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orville lloyd douglas

The Guardian columnist Orville Lloyd Douglas reveals in his latest piece that he hates being a Black man and that his skin color is his “personal prison.”

He writes: “I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label I hate ‘being black.’ I just don’t fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime, and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports, and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey, and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.”

Clearly, Douglas is no stranger to self-hatred and internalized racism.

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We Don’t Need To Get Over Slavery … Or Movies About Slavery

He is, after all, the same writer who said that he was “exhausted” and “bored” with race films, and that maybe he should give up his “black card” because he just doesn’t care about slavery anymore:

“I might have to turn in my black card,” Douglas wrote, “because I don’t care much about slavery. I’ve already watched the television series Roots, which I feel covered the subject matter extremely well. Of course, I understand slavery is an important part of any black person’s history, but dwelling on slavery is pathetic. It ended in North America over 100 years ago, yet since Django Unchained made over $400m last year, more slavery movies emerge.”

He continues his search for White validation in his latest piece:

Read excerpts below:

Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation?

Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips, and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?

A lot of the time I feel like my skin color is like my personal prison, something that I have no control over, for I am judged just because of the way I look.

Not discussing the issue doesn’t mean it is going to go away. In fact, by ignoring the issue, it simply lurks underneath the surface. I believe a dialogue about self hatred should be brought to the fore in the public sphere, so that some sort of healing and the development of true non-label based pride can occur.

Of course, I do not want to have these feelings, to have these dark thoughts about being a black man. However, I cannot deny that this is the way I feel. I don’t want to be ashamed of being a black man; I just want to be treated as an individual based on the content of my character, and not just based on the colour of my skin.

Though some writers actually agreed with Douglas’s piece about slavery in film (why, I don’t know), if his admitted self-hatred doesn’t make it clear that his critique had nothing to do with “exhaustion” and everything to do with seeking a pat on the head from his White contemporaries, then nothing will.

Read Douglas’ full column here.

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