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If I Were White...

By Lexie Gleason Permalink

I was in the car with my mom, we were just chit chatting as we often do, and I brought up how it would be so cool to have the privilege of white people. She chuckled and agreed, then asked which one I would want the most, kind like when you ask people what their super power would be - mine would be White Privilege. I said, "I'd love to look tan, have a big butt, lip fillers, box braids, but still be white. I could get away with so much! I would be an icon! I wouldn't be an angry black woman ever, I'd be desirable by basically all, and still WHITE!" 

If I were white, I could take from black culture and claim it as my own. I could take traits that black folk are known for, thickness, full lips, textured hair, and I could make it a trend. I could turn those things that black Americans have been teased and tormented about and turn it into a fashion statement.
I could be "black" when I chose. I can take this culture and live in it until another black person gets killed by the hands of the police. Then I'll be quiet.
I can take from this culture and relish in it's glory until a PoC is racially profiled in the same store I'm in. I'll be quiet. It's none of my business.
I can take from this culture and bask in it's beauty until some one is being verbally abused by some other white/white passing individual. I'll be quiet. I don't know how that conversation began.
I could go get my butt done, give me those curves that were once overly drawn in old racist, stereotypical cartoons, and turn into your "body goals".
I could inject my lips and make them be that beautiful trait that was blatantly made fun of and call myself pretty.
I could braid up my hair, or make huge curls, and I'd still get hired, for because of my skin, I'd still look "professional". Hair styles created by and for black folks, but its in fashion right now and I'm calling it something else. So it's fine.
But alas, I cannot turn my black off. I'm black when it's cool and "in fashion", but I'm also black when I get the fear of a cop car behind me. I'm also black when I don't want 'be a teen in the 1930s'. I'm still black when my brothers and sisters are getting killed off with no justice because the killer was "standing their ground". I'm still black when I walk into a store and followed around, you know, just in case I steal anything. I'm still black when I'm at the grocery store and the cashier assumes, "This will be paid with food stamps?" I'm still black when my hair products are locked up meanwhile white folks hair care is easily accessible. 
I cannot turn off my black nor would I truly choose to. But man, would it be dope to be black...until it's too hard to be black. 


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