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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

by Jodie Walton III, Office Manager

Ever since the landing of the Pilgrims on American soil there has been a conflict between skin tones. I really wish I could put my finger on what makes people think that darker or lighter skin is something by which to gauge intelligence, physically ability, and more. But anyway, I digress.

It is now 2011 and the world is full of people who don’t want to be labeled. Racial lines are becoming blurred with the increase of interracial couples. Culture lines are also becoming increasingly blurred. Talk about acceptance and tolerance of people is the norm. America has been called a “melting pot” of people, so intertwined and mixed together, that you cannot tell where one starts and one ends.

And even with all of this “melting,” I am still seeing America as a Black and White world. And I really wonder how it got like this. How can such a small percentage of the American population — African Americans account for about 12% according to the 2010 Census — have such influence on the entire country? And to the point where there is such a divide? I say this because I’ve only heard of these two terminologies being used: “Stop acting Black” or “Stop acting White.” I have never heard someone say “Stop acting Asian” or “Stop acting Hispanic.” Where did this distinction between Black and White come from? Is there any validity to it? My conclusion is that it just boils down to an “urban” and “suburban” spilt in America. With that comes a mindset that the majority of people associated with “the struggle” are from an urban environment and are typically Black, and people who are associated with being “well-off” are from a suburban environment and are typically White.

It is sad that people are considered one or the other when they are “acting out of character” – actually, remind me … what “color” is character? There are unfortunately some wildly believed stereotypes that “White people” talk proper (the King’s English) and wear conservative clothes; while “Black people” may be expected to use slang (Ebonics) and wear ostentatious clothing. Granted, I have seen some truth in these cultural stereotypes, but not to the point where it should be a widely accepted cultural norm. And, I would like to ask: why is a White person who embraces something like the hip-hop culture considered to be “acting Black”? Or a Black person who enjoys rock and roll or speaks proper as “acting White”? Again, how did we come to this Black and White controversy?

Let’s all make an effort to acknowledge the fact that we have many brothers and sisters of all skin tones and cultures, and understand that even though we are different, there is no reason to divide the United States in this menial way — Black vs. White.
What are your thoughts?

Jodie Walton is a 2006 graduate of Liberty with a degree in Audio Broadcasting.
He has been serving the Center4ME as Office Manager for 3 years.
He is a native of Long Island, NY, is the director of Bridging The Gap Urban
Ministries, and hosts the "Gospel Xcursion" Sunday nights from 7p-11p
on 90.9 The Light. Visit him on Facebook

Posted at 4:25 PM | Comments (3)