OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
I don’t like Trevor Noah. I don’t watch Trevor Noah’s shows or interviews. I did, once, a long time ago. But I felt my brain cells disintegrating and so I felt, for my own well-being, it was best to avoid any of the BS he spewed. I will pull a freaking muscle racing to change the channel if I hear his voice. No, thank you!!
But I do watch the Hodgetwins, and the Hodgetwins were making fun of Trevor Noah for saying dumb things (I’m sure he does this often, but this was a special occasion). So I got a free dose of Noah stupidity today.
You see, ole Trev was talking about Black families and the things we do. Because we’re all the same. If you didn’t know that, please ask Joe Biden, he’ll educate you. So black families do certain things. Like lay down their edges (which my hairdresser did once, and I was not really a fan of, but okay). They wrap their Jordans in plastic bags (now, I won’t buy my kids Nikes, but if they bought some with their own money and decided to wrap them in plastic bags instead of, I don’t know, wearing other shoes while it was raining, I’d probably slap the black right off of them). And we talk to our kids about driving while black.
Now, I have indeed talked to my children about what to do in a traffic stop. Teens tend to drive like blind, one-armed, under-developed monkeys. They’re definitely going to get pulled over at some point. My husband and I told them how traffic stops work, what will be expected of them, and different scenarios that might arise if they don’t have their paperwork or they fail to listen to instructions.
I tell them the story of their Aunt Mina who ran over her neighbor’s garden because she’s short, can’t see well, and she’s a driver with questionable skills. We’re not paying Auntie Mina’s insurance rates for you to drive. Don’t run over gardens.
We’ve told them to be kind, be patient, and be prepared. Traffic stops are not short, and they are dangerous for officers, so be understanding. If you’re been pulled over because you were doing something wrong, you’re probably getting a ticket. Sucks to be you, because you’re also paying for it. If you don’t think you were doing anything wrong, you can ask the officer questions but he is not a judge, you wait to fight tickets in court.
What we do not tell them, as Trevor Noah suggests all of us colored folks do, is that these situations are unique to them because of their skin color. I’m sorry, we just don’t want our kids to be closed-minded bigots who see the entire world through a prism of race. Does racism exist? Yes. Is it so prevalent that it controls our lives? Uh. No.
I’m sorry, but the answer is just no.
My nineteen year old son has had two speeding tickets. The last stop ended with my son inviting the officer to attend the restaurant where he works for weekend brunch. My son did not pretend to be white. He followed the directions in the DMV handbook, the same directions that we as his parents reiterated to him, he accepted his ticket for speeding, and he treated the officer as a human.
Trevor Noah thinks police need to be educated about how to act around black people, since black people can’t understand how to act around the police. The Smithsonian thinks self-reliance, being on time, being polite, and the nuclear family are all sign of whiteness and definitely not synonymous with blackness. Milk is racist. Math is racist. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist. And I will straight-up MURDER a peanut butter and jelly as a grown ass, 40 year old adult. While doing long division. Ben Carson is a coon. Saggy-butt pants are the epitome of black culture. George Floyd is our hero, MLK is problematic.
And so I’ve figured it out. I’m not really black.
It’s okay guys! This is an intentional choice. If this is what being black means to the black community, I identify as trans-racial. I’m racial nonconforming. If people can deny their chromosomes, I can certainly claim racial ambiguity. I haven’t done one of those ancestry tests, but we’re a mix of many different backgrounds, and we’re all Genghis Khan’s children anyway.
Like the legend of a boy who kisses his first girlfriend only to “turn her” into a lesbian, Trevor Noah’s idiocy has de-melanated me completely. I’m no longer black, I want nothing to do with Cornpop. I only wonder if I can continue living my life as I did before, or do I now have too much privilege?