In her recent article, Luvvie of awesomelyluvvie.com , writes an open letter to Raven Symone on her refusal to be labeled, in a recent interview with her majesty O. Luvvie begins with saying “Ma’am, just because your hair is purple and blue doesn’t mean you are too. You’re Black.” Luvvie is not alone in her basic condemnation of a girls simple request to not be labeled or boxed in.
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“You might think you’re Chairman of the board of “You’re So Different” Enterprises but there’s a box for everyone to check,” says the veteran blogger. Akin to something my mother would always tell me when I, as a mixed kid, questioned which box to check on things so simple as standardized tests and state id applications. Back the days that you could only choose one.
An older generation is finding harder and harder to classify and quantify us into the neat boxes of yesteryear. Excuse me darling and all other opinions that are confused by as Luvvie put it “people who eschew ANY AND ALL classifications.” It’s not about you! Congratulations, you’ve chosen a box! WOW! It’s been made abundantly clear that these boxes come with certain rights and responsibilities. Since we were little children we’ve seen those rights and they’re all the same in each box. Since the obvious inequalities of the 80’s and 90’s we’ve seen those responsibilities and they’re all quite different.
I understand completely what Raven means when she says she’s an American and that is without color and not wanting to be labeled as gay. For one thing, she says in the interview she was looking everyone, both boys and girls, if anything she’s bisexual. Setting aside a spectrum of gay and it’s p-touch lgbtqia of labels. There can not possibly be a box for everyone raised in a Barney generation of everyone is special and unique. I ,personally, enjoy checking many boxes as will allow on forms and do so with glee. I also enjoy answering the phone in my “white” voice checking the Caucasian boxes and watching the scramble and shuffle of paperwork that happens when a girl with ” an interesting grade of hair,” as raven put it shows up.
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My dear Luvvie speaks of her friend Kerry Washington and how she is “not interested in living in a world where my race is not a part of who I am.” To me my race is an integral part of who I am but it does not define me. My race does not dictate where I go, who I date , or my position on the bus anymore. My face, my nose, my skin, my hair my breasts do not define anything about me it is just a part of me.
“We are not all the same. Refusing to acknowledge that with some crap on colorblindness helps to perpetuate this crappy system of oppression because forced politeness and the fear of the “race card” trump actual work and progress,” Luvvie says as she comes to a close. The fear of the race card is real and justified. Being black is used as everything from an excuse to a shameful retort. “It’s cuz I’m black,” is said far too much as a joking reason for some kind of unrelated failure. Racial stereotypes are real and the only way to truly get rid of them is too redefine race entirely. The only way to change a failing system is too tear it down and start anew.
Photo courtesy of Instagram.
“This is the kind of thing that white folks be talmbout, saying they don’t see color. Chile, I don’t have time,” she ends her open letter with. Baby, how do know what white people see? White people see what we all see that stereotypes go both ways and prejudice flows both ways. We assume that they see a Nigger before they open their mouth to say “hello.” They assume we see a entitled slave owner of privilege before we say “what’s up.”
By putting yourself in a box you’ve created your own oppression your own modern slavery system. By condemning those that walk away from the boxes and it’s system of oppression with their middle finger high and their hair a blaze with color only points the flaw in the box system. I am not a slave one box. I do not represent any one thing. I stand for myself. Everyone deserves their own Wikipedia page, more than a simple box on the optional part of the application.
I’m just sayin.