I got into a discussion on Abagond’s blog about why I did not feel comfortable watching the movie 12 Years a Slave with a white person and it caused quite and uproar with one of the posters in particular. For white men and Black women interracial couples, my question is how do you feel when you see movies like 12 Years a Slave? Let’s be honest, it’s not the best portrayal of Black women and white men interracial relationships on screen. It doesn’t put them in the best light

From my perspective, I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching the movie 12 Years a Slave with a white person, especially a white man because of the fact that it’s a constant reminder to me that things are not equal. It makes me recall  the fact that so much of our identity as Black people in the western world was stolen from us and it makes me think about the fact that 4 generations ago, I would have been a slave, in a similar situation as Patsey.

What really makes the movie personal for me is the fact that for the majority of my life, I have struggled with my identity as a Black person. I grew up in a predominately white neighborhood and attended a mostly white school. Everywhere that I went, I was indoctrinated with the idea that white people were the norm and the default. I see them in movies, commercials, magazines, I’d see them as teacher’s, presidents, professors and Black people were constantly portrayed as the inferior group. We’re portrayed as the criminals, the lazy ones, the burden on society. I used to have negative perception of myself and my race because I was indoctrinated with this idea. I had no idea that a large part of this negative perception was rooted in the fact that our identity was stolen from us and we still carry that negative legacy with us generations later.

I wondered why the Black schools in the inner city were some of the worst schools in the city and I wondered why I was always poked and prodded by my white peers like I was a mascot or a doll, instead of a human being. I was almost treated like a pet, right down to a white male petting my hair without permission…as if I were a dog…and I knew that I didn’t want to share this moment in the theater with a white person because (in my experience) white people aren’t able to empathize with what it’s like to be Black in this world. They don’t understand how difficult and complex it can be…

I’ve heard too many insensitive comments from white people when it comes to race. Including a white person telling me that  being discriminated against for being fat was the same as being discriminated against for being Black…and the fact that I would even have to explain the difference between the two was offensive to me, I don’t even want to have to engage that type of stuff and that is why I just didn’t want to see the movie with a white person. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but I just didn’t even want to go there…