Can we all agree that being Colored, no matter how light or dark can fucking Suck?!

I feel like I need to keep repeating this shit. Let’s go down the list.

  • saw my first penis at age four
  • Molested for the first time at age nine
  • beaten up at school for the first time when I had crutches and couldn’t walk
  • had my hair nearly set on fire in grade seven
  • beaten up again in grade nine
  • moved to bc where things were supposed to get “better”
  • Raped for the first time at sixteen
  • Kidnapped for the first time at seventeen
  • Kidnapped again at eighteen different person
  • Forced to perform sexual acts to get away from my last kidnapper
  • raped repeatedly between the ages of 23-32 by various men in and out of relationships
  • Hit with a field hockey stick, because I was the only person of color in the group full of white people, and I still suffer pain from that incident.
  • nearly thrown off a roof and a balcony
  • was thrown down the stairs
  • drugged into a miscarriage
  • drugged and raped again by a different partner at 24
  • nearly hit by a car, because a man I had 0 interest in, tried to kill me
  • Had a knife held to my neck and my life threatened by a man who was “Trying to help me feel better”
  • had my head shoved into a wall
  • Spent time hanging out with one of Surrey BC’s most notorious and violent new gangs, because the police wouldn’t protect me and the men in the gang did.

Tell me now I didn’t fucking suffer, tell me now that having police officers repeatedly tell me that I should just “Stay home and out of danger” was okay, tell me now that the color of my skin had nothing to do with any of this shit happening.

I legit just had this argument over Twitter. My point was that you cannot quantify someone’s level of suffering, especially because I happen to be lighter than someone else. Racists don’t actually take a look at my skin and say “Oh she’s light skinned she’s okay” No mother fucker, Racists hate me just as equally as they hate you.

I am in a quandary right now. There is a higher, spiritual part of myself that is saying “Shh it’s okay you do not need to prove yourself to anyone, you don’t owe anyone an explanation of your pain.”

There is another part of me that is more base, that makes me want to grab something and rip it into a million pieces.

What hurts most I think is that this is coming from someone I consider a friend. Someone I respect greatly. I am trying to believe that this person isn’t someone who wants to minimize my suffering and yet as I read over the conversation on Twitter, that’s exactly what she has done.

You’re suffering isn’t as great as dark skinned because you’re privileged.” What about that list of shit makes it sound like I have -any- fucking privilege? Now let me make this very clear, that is NOT in any way what she said……however that’s exactly how it comes across. 

Every. 

Fucking. 

Time. 

No matter what when you tell me that I haven’t suffered as much or as equally as someone who is darker, the essential point that you are making is that I am somehow privileged for being lighter.

I’m not. Let me say it again, Racists are Racists and they don’t see the color of my skin and say “oh well she’s just not as dark so we won’t be as cunty to her as we would say to someone darker.”

Racism hurts and stings everywhere, and what makes it worse for those of us who are lighter is that it isn’t just White Racists that hate us, it’s Black ones too.

We are too light for the dark people and too dark for the white people, so where do we fit in? I’ve spent my entire life trying to fit in and I’m finally over it. I just don’t give a fuck anymore. You can make whatever assumptions you want about me, make whatever thoughts, opinions and feelings to the world you would like to make about me, but I don’t fit into your stupid label box and I’m not interested in trying anymore.

I’ve suffered, and with everything I’ve been through I still, know there are others who have been through worse. I recognize that color is a big thing to some people, for me personally the color of my skin has never been something I’ve been overly proud of.

I spent a good 33 years and two months wishing I was white – knowing damn well that if I were white I would be treated differently, but you know what? Fuck it. I love my skin. I love that it gets darker in the summertime. I dislike that I get sidelong glances from everyone, regardless of color.

I dislike that I get followed in a store no matter what I am wearing.  I am terrified of cops, and I have friends who are police officers, but if I don’t know them personally I try to avoid calling on them at all costs.

No cop has ever helped me when I’ve asked for it, not one time. So eventually I just learned to stop fucking asking.

I’ve learned that when I am going through pain to do it alone because no one is going to be able to fix it.

My own mother doesn’t get it – she’s white so she’ll never get it. Yes, Racism exists, the only difference for light skinned people is that we get it from every single person on the planet. 

In big ways or small ways, every person on the planet looks at us as if we’re somehow special because we’re not exactly dark and we’re not exactly light, we’re in-between.

  1. Apple bottom
  2. Butterscotch
  3. Café au lait
  4. Caramel
  5. Chickadee
  6. Coffee
  7. Cookies n’ cream
  8. Domino
  9. Ebony
  10. Ethnic princess
  11. Fifty (For my racial percentage of 50 percent)
  12. Half n’ half
  13. Half-black devil
  14. Half-breed (I credit J.K. Rowling for this one.)
  15. Halfie
  16. Halfro (At least this is somewhat clever…)
  17. Heinz 57
  18. Hybrid
  19. Latte
  20. Lighty
  21. Milano
  22. Mixed mama
  23. Mocha
  24. Mulatto
  25. Mutt
  26. Nigger
  27. Nigger lover
  28. Not __(fill in the blank with either race here)__ enough
  29. Oreo
  30. Patches
  31. Peppermint mocha (For use during colder months, when my cheeks remain rosy due to frigid temperatures. Obviously.)
  32. Skunk
  33. Swirl
  34. Unnatural
  35. White chocolate
  36. Ying and yang
  37. Zebra

This list was compiled by the beautiful Fabby Brown on Thought Catalogue, and she’s not wrong. These are the names we get called all the fucking time.

So let’s pull away from the color issue for a moment. If you’ve read this entire article you know I have suffered and whether you like it or not no one can compare what they have been through to what I have been through. Not because I’ve suffered more, or suffered less, but because these experiences make us who we are. These things are not something you can stabilize, they aren’t something you can point to on a chart. I don’t really care what anyone says, your experience is your experience, and mine is mine.

You might feel for me, you might empathize with me, you might even cry for me if you have to, but you cannot understand what I go through on a daily basis because you do not live inside my head. And the color of my skin, no matter how light or how dark, you will never be able to change that fact.

I try to judge people based on who they are, rather on the color of their skin, I try really hard to connect to others based on what is in their mind because I know damn well the color of your skin doesn’t change who you are as a person. I would love this person regardless of her color of skin, and I DO love and adore this person but as per usual when I have conversations about color and race, I often end up feeling alone and isolated every single fucking time.

Just like know.

I don’t know if the color of someone’s skin really does determine how much they will suffer in their lifetime – I really don’t. I’m not talking about Slavery and days of old I am talking about today – it’s the only experience I can draw from it’s the only one I’ve lived. I can only say that my experience, as a woman of color, has never really been that great.

What I do know is that right now two friends are both feeling completely misunderstood on both sides, and feelings have been hurt and that doesn’t really make me feel so great.

Maybe this just isn’t a conversation that has a happy ending.

Just know if you read this, I love you.

Devon J Hall

 

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3 thoughts on “Can we all agree that being Colored, no matter how light or dark can fucking Suck?!

  1. Devon, I’m not in a pigment position to argue with any of this on an experiential ground. I can see how someone darker skinned could think that lighter (but not White) skin color would carry some privilege, but then I remember many, many years ago going into a coffee shop in a white neighborhood in Chicago with a group that included one Black guy who happened to be albino. His lack of pigment didn’t change the shape of his nose or the texture of his hair. The looks we got were not friendly and our stay was short. Yes, all a racist needs is to be able to apply the label. There have been laws that defined a person as black if they had one identifiable ancestor who was black, back any number of generations. Beyond all that, the power of your writing is amazing.

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