I don’t want to be a White Liberal. And I squench my eyes and I think, that’s silly. You can never be a white liberal because you are only half white, you mutt. But I know with this fair skin of mine and this English voice of mine how often I pass.
Nella Larsen:“She wished to find out about this hazardous business of ‘passing,’ this breaking away from all that was familiar and friendly to take one’s chance in another environment, not entirely strange, perhaps, but certainly not entirely friendly.”
I know I’m not a white liberal, because I see them in my daily. They read the same things and watch the same news and shop at the same places. They’re around and they’re nice and it’s comfortable. Not entirely friendly, but comfortable.
But it adds up you know, all those days of not being yourself. All those moments of small forgiveness and small smiles and small shrugs. All those moments of making excuses and having understanding and trying to say, it’s okay.
I don’t want to hurt your feelings, you white person, even though you regularly hurt mine. I’ve been taught that your feelings are more important than my own constant current. That ignorance can be forgiven. I’ve been told that it’s better to have some support than complete alienation. I’ve been told that some day you will see and learn and some day the ache will stop. Some day I can stop swimming, right? That’s what I’ve been told.
I’m not your token mixed passing girl. You will not walk these walls with me because it is not your space to share. I go around knowing my fullest self cannot be expressed in the majority of places. I am a lower-middle class girl living in an upper-middle class world. I do believe in education because it got me here. But I didn’t realize I’d be asked to leave so much of what I know behind. Trying to stave off this millennial culture of consumption simply because I can’t afford it. Simply because it feels so unnatural to me. Simply because I hope to never understand it.