Tuesday, April 24, 2012

White Like Me

Greetings and salutations, readers of I’m With Stupid, Reagan Thatcher III here today for the IWS weblog.

Who am I and what I am doing here on the golden pages of IWS?

I am Reagan Thatcher III, and I am the whitest black man you will ever meet.

In full disclosure, my given name is Andre Jackson.  I was born to my unmarried parents of Tre’ Jackson and Shaniqua Johnson.

Odd you say?  Please, and only if you have a spare moment my very alabaster friends, allow me to express the conditions under which this wackiness transpired.

I grew up a poor black child named Moses Jackson, living within the unholy and hostile projects of Detroit just off of Livernois Avenue.

When I was eight years old, I discovered something about myself.  I didn’t recognize what it was, but I had a feeling that I was different than the kids with whom I attended George Washington Carver Elementary school.

My friends, of which I had few, would listen to The Sugarhill Gang, The Commodores, and other radical musical artists like Teddy Pendergrass.

I was more into Leo Sayer, Dan Fogelberg, and if I was feeling slightly “colorful”, Dionne Warwick.

And whilst but a mere child listening to music with my few friends they would talk about someday getting out of the projects in which we lived, and moving on to bigger and better things in a nice little Section 8 house.

Me?  While I listened to their crazy music, I would often reply to them…

“I dream bigger than that. I dream of one day owning a multitude of Section 8 houses.”

I could sense their unease and confusion with and about me, and I could sense my own confusion as to who I was and what I was to become.

And then, on my tenth birthday, the epiphany that was forever to change my life hit me smack dab in the palate.

My mom asked me…

“Moses? Which would you prefer for your Birthday Supper.  Fried Chicken and Greens or Carp and Okra?”

Not even thinking, I unknowingly and involuntarily blurted out...

“Slightly Grilled Salmon and a crisp salad with lo-fat dressing…and Fresca…Yeah a Fresca would be nice.”

It was at that moment that Mom looked at me with a horrified yet sympathetic stare, and I back at her with the same look of both sadness and curiosity, that we both realized…

I was white.

My journey of race identification would carry on throughout my very successful life.

In High School, while my “alleged brothers” were playing basketball and football, I wielded my athletic prowess on the tennis courts and within the profound circles of fencing venues.

Indeed…during my High School years, I hit full whiteness, and some of my darker “friends” would try to “bring me back from my life of sin” by saying things like…

“Maybe you’re not a full-blown white guy; maybe you're merely biracial.”

They could say whatever they wanted to; I knew that I was a white guy in a black man’s body and there was nothing they could do to change that.

After graduating first in my class, getting an MBA from Harvard, and going on to join my local country club, I finally and officially changed my name from Andre Jackson to Reagan Thatcher III in honor of my two heroes whilst growing up…Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

And don’t get me wrong…It’s not like I totally left my blackness behind so as a white man I could look down upon black people. Good Heavens no; some of my best friends are black…

Okay not really…But I have to say that, because with being white comes the white guilt even if I am a Republican.

Man…It’s hard being a white man these days.

Have a wonderful day, and I hope to speak to you soon my friends…

Reagan : )

neshobadude@yahoo.com
@mattman_iws

5 comments:

I'm With Stupid said...

Heh. And I remember when you tried to defend Harold Ford Jr. to me a couple of years ago. I knew you didn't really believe what you were saying.

Jay

I'm With Stupid said...

Jay: Hey Now!! I dig Harold Ford, Jr., even if he is the, almost black Mitt Romney. Cheers Jayman!!

Matt-Man

Beth said...

Ha!

I'm With Stupid said...

Beth: That pretty much sums it up. Cheers Schmoop!!

Matt-Man

Jo said...

If I was a white man I'd want to be an Asian woman. Hee.