My Skin is Brown, My Heart is Black, but my Voice is Very White
I Was Conditioned to Support White Supremacy And I Didn't Even Know It
White Supremacy Taught Me To Ignore Racism When I Saw It And Abuse Conditioned Me To Accept It As Okay
When I was growing up, there were several boys at school who learned a bunch of brand new at the time and very racist jokes. They loved telling these jokes in school because when I would report them, the very white school staff would tell me that they weren’t being racist, “they’re too young to be racist, they’re just joking.” So I learned “racism” was “a joke,” and I conditioned myself to believe that because it was easier than fighting against it.
The Suburbs of Calgary, Alberta Canada in the 90s, is nowhere to raise Black Children
I grew up in the burbs, next to an army base, and every single person I knew in Calgary was white, except for the Indian family who moved away to escape the whiteness and the only other Black family who didn’t want to befriend me because they saw how I was treated.
THEY were treated like royalty because they were dark-skinned and beautiful, I was treated like shit because I was light-skinned and therefore didn’t fit in anywhere.
Moving to BC changed everything because people liked the color of my skin. But racism didn’t stop just because it wasn’t being used against me anymore. I saw it all the time. I was cool to hang out with because I was the “right” kind of Brown, but the Indian kinds, (read from India,) were not cool because they smelled of curry and had dark brown skin which wasn’t okay. Personally, I thought they smelled delicious.
Racism has been an integral part of my life, from the first breath I took until the ones I take as I write this. Not so long ago I told the group of WEOC Editors that I didn’t want to write about racism, but I realize now that it’s only because I was afraid to really acknowledge how much racism has affected my life.
I was abused because of the color of my skin, in Alberta and in BC, the men I dated — all of them, every single idiot white male I dated because there wasn’t anyone else around for me to date — commented on my lips, buttocks, and thighs. Every single one of them told me I was beautiful and exotic, today both words make me break out into hives.
Growing out of the “white gaze” makes my mom feel like I’m pulling away from her like I am somehow ashamed of her whiteness, but I’m not. I love my white mother, but I also recognize that she has her own struggles and challenges, and her whiteness, no matter how much believe that’s true, can erase the fact that she’s also labeled as disabled.
My mother hates that word, “Disabled”, she’ll tell you she’s not disabled she’s “differently-abled,” which I much prefer, but white supremacy does not.
White supremacy is about fitting in, and if you don’t fit in it’s about going away and being reminded religiously, that you don’t fit in. It’s a religion if of itself, wrapped in the idea that if you don’t fit in, you are not worthy of “God’s” love.
Not one white Christian can give you a name for God, or tell you about God’s backstory or history, but they are certain that God exists. I started to pull away from my white supremacist conditioned routes the moment that I discovered Hecate and Hera existed.
Go to Japan, China, Africa, Somalia, Italy. All of these places have Gods, Goddesses, and Angels, all with unique stories that tell us of challenges, inspirations, and heroic events that changed the world.
The moment that I realized women could be called Goddesses it was all over for me and white supremacy, the moment that I discovered I am a firebreathing dragon with the power to speak through space and time and manifest my destiny, white supremacy lost.
But it still took me 39 years to recognize how white supremacy colored everything about my life, ripped it apart, and destroyed it. All this time I’ve been waiting for the prince to save me when in reality what I’ve been doing for the last five years is finding ways to save myself from the trauma of being conditioned by white supremacists.
Teachers, Priests, and every adult who wasn’t genetically related to me found ways to “stomp the Blackness” out, and yet because my ancestors were who they were because my great Black mothers swore revenge on this earth for the trauma they were forced to suffer, the Blackness in me refuses to remain silent.
I love my white mother, but I also resent the fact that she comes from the same English people who colonized the entire planet, or as much of it as they could before the end of white colonization on this planet. Loving her doesn’t erase the sins of her cousins, and own mothers and fathers.
It doesn’t change the fact that I was raised in an all-white community with little to no access to my Black routes that would have protected me from the mammoth pain that is mental health issues that come from child abuse at the hands of white supremacy.
I am a huge proponent of telling your own story, and so that’s why I can’t stop talking about the racist jokes I had to suffer, or the time a bitch tried to light my hair on fire, or the time the sister of a guy I like called me the N-word. On and on it went because white supremacy convinces white people they can say whatever they want and get away with it.
It’s peppered with the idea that whiteness is better than color, and the truth is that white is blinding. Color lights up your life and shows you the majick in the world. That’s why people of color are here, to remind you there is more to life than power and strife, and if you can’t accept that then I’m sorry we can’t be friends.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall