IT’S FUNNY ARTEE MILLIgan Jr. (The Mail, 2/10) blames even black-on-black racism (and hatred) on whites. Black racism against brown, yellow, red, as well as white people is alive and well. I’ve never experienced it this profoundly until I moved to D.C.
Jonetta Rose Barras (“Color Blind,” 1/27) never said anything about black people being inferior. Blacks sometimes behave as if being black is inferior—blacks are very “color struck.” Black animosity toward anyone who even resembles white is a stumbling block to advancement.
Blacks are alienating mulattos, other people of color, Jews, and white folks who care. This alliance, plus community support within the culture (similar to what the Koreans and Jews have) would advance the black community tremendously.
I was born in Europe of mixed heritage. Wherever I travel, people think I am from their country. My hair is silky and I wear Avon’s “honey beige” foundation. I’ve been called “nigger” by whites and “honky” by blacks. Nevertheless, my marginality allows me greater mobility within different cultures around the world and in the U.S.
African-Americans treat me with the greatest ambivalence, on one hand revering me because I “look white,” yet hating me because they think I have this great advantage. Blacks accuse me of not “acting black,” and there’s pressure to “choose sides” as if we’re going to war. Blacks think I have more opportunities but my only real advantage is in dating white men. So what! White men don’t pay my bills! (Whereas it’s commonplace for black men to give money to their girlfriends “to help out.”) My color might open doors for black people, yet whites still accept me with the reticence with which they accept darker blacks.
Marginal people are more sensitive to mainstream society’s moods. I feel like a barometer that measures the atmospheric pressure between races in the U.S. And in D.C., the black community simmers.
Takoma Park, Md.