Saturday, October 1, 2016

To put it simply,

Today a friend's new girlfriend, in striking up a conversation, asked how long I lived in Oregon. I told her that as a matter of fact, a couple days ago I've been here 9 years. Then she asked if  I liked it here. I told her no. Then she gave me the look one would give if they saw a horn growing out of someone's forehead. She said;
"what's not to love?"
I said, "Oregon isn't for black people who identify with black culture."
Then she gave me that look again. I knew what she was going to say. She said, "But there are black people here."
I told her that : "as of the last US Census, the black population here in Beaverton is 1.67%. Not even 2%, and in Portland it's 4.92%. Not even 5%. It's that small. The only time I see black people is when I go to church, or when a new Tyler Perry movie comes to town. As much as I have tried, I don't have a single black friend here. I have lots of Asian and White friends but not a single black friend. And I've been here 9 years."

And then I said something else that I knew would blow her mind; the fact that at every social event that I attend, I am the only black person in groups of hundreds of white people, and every black person I have met here has been so used to being the only black person around that new black people pose a threat to the attention they receive by being the only black people white people know. And older black male informed me of that. I have been to countless house parties and dinner parties where I am the only black person present, and in that rare moment where another black male or black female shows up, they will go out of their way to avoid me. They will not speak to me. They've been raised during elementary school, junior high school, high school and in college, surrounded by white people which would also become their dating pool. I pose a threat, yes, even to black people here; my blackness poses a threat. To reiterate, Oregon isn't for me because while I am at work, I have no choice but to kiss white folk's asses to keep a roof over my head, but socially, on my own time, I need to identify with my culture, and Oregon is completely devoid of it."

I didn't expect her to understand, but she asked my opinion. She confessed that I was the first black person to whom she had ever spoken.. Then she told me about how dark  black people were when she was in Jamaica; about how she could only see the whites of their eyes and their teeth at night.

Her boyfriend knew that I was about to educate her ( ie. cuss her out), so he pulled her away and asked where we were all going to eat for dinner.

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