Self-hate is a serious problem and it can’t be ignored any longer. I think that it is one of the most difficult problems to actually confront because there are sooo many factors at play. It doesn’t help that those who do have this outlook refuse to acknowledge it. Even upon reading this many will pick out and argue any little detail as if they are trying to aid an internal slave master that lives in their conscious. A lot of black people I’ve personally talked to have been and continue to be very confrontational about even the idea of race regardless the music or lifestyle the person participates in.
By: Yumii from The Breathing Light
I’ve touched on the subject and given examples and other times when talking about it I’ve gone more in detail but, it keeps coming up. It’s an epidemic that is constantly growing. Self-hating people find security in connecting with others who confirm and share their confusion. As for black rockers, many of them gravitated to Rock N’ Roll as an escape from being black, an escape from their families, communities and environments. If there’s any place to find a massive amount of Self-Hating black people it is in Rock N' Roll. When talking to other black rockers it’s not hard to see whether or not the person carries these feelings and how deep they run.Everybody seems to have some form of internalized hate within them but everybody’s levels and aspects of it are different. For some people it may be directed at all black people dictating who they hang out with and the colors, tones and features those people should have, where they choose to live or shop, who they choose to date and what schools, functions and events they choose to attend. For other people the hate might be directed at themselves, at their appearance i.e. hair texture and/or skin color. Maybe it is all of these factors all at once. The fact is that there is a problem. I continue to meet these people, either at shows or online or through other friends. I think that the way things work in our society this is bound to happen. Really most of us started out this way but eventually embraced who we are. There are some though who don’t make it that far.
There are a lot of factors that make up this type of attitude. With the people I’ve met initially it starts with some kind of conflict with black people. Sometimes it may be a family member or friend who had been hurt or abused them to the point where they associate that pain with all black people. Some people I’ve met who were born out of an interracial relationship only see themselves as the other ethnicity and reject their blackness. Other times I’ve had people tell me about relationships they’ve had with other black people that ended badly. The pain/hurt that they have from that person is also carried around and applied to all black people. For some the things that turn them away have to do with problems in the black community. Not wanting to associate themselves with negative aspects of the community along with victim blaming and buying into stereotypes. Some just don’t like the idea of being black at all for no reason. Sometimes the Self-Hate we have is passed down from our parents and family members. Lots of Parents teach their kids to only date white or lighter skinned people. Some Self-Hate we have is picked up from our peers and public figures. “Red Bones” are constant phrase in rap that are used to describe desired lighter skinned women as well as the whole team dark skinned, team light skinned conflict. Believe it or not people still rely on seasons to date based on complexion. For others it maybe more complicated than anything listed above. For many black kids going to a majority black school A lot of times there’s some kind of conflict directed at you because you are just a little bit different. Other kids are able to pick up on this easily and call you out for it. This type of torment is an everyday thing that no matter what you do or where you go there is no avoiding it. One thing I noticed about being different is that it sticks. You can change the clothing you wear and the schools you attend but it will follow you because it’s something you can’t change. So, you end up resenting the things that your tormentors enjoy their fashion, their music and everything that makes them different from you. On a bigger scale you reject what society deems fit for black people. For many of us this was the push that guided us to other shit. Some of us let that pain go but many of us are still holding on to it. Many of us are confused about race and how it relates to who we are as individuals.
Upon coming into other subcultures that are either diverse or primarily white, race becomes a confusing subject for many. For many black kids coming into punk rock it is their first introduction to politics not talked about in schools. As a black person who has rejected everything that is black and embraces everything that isn’t your friends become those who do the same. Birds of a feather will surely flock together. For most white people in subcultures race is really foreign to them. Also because of guilt many white people refuse to look at past atrocities that involved white participation and passed down benefits. Anything race related is then seen as an attack on all white people. Many don’t know how to deal the issue and the guilt that comes along with it. In turn shunning any knowledge of what racism is or how it works. As a result of this, the concept of race isn’t a subject that is taught and expanded on in general education so most people believe that our society is by default, equal. We are all taught that when the Civil Rights movement ended so did racism. So, to a lot of white kids the face of racism is back in 1950s Jackson, Mississippi or in a small town in Alabama somewhere or non-existent because of Obama. On the flip-side a new trend is that any black person who brings race to the forefront are automatically listed as reverse racist because of course “racism goes both ways”. This is very wrong and light years away from the truth. If you are a black person who rejects all things black and embraces everything that isn’t, this confusion on race goes hand in hand with your rejection to it.
I continually hear black people tell me that as black people we all need to stop playing the victim. I’ve been told that there is no such thing as race. White people have the authority to tell black people what is wrong with the black community as long as it is true as well as control the definition of racism. A lot of times I’ve gotten the “we are the ones to blame” rhetoric. We bring all of our problems on to ourselves because we are the only ones doing the dirt. We are the ones selling drugs to each other. We are the ones perpetration ALL the violence. To them by observing how black people are portrayed on television they have concluded that black people in all are lazy, ignorant, dumb and promiscuous with the exception of themselves. Many self-hating black people attain positions of power or access through affirmative action but since deny that it had anything to do with their raise in those areas. Many of these same people believe that all playing fields are equal worldwide and there is no need to help the community because aside from them blacks are delinquent and pathological. While walking down the street some may even cross it to avoid other black people because they look “scary”. Many of them believe that there is such a thing as reverse racism. Some constantly bring up the fact that we were sold into slavery by other Africans implying an unrealistic 21st century morality on people from another time. For many African kingdoms slavery helped finance and expand their empires. The more wars and conflict while expanding the more captives turned over to Europeans as slaves. Not only that, it also seems questionable if they had any idea of any racial systems at work in America and if so what did It mean to their empires in Africa? Most of these ideas and rhetoric are parrot echoes of old racist ideologies pass on from generations of old white people to young white people to their black friends.
In a lot of social situations where race comes up in topic Self-Hating black people will basically sacrifice themselves or others to keep everybody comfortable. These people become white apologist at the drop of a dime desperately seeking acceptance from their white peers. Politically correctness is frowned upon. It becomes clear that everybody can laugh at a racist joke or two or three or four…. without guilt. White privilege is turned up on 10 to the point where even the black people feel like they have some. You become the token black friend every one claims to have in order to prove they aren’t racist. White people wish that more blacks were like you. They believe that you get where they are coming from and that you understand their sense of humor. They can be open and frank about this black person who pissed them off last week by cutting them off on the expressway. Even if they use slurs to describe this person its ok because their sure you would say the same thing in their position. Everybody is racist to some degree, right? You unlike other blacks are able to forget the past and be similar to the Obama slogan and move forward. Of course everybody can identify with Obama because he is you all’s savior and a sure sign of a post racial America. If you don’t have any form of self-respect, knowledge of race as a system or knowledge of self then this becomes normal behavior widely acceptable.
History has proven that many of our people have been used as pawns to further our oppression. Yes Africans did help Europeans enslave other Africans for more money, power and land. Sometimes in order to save their own communities from Europeans they worked with them to help enslave. In slavery there were black overseers and other black slaves who not only helped beat and catch runaway slaves but also helped put down slave rebellions. The same slaves captured and sold would later come back to as soldiers aiding in the colonization of Africa. During slavery there were “freed people of color” who saw equality with whites by owning slaves and plantations. These people along with whites saw blacks as subhuman even if it were one of their own parents. During colonialism many Africans viewed their imperial occupier countries as mother countries with no idea of how Europe really was. Living almost with the belief that Europe was perfection in every sense of the word. During the civil rights movement there were black people who refused to participate and even demonstrated against it fearing change. The Black power movement had many black informants who worked with the government leading it to its demise. European colonial powers in Africa played on already existing differences between tribes for their benefit pitting one against the other. The conflicts usually ended in conquered territories, tribes and the stealing of resources. During Africa’s decolonization period many European countries would back African militias to destabilize newly formed governments in order to bring in puppet dictators who would still work the country for them. During the cold war America acted in the same way for fear of African countries turning communist. Even today many black people still uphold a color caste system among other caste systems against each other.
If race means nothing then why would you care about people who work for YOUR benefit? It makes sense that any major destruction we face would come from our mirror image. On the outside many people are black but internally some would seriously consider riding with the "Klu Klux Klan" and are just as bad and sometimes even worse. This is why it is such an important problem. Our own worst enemy is ourselves. Self-Hating black people rarely listen because there still some sort of rejection going on. Regardless of the individuals race and ethnicity there will ALWAYS be some people who will NEVER EVER understand and will continue to hate themselves.
The one thing that needs to be understood if this is to change is that we have to seek the truth. There is a difference between ethnicity and race, racism and prejudice, power and disenfranchisement, riots and rebellions. There’s such things as privilege and systematic racism that affects everyday life. You have to understand where a lot of white people stand on the issue of race. If somebody has never lived a day in the skin of a black person how would they know what you are going through even if you don’t fully understand it yourself? These things we face are NOT imagined or made up by other black people for a pity party or free hand outs. Our ancestors worked hard to build what we have today for free, many losing their lives and mind in the process. Most people do not know or accept this as reality. I notice that there are many people who are Black, White, Asian, Arab, and Latino etc. who don’t have a clue about anything race related. They don’t know how things work in our society or any colonized societies. Race and anything dealing with it is swept under the rug which makes our understanding of it stunted. This gap in knowledge is like a sore left open for ignorance to fester and infect. The one thing that always holds true is that ignorance is bliss. Building Blocks.