First of all... I'm Educated
Black people should not be asked to act any kind of way to be treated as equal. I believe it to be a racist statement to say that anyone is “acting black” or “acting white.” Growing up my siblings and cousins would make fun of me for “acting white.” I would always be considered the “whitest black person they knew.” As a child, I was confused because I was just being the only person I know how to be, me.
In my adult years, I have learned that what my black family and most of society considers “acting white” as just being educated. Unfortunately, if a black person speaks with common sense and a tiny bit of home training they are considered “acting white.” This new knowledge only frustrates me more because it’s implied that black people are not educated, when in fact we are. I have grown to learn that when people refer to the statement “acting black”, they inherently mean the person is acting ghetto or uneducated, which again is far from the truth. I know plenty of white people who are just as ghetto and uneducated that get accused of “acting black.” I believe people act how they choose to act and behave which is partly based on upbringing and partly based on character.
It is important for people, black or white, to be educated, respectful, honest and genuine and most importantly has some type of work ethic. Unfortunately, black people, you can be all of those things and still be treated as less than par. I experienced inequality at my job just recently, yes this was just a few months ago. I found out that my coworker was being paid the exact same salary as I was for a job that we both were assigned to do. This was a problem for me because I was doing 90% of the work, while my white male coworker had barely lifted a finger. I only found out about this injustice because the white female clerk mentioned it to my white boss and then came to me to explain that she felt it unfair that we both be paid the same amount. She saw the injustice and spoke about it. I would like to believe that race was not a part of her decision, but it was definitely relevant.
We as people white or black are not going to be able to hide from the racist remarks and the way we are treated based on color. What we can do is point out the injustices that we see, when we see it. Recognize that attitude changes how people treat us and speaking out forces people to back up what they preach.
Be true to yourself and recognize that people will try and place you in a box and throw an inappropriate label on it. Whether you are “acting black” or “acting white” or maybe you are a combination of them both and you have adopted the phrase “sophisticated ratchet,” know that you are not required to be or act any way other than you.
Instead of looking to be treated as equals based on skin color, look to be treated fairly based on being human.