The Whitest Black Kid You’ve Ever Met by Sam Charles ’18

You get upset sometimes when I relate more as a black kid than a white one

“You’re just as white as you are black” is a common remark

 

I always say I can’t be both

I can’t be half and half because 1/5 is good enough for some

 

You always want to argue and say it doesn’t have to be that way

But if it wasn’t, why did you have to tell me to make sure I kept my hands in my pockets

when walking through stores

 

Why did you have to warn me about wearing hoods in public

And tell me not to look at colleges in the south

 

I am the DMZ that separates two backgrounds

Step too far to one side and I’m ghetto, dangerous, and unpredictable

Step too far to the other and I’m a sellout, an Oreo, or “the whitest black person you’ve ever met”

 

So, I stay here

Somewhere in between the two

 

The place where I respect police

But you still worry every time I get pulled over

 

A place without oppression

But not without stereotypes

 

And mom I’m not mad because I’m biracial

I mean, I stay tan year-round

 

I’m mad because someone told me I’m smart because of my white half

And athletic because of my black half

 

I’m mad because I have to constantly tell people that the N word shouldn’t be said

Whether you’re white or black

 

So, if I relate to white people, or black people

Just know I’m not tipping more to one side and disregarding the other

I just haven’t learned how to balance both