So are any of us Black enough?

Monday, October 27, 2014

The locker room gossip about the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson being called 'not black enough' by some teammates is stirring up the same old garbage about who is and isn't black enough. This same thing happened with RG3 a couple of years ago when Rob Parker, formerly of ESPN, opined that Griffin might be a 'Cornball brother' because, among other things, Griffin was marrying a white woman and might be Republican. Wilson apparently has failed to pass one of the arbitrary litmus tests for black enough. Maybe it's his choice of women (his ex-wife is white), or his choice of music or his speaking vocabulary or something else. Whatever it might be, it's just dumb.

It seems none of us are immune from this, from us regular folks to professional athletes to the President of the United States. All it takes is for someone who believes themselves to be the arbiter of what is and isn't black to make a judgement call and you too can be labeled not black enough. Come from a two parent home? Grow up in the non-black suburbs? Listen to rock music? Date outside your race? Play a sport other than football or basketball? Speak too proper? These are just a few of the things that can be used to pass judgement on your adequacy as a black person. And they are all equally stupid. Of course if you do jump through all the hoops then you run the risk of being labeled...wait for it....too black.

It's 2014, people. We all come from different places. Even people who grew up on the same street in the same neighborhood and went to the same school have different tastes and perspectives. People who grew up in the same house don't even have the same view of the world. That doesn't make any of us any more or less black. Wilson and RG3 are every bit as black as Doug Williams and Warren Moon are. Not more, not less. The Rob Parker's of the world need to wake up and figure that already.

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