If I were locked in a room with Jesse Jackson and Soledad O’Brien and given a gun with exactly 1 bullet, I’d probably blow my own brains out because no matter which of those two I shot, I’d still be stuck with the other one.
Neither Jackson nor O’Brien is my favorite person. I’m almost diametrically opposed to each.
However, in the new and inane argument which has arisen apparently because Jesse slighted Ms. O’Brien “Blackness”, make no mistake, I gotta take up Soledad’s side.
Mr. Jackson, taking issue with Ms. O’Brien light skin—which is due to her being the product of a Black mother and a white father—pretty much implied that Ms. O’Brien isn’t Black at all which, we must agree, is absurd.
Some of the most important and iconic Black people on this hemisphere since the founding of this republic have either been Black or bi-racial (which is the exact same as being Black; don’t get that twisted).
If we were to live by Jesse’s implications, we’d lose Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali, Halle Berry, Frederick Douglass, Lena Horne, Ntozake Shange, Angela Davis and Barack Obama.
And while some of y’all might think that we could afford to lose at least few of them, trust me when I tell you that we need every last one.
We live in a time during which the greatest freedom is that of choice. You can decide your own sexuality, your own gender and even your own race.
This is why I didn’t include Tiger Woods on my list of light-skinned Blacks. He has made it implicitly clear that he is not Black.
So when someone like Ms. O’Brien actually claims “Blackness”, to have another Black person like Mr. Jackson try to shut them down is so sophomoric that you’d only expect it out of grade schoolers.
Also, if dark skin were the only barometer of “Blackness”, then how come there are no dark-skinned East Indians “saying it loud”? (holla at me Vijay Singh)
Lastly, if we’re to agree that once married, a couple becomes “one”, are we then to suggest that Black people who marry white people, folks like Seal, Taye Diggs, and Paula Patton, become somehow less Black?