I missed the days when junk food could pass my stomach faster than a train without brakes. When I was a kid, I gobbled enough gobstoppers to finance my dentist's Mercedes, and chew two chocolates in my face, exploding in a collage of pimples like pepperoni pizzas, because who needs middle school crushes when they've got Hershey's kisses.
The art of snacking was always carefree and fleeting until I had my first Oreo. There I was, swallowing them whole while the other kids would twist them apart, licking off the cream before discarding of the brown shells like used Kleenex. Stacy said, 'the white part just tastes better.' The irony of all these is that my mother used to say that you are what you eat. But the first time somebody called me an Oreo, nothing about this skin felt sweet.
When somebody tells you that you are not "really black', they'll smile a shade of ignorance that expects you to wear their words like a medal. They expect you to cling to those words as if their bigotry is the closest thing your hands will ever come to touching white privilege. When somebody calls you an Oreo, they'll hit the emergency ejection button on their throat and force a laugh that assures you that you'd be a fool to be offended because this is a pat on the head. This is how they thank you for not forcing them to swallow the parts of you that don't sit right in their stomach, in their suburbs, in their supremacies.
Stacy, thank you for proving that you don't have to call me your 'dog' to make me feel like you own me. You, you are the reason I cannot lift my hand in a lecture hall without feeling like a traitor to my own complexion, as if the only way for me to jump-start my career was to stand on a free throw line. She called me an Oreo because I was the first shade of brown that she hadn't seen on the O'Reilly show. I was the first shade of brown that hadn't served to her in a Starbucks coffee cup. And white washing, white washing is adding creamer to your coffee because you become dependent on artificial sweetener to make it easier to swallow. Because you love the caffeine but can't stand how bitterly the blackness binds to your tongue. But forgive me for refusing to sugarcoat my skin whenever you need a pick me up. Your compliments are as hollow as paper mache smile, and I refuse to shake hands with somebody who thinks that mine belong in cuffs.
Blackness is not something we abandon the moment we grow too large to fit your television screen. I will never, ever, ever stay silent in the world that expects me to leap out of my own ancestry just to earn its approval because acceptance, acceptance means more than looking for a mirror inside somebody else. What makes you think the best we could was a reflection of you. So pardon my french, but fuck you and your Oreo Klondike, York Bars, and Peppermint Patties. Stop calling us candy. You're feeding us empty calories and they will never fill us.There may be small errors in this transcript.