfortable things got a little uncomfortable — for me. Little comments here and there, that’s how it started. Being a black woman with naturally styled hair during the new wave of natural-haired black women was simply empowering; unless your boyfriend is a racist. I remember the worst comment was when he said my hair “looked like a poodle’s ass”, and that it “wasn’t really natural because I used hair products”. And you may chuckle, but hearing that from someone who tells you that they love you, inside the place that they wanted to buy and live with you in is unforgettable and unforgivable. No fight had broken out. It was just something he’d say at random. If your significant other is talking to you like this about the way you look… that’s not love — that’s messed up.
Another time (well… multiple times), he would like make me upset by using the “n-word”. He was the type who would like to feed off of my reactions. If he were bored or pissed off at me he would say or do something to make me react in such a way that it would please him. So, he knew using the “n-word” was a trigger. We already had this HUGE talk about it, and how it wasn’t okay, and why he couldn’t say it, and that yes, it was because he was white. I didn’t really say it too often, only with a few of my close friends, and NEVER around him. Well, he “agreed” but decided to work around our new rule and say it in a different way. Instead of saying “my nigga”, he’d say “moNIKKA”… and there was really no reason to. My name is Sri, and neither of us knew anyone named Monica for it to even come out casually. It wasn’t slipped into conversation. He’d just say it. “What’s up, moNIKKA” — just like that. And I knew what he was doing so I immediately said “you need to cut that out!” and he’d just laugh. There was true joy in his eyes watching me suffer in little ways like that. He never stopped by the way. Always said that he would, and how sorry he was, and that he’d stop being an asshole. But then, he’d get bored or pissed off at me for whatever reason that day and do it again. That’s just how he was.
Other times he made racist and homophobic comments about my friends who were all pretty much brown and gay. It was so odd how he’d smile and be so polite when I introduced them to him. However, when we were alone, he’d go off about them on some weird rant like being a POC (person of color) and gay was the worst thing you could possibly be. I would tell him that being a POC and gay was fine… unless they ran into someone saying some shit like THAT, then there would be a problem. He could smile and greet my friends to their faces and then rant about how “black and loud” they were when we left (and then mention how Trump would be great for this country). I didn’t tell any of my friends what he said about them (cause they’d whoop his ass and) because I was full blown ASHAMED. I’m still ashamed that this guy was ever around me and in my life. How could I be with someone who says stupid, racist shit all of the time? And one would ask “yeah seriously? Why didn’t you leave?” The same reason you haven’t or didn’t for a while… I loved him blindly and sincerely believed that I could turn him around. It didn’t work.
Another instance was when he made another type of off the cuff remark about how he couldn’t be racist cause he was dating me. WRONG. Dead wrong. Racists have been known to keep someone of color around to make themselves look good or non threatening. Dangling them in front of their friends and family members like a “get out of racist jail free” card. They could say whatever they wanted, but they “can’t be called racist because their best friend is black”, or “because their girlfriend is black” etc. And yet he would always compare my beautiful brown skin to something ugly or disgusting (I’ll let your imagination do the rest… I’m triggered as fuck). I could never be black and proud around him. It was like me being happy to be black was a pressure point for him. Any sense of pride I had about my blackness he’d snatch it away in a second. If your significant other won’t even LET YOU be your amazing colorful self in peace and happiness… you need to leave them alone. Yes, some people can change (with a lot of help), but you have to take care of yourself. If you wish to stay and help this person out, know that they weren’t born that way, they were conditioned. I found out about his family and did some digging — well, let me tell you.
After meeting his family I quickly gathered that the main cause of this behavior was his parents. The mother was a sweetheart, dad was well… not so great. With the mom not standing up to whatever the dad said and did, he pretty much ran the household instilling his not-so-idealistic “ideals” into this child who grew up with them in his mind. He always told me he didn’t want to be like his father, and then he’d act just like him right afterwards. It was a strange thing to behold, but as a loving person I tried to stick it out and help him get better by trying to teach him (repeatedly). In the end it cost me greatly, but I’m just glad I got out in time. So, seeing where it started and seeing how it all lined up really opened my eyes to everything. If you’ve met your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s family and they all look at you like you’re an alien, chances are you’re the first POC that they’ve dated. And chances are, there’s going to be some strange comments you have to laugh off at the dinner table. When dating someone outside of your own race it’s always a little strange. They do things differently than you, they have different ways of communicating, different types of inside jokes etc, and that’s all fantastic! That’s how you grow. You need to meet people who are different than you so you get a broader understanding of the world and of yourself.
