AintBlackistan: A Country for Those Who Black Wrong

As a child, I struggled with accepting myself because I didn’t feel accepted by others. When struggling with depression and low self-esteem, you tend to base your personal value on what others see inside of you, or on what they’ve determined you lack.

I was often reminded that either I wasn’t either Black enough or my Blackness was suspect. My analytical brain would ask questions like “What does it mean to be Black?” This is a question in itself that would prove others’ point about my Black inauthenticity because “real” Black people don’t ask these questions.

I felt like the tribe I was supposed to belong to always rejected me for continuously Blacking wrong. It could have been from childhood insecurity, but I did have genuine experiences that would back up this notion. Whether it was a subtle side-eye when people found out that I listened to a particular type of music or hearing the comments from people close to me discussing how I’m “not really Black.”

By the time I reached adulthood, I was used to being labeled a defective Black that refused to operate the way he was supposed to. And I had noticed that it would infuriate some when their tactics used to guilt me into behaving the way they thought I should didn’t work.

I was used to the expectation of monolithic social behavior subscribed to by some Black people, but my eyes widened once I saw the same patterns within the political world. The party that I supported started sounding like the same racially judgmental people whom I had encountered throughout my entire life.

The Democrat party went from sounding like an organization that was liberal-minded and advocated for free personal expression to rigid identity-driven essentialists. My race as a Black man was no longer the footnote of my identity. Instead, it was the whole page, and they pre-wrote a default “desire & struggle” message based on it, without my permission.

What made this party transition worse was that this mentality of monolithic Black politics wasn’t just a Black thing anymore, but a mainstream expectation that could be verbalized by every demographic. In essence, Black race essentialists now have an enthusiastic White co-signer to determine my Blackness, or lack thereof, for their political agenda.

It is why our now President of the United States, Joe Biden, felt comfortable enough to laugh away a statement that “you ain’t Black” if you don’t vote for him, made on a Hip-Hop program to a Black man. Even worse, it is why Charlamagne Tha God, known for his sharp wit and brazen questions directed at people he interviews, said absolutely nothing about it.

The phrase “you ain’t Black” has become a mockable representative moment for myself and other wrong Blackers who don’t appreciate anyone telling them how to be proper Black, especially from an old White guy like Joe Biden.

Sometimes you have to laugh at the absurdities in life because of how ridiculous they are. As a joke, my friend and commentator Jeff Charles tweeted that he had received his results, with an attached image of Joe Biden saying, “you ain’t Black”. After I laughed, I replied with the response, “Mine says I’m from AintBlackistan."

From that moment, I used this fictional country as a way to unite Black people like myself who are tired of being told what Black should look like, by giving them a metaphorical nation to be themselves and define what Black looks like for themselves. It is not a country that rejects the idea of being Black but a place that embraces the many beautiful ways we can be Black without ridicule.

Jokingly, I’ve appointed myself as the President of the Free Republic of AintBlackistan and Jeff Charles as one of the founding fathers. We’ve united in a way to encourage other wrong Blackers to keep being themselves by offering them a safe haven at AintBlackistan as I tweet the image of our fictitious country’s passport.

Whether you think this concept is lame or not, the underlying point is to have a constant reminder that our President thinks he can define whom I should support simply because of my complexion. It is to remind people that Joe Biden is one of many Democrat figures who see no problem with defining Blackness for political gain.

So, if I ain’t Black in America, I know I can be Black in AintBlackistan.


Image: Title: aintblakistan


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