Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last night during the Wizards game, I struck up a conversation with one of the other journalists writing about the game. There was a lull in the action on the court, so the conversation turned to whether I was from this area or not. He prefaced his question my mentioning that he was from Largo, Maryland, which a nice suburb to live in. I then mentioned that I went to school in Potomac, Maryland which is widely known as one of the richest cities in the country, and he gave me a funny look and said, "Oh you're one of them rich niggas". At that point, I looked at him and said, "No my PARENTS were rich, I wasn't", and he laughed and said whatever.

Now, this conversation bothered me on several levels. One, this reminded me of the conflicts I went through in high school and college about having to prove how "down" I was because I grew up in an affluent neighborhood. You frequently hear about how hard it is for individuals who grow up poor or lower class, but there is another side to that issue, because I have lived it. I don't really want sympathy or pity, but when I get dismissed as a "rich nigga" it bothers me because of...

Reason #2: I was not rich. My parents were. And both of my parents made it painfully obvious that the riches they had accrued were theirs, and I had to get my own. They didn't buy me a car, they didn't spoil my brother and I, and they made us cut the grass, rake the leaves and shovel snow, rather than hire help like the rest of my neighborhood did. So my brother and I knew my parents had money, but we were put to work regardless, because my parents had blue collar values instilled in them when they were young. So I felt "regular", not privileged. In fact the only time I felt rich was when I went to college, and my parents paid for my tuition. No scholarship, no student loans, just mom and dads money.

You know what I'm cutting this entry short, because it feels like I'm bitching for bitching sake, and its taking me too long to get to the point. Hopefully someone got something out of this convoluted mess. Sorry Obama, for my usage of the word nigga. In fairness I was quoting someone else. Please don't let this discourage you from giving me that Poet Laureate position.

If Only For A Moment Girl - Steve Perry

2 comments:

Sab D said...

Man, you on to something - don't cut it short.

Listen, I was raised with them same ignorant misperceptions. Wasn't until I ran into you that I realized that they were misperceptions. So that makes you "da teacha" (with apologies to KRS 1). What you are speaking on is a voice that seldom heard or spoken by carlton from the fresh prince ... & who wants to listen to someone who dances like that?

See if it wasn't for you ... I never would have listened to the U-MC's & the Fu-Schinckens (i had to throw that in there on you)

Miss. Lady said...

Sab D you are about to make go and pull La Schmoove up on Youtube, again.

Rashad, don't let that ignorant mofo get to you.