For those of you who are reading this and feel like your special someone might not be so special anymore — leave that person. Right now is the best time break away from hateful people (yay new President!). You deserve to be happy and what ever ethnicity you are LOUDLY and PROUDLY. If your significant other makes fun of your beautiful natural hair… you don’t need a haircut, you need to cut them off! If your mate tells you that your skin color reminds them of something disgusting… it’s time to leave. If being who you are ethnically is a fucking joke to them… they don’t love you and you deserve the real thing.
This kind of behavior isn’t just reserved for your lover… ohhh no. Your FRIENDS too. Oh yes! Your friend might be a racist piece of shit as well. Again (unfortunately), I am speaking from personal experience. A few years ago I moved in with my best friend in the Bay Area and it was going well for a while, and then.. it got weird. Little things, little comments here and there like, “hey I’m cooking chicken, should I fry it?”. And I’m half dead on the couch from being at work all day saying, “I don’t give a fuck… I’m hungry”. OR other times where he’s making Kool-Aid (people still drink that nasty shit?) and telling me about it as if I’m supposed to get excited or something. Letting his friends try and grab for my hair? As the BEST FRIEND of a BLACK WOMAN… you know that’s a big fucking no-no. But he stood by and watched.. and laughed. It was disgusting. Who is this person that I’ve been calling my friend for years?
I would tell our mutual friend and he would be livid for me as I’m sitting there saying “oh he didn’t mean it like that”. And of course my friend would ask “well then, how did he mean it?” and I’d have no answer. We both knew what it was, but I wasn’t in a position to do too much about it. The fact that I had no where to go at the time, and was new to the area, I felt isolated. He was the only person I knew and he knew it. Used it. Then there was this… terrifying Christmas card. It was “left behind by the previous owner” (yeah okay) of a black child with red lips and he HANDED IT TO ME …the fuck am I supposed to do with this (besides burn it)? Not only did it hand it to me, he tried to have me keep it. It was “given” to me about three times before I finally said “get that shit away from me”. In the end, I ditched him too. Our mutual friend blocked him before I could even start to tell him that I was no longer friends with the racist Christmas card giver. We call him Voldemort just to laugh about it now, but it wasn’t really funny back then. Your friend shouldn’t be making racist jokes at you, or handing you racist Christmas cards (in the middle of Summer btw). Friends wouldn’t let their friends try and grab at your hair so they can “feel the texture” when they know it’s one of the biggest taboos in Black Women Herstory. That’s now how a real friend acts.
As awful as this is, it’s the ones who are closest to you that hurt you the most. They’re comfortable with you. It starts off as little comments here and there. Small cuts so you can’t feel the damage until you feel drained. Stand your ground no matter WHO it is. Yes, it’s painful, but it’s better than dying a little bit every single day and wondering why this person is being this way. You need to stand up for your right to be who you are ethnically, and your right to be proud instead of being oppressed. If you have a sinking feeling every time you’re with this person, they’re not the person you need to be around. Helping them can work, but leaving them works better. And even if you’re not a POC (person of color), as you can clearly see, this affects people and it’s wrong. Yes, you may love them but aren’t you embarrassed to be with this person? Don’t they shame you every time you’re out with your friends and they say some weird racist comment and you have to switch topics as fast as possible so it doesn’t break out into a full blown and very uncomfortable conversation? Or what about that friend of yours that always takes their jokes just a little too far? The one you don’t like to bring around your POC (people of color) friends or any non-bigoted person? Yeah, it might not effect you per se, but it’s still wrong. Period. You don’t need to be a part of that.
Time to clean house.
Let all that gross ass energy out! Blegh! Or should I say *grabs mic* BLLLLEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you can find your own pathway to happiness and all that good shit!