Sorry about not posting much lately. My excuse de jour? I’ve been working a lot, trying to get ahead financially – and then I was notified that they’ve set a date for this year’s American Renaissance conference. That’ll set me back a bit, but it’s okay; I’m sure it’ll be lots of fun. This time it’s at the end of July. Maybe I’ll bring a swimsuit, so that I can take a dip in the waters of Montgomery Bell State Park. If any of y’all are flying into Nashville for the conference on July 30th, let me know so that we can share a rental car.
Al-Jazeera just had an interesting article about Sudanese-Americans. According to the article, anybody whose native language is Arabic is classified as “white” by the US census department. The author, one Hind Makki, complains that this deprives her of being black.
One might think that such a matter is trivial – except that Hind works as an “interfaith and anti-racism educator.” So it must be part of her job to find racism in every nook and cranny, real or imagined. One might think that, since whites are (supposedly) privileged, she would be honored to be considered one of us. But no. Instead, she writes:
My elementary school wanted to designate me as white because Arabic is my mother tongue, but no one was under any illusion that I actually was a white person. Rather, the question was: as an Afro-Arab, am I black enough to be considered racially black in America?
Famously, Aziz Ansari, the Indian American actor, tweeted that he stands with Ahmed, “because I was once a brown kid in the south, too.”
I am a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf; I cannot point to an Afro to prove my blackness. Like Ahmed, my racial identity is often erased and transformed into an amorphous brown “other”.
Having your racial identity erased means hearing racial slurs against your community in your own language. It can also lead to absurdly ironic situations.
It may be that “Clock Boy’s” father is from Sudan, but he sure doesn’t look black to me. He’s clearly of largely Middle-Eastern blood, and he really IS brown. By implying that he’s black, Hind is “erasing HIS identity.” Admittedly, Clock Boy is black enough to play the “ghetto lottery.”
I have nothing against Sudan, or the Sudanese. In fact, I enjoy some of their music very much, and I’d love to visit Sudan some day. But if this young lady feels out of place, or confused, by American policies and history, then maybe she should consider returning to her ancestral home. I’m sure there’s plenty of racial/religious strife over there for her to alleviate.