Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and I know some of you are using a bedrock address, you knuckledraggers who think the out-of-wedlock rate in the BC is okey dokey have a smokey), you know I’m eye-deep in No Wedding No Womb stuff at LEAST until Wednesday, then the hubster’s birthday is on Thursday, then Friday I will probably need to be hospitalized. Or at the very least, transported by helicopter to the nearest day spa.
So I have a few folks holding down the fort. And don’t think I’m relaxing my STRICT EDITORIAL GUIDELINES, because nobody, I mean NOBODY, gets in here unless I like them.
In the spirit of the Madame Noire article I wrote last week that REFUSES to die (with 202 “likes, thankyouverymuch“).
What Would Global Me Do??
By: Ieishah Clelland
Grab a pen and a piece of paper, we’re going to take a little quiz. I’ve compiled some of the most shameful, race-baiting, egregiously ignorant, frustrating, grey-hair inducing scenarios me and my friends have experienced over the last few years in order to test your ‘traveling and dating while black’ quotient. It’s one thing to go on a vacation armed with your Lonely Planet, your preconceived notions and your tunnel vision, hit the hotspots, and only communicate with service folks and travel companions. It’s quite another to juggle race drama, dating drama, AND the journey. Just who is ‘global you’ and what would she do? Let’s rock, women’s mag-style…
1) You’re at a huge music festival in Germany. You’ve just seen Missy Elliot perform a blistering set full of all your late 90’s favorites. Her dancers, especially, were amazing–there were about 30 of them in all!!! You’re walking over to the VIP bar, still humming I Can’t Stand the Rain to yourself, when a cute guy steps in your path. “Hey! Didn’t I just see you on stage?”. You:
A) Inform him that not all black people look alike, and forward march towards a cold Stella.
B) Just forward march towards the spirits, man. Really? Why bother?
C) Aw, he doesn’t know any better. Besides, he’s ca-yute! Just say no, smile and wait for him to redeem himself.
2) You’re enjoying an afternoon stroll through the glorious Alhambra in Granada,Spain, Michelle O-ing it up in black silk one-shouldered joint, when you hear, “Negra!! Negra Linda Madre de Dios! Negra de mis sueÃ±oooooooos!! Un beso, guapa!!” (Please do not Google translate this!! Just go with it!) You:
A) Think and grow enrrrrrrrrraged! “This little Pancho Villa looking fool just called me the N-word!!
B) Think, “Â¿Que?”
C) Smile and wave like Miss America
3) You’re backpacking in India. After a 27 hour train ride, you and your honey end up in a small village somewhere behind God’s back. You check into a B&B (backwoods and bedbugs?). Now all you want to do is find sustenance. Finally, you settle on a cute restaurant that’s a cross between authentic Indian and fast food. As you walk in you notice everyone staring. And pointing. And talking… about you! ‘Horror’ is too subtle a word to actually describe how you feel. You..
A) Jump on people’s tables, squatting over their food and growling a la Grace Jones in Boomerang. Give them something to look at!! (Go to question 4.)
B) Try your best to ignore the stares and take refuge in your man and your food. (Go to question 4.)
C) Take your meal to go. (Skip to question 5.)
4) Feeling about as comfortable as a cow at a cookout, you sit and eat. The server has begun to clean off your table WHILE YOU’RE STILL EATING!! It’s so quiet you can hear an ant scurrying across the floor, when you hear him say, “You go now. Please go.” Not only has your honey NOT said anything this whole time, he’s also telling you to hurry up. You think:
A) Coward!! Soon as we return to the hostal, I’m dropping his ass!
B) Soon as we’re back to the hostel, we’ll have to talk calmly about his role in racist situations.
C) He’s just as shocked and hurt as I am. I didn’t like his nonreaction, but what else could he do? He wasn’t the one being racist.
5) You’re chilling at a party when an “Antonio” approaches. He asks where you’re from. “America,” you toss. You ask where he’s from. “Italy”, he volleys. He tells you he’s been to New York once and that he loves jazz. Then he opens up a bit more in order to better fit his whole foot in it. Heel to toe. “Well, it was Italians like Frank Sinatra who really developed the art. Black people really didn’t have the cultural sophistication to do that back then.” You:
A) Walk away.
C) Think, “Poor thing! He’s so confused!” You get his number, and resolve to send him a mixtape and a copy of Jazz for Dummies asap.
Give yourself 3 points for each A, 2 points for each B, and 1 point for each C.
If you scored 15-11, perhaps you should stick to local love. There are so many ignorant people in this world. Not to mention, people with perspectives radically different from yours. You need people on the road, so shutting down or resorting to the extreme reaction every time someone offends you is not an option.
If you scored 6-10, you were made for love on the run! You have the ability to work with folks; to learn where you can and teach where you can. You call people on their ignorance but don’t take it too personally. Your greatest strength, perhaps, is that you have the capacity to put everything to the side, even race , and focus on the journey. Wheels up!
If you scored 1-5, WOW!! You are cool as a cucumber in the face of a clown! You’ll find it easy to fit in, make [boy]friends; even learning a new language will be easier for you because you don’t take things too literally. Careful, however, of being too permissive of ignorance. While travel can help dissolve racial baggage, you also have a responsibility, to ALL the sisters who come after you, to set folks straight.
What do you think about your score and the analysis that corresponds? Agree or Disagree? Why or why not? Dump it all in the comments section, along with any alternatives, stories and anecdotes involving race, travel, and men. In the next installment, I’ll reveal how my friends and I really handled these sticky situations.