I’ve been called a coconut so many times it’s insane. Come to think of it, just a few nights ago my bitter housemate had a Whatapp status about my ‘coconutism’ and a disproving emoji to stamp her disinterest in my so called “white-loving” lifestyle.
I’ve been told on so many occasions that I don’t know my roots and my sense of culture is lost in my westernised mannerisms. I’ve had people think I was adopted because “you speak so well”, as if this was a compliment. Like there’s no way my black mother could possibly be the reason I am the way the way I am.
I’ve had people tell me that they like me because “I’m not like other blacks”. Erm who are these other blacks? I’m pretty sure these ‘other blacks’ you speaking about make up a huge chunk of my family.
“No, you know what I mean, you like us”
Nope! Stop right there I refuse to be the person you refer to when you say things like you can’t be racist because you have black friends.
The funny thing is that most of the criticism comes from my generation. People who should know better but still choose to let their idiocy led them.
The thing is, as a so called ‘coconut’, I find myself defending myself against white people that think it’s okay to say “nigga” because it’s just a Drake lyric. These are the same people that think their black accent jokes are funny – no they not again a huge chunk of my family speaks like this. So yes this fucking offends me!
But the reality is I’m also defending myself against black people (my housemate included) who think my level of blackness doesn’t meet their standards.
Yes I’ve dated and hooked up with white guys, but I’ve done the same with black guys. You choose to ignore that fact when you stating your stereotypical characteristics that dictate what a coconut is.
Yes, I can’t speak or read my mother tongue, but that doesn’t mean I can’t identify with my family and ancestors. You don’t know my life aside from the 9-5 that I show you. Stop trying to be relevant by measuring my level of blackness.
This also goes to all the people that say shit like “I don’t see colour, I see people”. This statement doesn’t convey the Eat Pray Love attitude you think it does. You need to see colour to understand that it makes a huge difference, that people are affected by race and you not seeing it is not making things any easier.
I come from a very long and strong line of political activists. People who still carry the baggage of Apartheid under their eyes. The same people who were victimized by the regime, and are still paying for the after effects. My grandparents not only told me, but showed me that black, not “non-white”, BLACK is what I am and something I should be proud of.
With that said I’m done apologising to the ignorant souls that think “my blackness” is not good enough.
My black is enough.