‘The Day I Learned I’m a Racist’


“That’s racist. You can’t say that.”

I stopped myself. Racism at that point in my life was like eating too much candy, it was supposedly really really bad, but I still couldn’t figure out why yet. Confusion forced a “whahuh?” out of my ruby-red boy mouth.

“Because it’s an Oreo, it’s black except for the middle,” she told me with the kind of wisdom only having melanin and being eight-and-a-half imparts, “so you can’t sing about it.”

I wasn’t sure she actually understood the point she was trying to make (it seemed like the black part of the cookie had the upper hand in that struggle for representation), but that didn’t stop me from feeling ashamed about my impromptu mentioning of a color in song.

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