Be Real Black For Me*

When it comes to dating, I take the Dave Chappelle approach. And by that I mean that my penis knows no races, creeds, religions or colours. The reason I bring this up is not because I want to talk about my penis (although I did enjoy typing these past two sentences). It's because I've always had a problem with people who say 'they only date race X' but I've never been able to put my finger on why. Until now. 

My main problem with it is fetishism. Not the leather and whips kind, but fetishism of a certain set of characteristics that are associated with a certain race. When I meet a girl who says she only dates black guys, what she usually means is that she only dates guys who are into hip-hop and streetwear or other related topics. And sometimes it means that she's associated that set of characteristics with being black, seeing them as inseparable. This came out recently when out with a friend of my friends.

The entire night, there's been friendly jabs about my saying of 'innit' and other colloquialisms I use when around close friends. The jabbing increases during the night, as does my refusal to acknowledge them. The basic order of the the night was this:

'I'm out with my friends, innit?' 

'Yeah, innit?'  waiting for a reaction from me, of which there's none. 

'Yeah, innit?' said louder this time, looking for reaction. still none.

This happened ad nauseaum. Finally my friend's friend expresses surprise that I've worn some high tops. To be specific, she says:

'So you're finally acting like a real black guy?' 

A real black guy.

Not a hip-hop guy. Not a streetwear lover. Not a high top lover. But a real black guy.

Apparently all this time I've been faking it. Not real enough. Everybody knows you're not really black unless you're wearing a Lakers snapback, rapping about selling drugs and wearing a pair of Jordan 4's on top of a pair of Jordan 6's right?

I should note that she said this in jest. But we all know about 'great truths being revealed in jest' don't we? 

So this really stuck and annoyed me. I also didn't bother bringing it up again because (a) I don't want to be the curmudgeon and (b) I was drunk, so whilst I was in enough of a state to remember, any argument would most certainly have ended with my saying 'oh, just fuck off'. And that's no way to end a night out.

It would have been real though.

*You should listen to 'be real black for me' by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway though. Great song and you might even recognise a sample or two.