D Kevin McNeirOp-EdOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: I Dreamed About Being a White Man Before Waking up from my Nightmare

Sometimes I find myself lost in ridiculously absurd thoughts — daydreaming about how, after long-lasting, unfulfilled desires, I’ve been transported to a parallel world — a new reality which I actually know could never really come true. Nonetheless, I have occasionally hoped for this “new me” from time to time, vigorously, then less infrequently, depending on the total number of absurd obstacles, hurdles and barriers that I had been forced to endure throughout the day.

One of those more frequently-occurring dreams begins something like this: after a long, sleepless night during which I had tossed and turned from sundown to sunrise, I finally abandoned any hopes of rest and slumber, sat up abruptly, stretched my limbs and embarked upon a new day.

But I knew something had happened during those bewitching hours of darkness. Somehow, I had been stripped of my familiar exterior, my ebony skin, my chocolate veneer and assumed a strange, new covering. My blackness was gone — disappearing and evaporating in a fashion similar to the fate suffered by the Wicked Witch in the Land of Oz after Dorothy and her trio of friends doused “her royal evilness” in pure, cleansing waters, melting her and her darkened spirit away forever.

My Black skin that had slowly but surely began to fill me with pride — that is after I heeded the down-home advice given by the Godfather of Soul in his provocative theme song of Black affirmation — no longer existed. It had been replaced by a different mantel of pride: America’s inexplicably celebrated, highly flaunted persona of power given to those “privileged” to be comfortably born and ensconced in that seat of “unmerited perfection” — “melanin-deficient, white-skinned men.”

For some, that may be the ultimate reality — their unfilled hope and prayer. But for me, as reality sat in and the lights came on, I understood that I had been thrown into nothing short of a living nightmare. Black folks, men in particular, sometimes hope that such “dreams” will one day come true. Maybe that’s because society tells us we should seek such a precipice — a mountain top where our actions and deeds have far less importance or relevance than the color of our skin. Maybe.

But that too is little more than a pipe dream, a piece of undigested cheese — a hope and a prayer for those who also hitch their star to winning the lottery.

Stay true to yourself brothers and sisters. Hold fast to who you are, that which makes you unique. Once upon a time I dreamed about being white. Then I realized … I was just having another nightmare.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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