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Acting White: What The Heck Does That Mean?
What makes a person special is their individuality that make them uniquely different than everyone else around them. Today, however, American society still categorizes people labeling them a certain way. This is very prevalent in the Black community no matter how much I try to not be defined by my womanhood, Christianity, Blackness but by my character. More often than not I hear that I am “Acting White”.
All my life it seems that people continually say that I “ACT WHITE” or as a Caucasian person would. Sadly, I had to define this term for myself because I never could get a concrete answer of what this means. Living in America I feel as though I have the freedom to do as I please, yet no matter what, I am categorized a certain way.
Yes, I listen to Rock (debatably invited by Blacks), Country and classical music. I do know how to enunciate my words, create a researchable thesis, and provide a few stock tips to help someone’s portfolio. Does this make me act white?
I was raised to say ‘Yes Sir‘ and ‘Ma’am‘ to my elders, go above and beyond when seeking education and for that I am penalized. Why is my character not credited to the raising of two great parents? Instead, it is associated with a different race.
Maybe, the problem is not my actions but the way American society continues to divide it citizens. We are all American and no matter how many parades we have if we step off these shore, all other continents can tell where we come from. I am not saying don’t be proud of your heritage, but, why am I labeled as some kind of outsider when I am just being me.
Stereotyping does not come from outsiders when they see me in person after talking to me on the phone, but instead, It comes from our own culture like no matter what a Black person does they have to take the whole race with them. Martin Luther King said that we should be judged by the content of our character yet in 2012 people are still looking at skin color; Blacks and non-Blacks alike.
To be astutely respectful to my elders, broaden my vocabulary and expand my opinion that may differ from what is expected makes the cocky side of me smile on the inside. If I am “ACTING WHITE” because I have chosen to take a look at all of the presidential candidates including Obama so that I am able to make a truly informed decision, compute algebraic equations in my head, and speak professionally then so be it. I am more than my skin color.
Acting White? What does that phrase mean to you? Post comments, questions and concerns below.