It has finally happened, that thing I was convinced would never happen: I no longer have the energy to go clubbing. I have the energy to dance (dancing is the main reason I go to clubs). I even have the energy to drink (drinking is the main reason I exist). But I no longer have the energy to deal with some of the people that go to clubs. I’m not discussing all club goers, I’m discussing a few of them. Men. And again, I’m not discussing all men, I’m discussing some of them. And again, I won’t discuss all of the “some men” I’ve had issues with while out clubbing, I’ll be discussing one of them.
Once upon a time, ouside a club in a land far, far away, a friend and I stood waiting for a taxi. The alcochol was wearing off, we were tired and ready to go home. A man neither of us knew walked up to us and said: Hi ladies.
My friend caught my eye and gave me a look that said: Get rid of him please.
I turned to him and said: Hi, I hope you’ve enjoyed your night. My friend and I are exhausted; we are just waiting for a taxi. We are not the best company right now. Sorry.
Him: But I haven’t said what I wanted to say yet.
Me: I know and I’m very sorry but whatever it is you wanted to say my friend and I do not want to hear it.
I turn back to my friend to strike up a conversation in case the man did not fully comprehend that he was being asked to leave us alone. I opened my mouth to speak and before I could get a word out he asked no one in particular: Why are mixed race girls so rude though?
He must have really wanted my attention. When his polite approach did not work, he decided for an alternative approach. I aim to please, so I gave the man exactly what he wanted: my undivided attention. A few moments later his friend removed him from my presence because according to reports (heavily biased reports I might add), I was behaving like someone possessed and everyone was slightly terrified.
The next day I thought about what happened the night before. I was still enraged but I needed to pinpoint what triggered it. So I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jewelry: is it rude to politely decline speaking to a man you do not know and/or want to know? And if it is rude, does this mean if a man you do not know from Adam apporaches you politely, you must listen to what he has to say? (Let us explore the answers to these questions in a future post).
I do my best not to be rude when people approach me because I believe in many cases it is possible to make a point without being rude. I am a mere mortal and I admit I may come across as rude on occassion -shrug- but I was not rude to the man in question.
If he accused me of being a rude person, I would not have felt anything. He asked (in sheer frustration?): Why are all mixed race women rude?
It must’ve been the mention of my race that angered me. Because he was implying the reason I did not wish to speak to him was because I was mixed race (he was black). I imagine he thinks I consider myself above others because of my mixed heritage. He could not be more wrong. He could not have said a more insulting thing to me. My mother was a dark skinned black woman, my father is a white man. They never once spoke to me about race or any issues related to race, or perhaps they did and I cannot recall. But I saw how they treated all the people they knew (various races involved); with respect and tolerance. When they disliked someone it was based on something that someone had said or done, never that someone’s race. So I grew up in an environment which taught me that we are all equals. To have a black man suggest I was rude because of the white half of me (it can only be this half the issue lies with as we know many white people believed and still believe themselves to be superior to others) was enraging.
But now perhaps I should step into his shoes. What if he has approached some mixed race women in the past and they have looked down on him because he is black? I hate the thought of that even more than what he said to me. I appreciate that historically, nonwhite people of lighter complexions were viewed more favourably by white people. I know it still happens today. But what is most tragic is that some light skinned people, and perhaps some dark skinned people as well, today still buy into it… they still think being lighter is better. I am here to tell you it’s a lie. As I have said in a previous post, there is no superior race. Being white or light skinned does not make you better than anyone nonwhite or dark skinned. Dark skinned people out there, know that I have never and will never look down on you just because you are dark skinned. My own mother was dark skinned and I think she was perfect and taken far too soon from me. She would haunt me mercilessly if she even suspected her daughter had a problem with someone because of their race. BUT, she would understand if I ever had a problem with someone based on what they said or did to me, regardless of their race.
In conclusion, I say this: I hope we continue to realise that the colour of our skin should not affect how we treat one another. I hope we treat one another with respect and tolerance. I hope we can appreciate that not every person we approach wants to speak to us, listen to us or get to know us, and that is their right. I hope the live-action Mulan will be amazing. I hope my ramblings made some sort of sense. And last but never least, I hope I never recover the energy to go clubbing.