The other week I blogged about attending a Roosevelt School District Board Meeting. I mentioned feelings of validation because the board president and district superintendent both sought me out after the meeting adjourned. I had been so nervous to speak in that forum about the topic I wanted to address: the growing reports of hiring and firing practices that favor one racial group over others. This is a topic I feel strongly about, for obvious reasons… but even stronger than my fear of public speaking was my fear about how I would be perceived in addressing what was sure to be an overwhelmingly non-white audience about racial conflict.
I confided in a friend that I once made a very passionate commentary about stereotyping interracial relationships as being between black men seeking white women as status symbols. I made these comments in a largely black forum where they weren’t well received. The feedback I got included a response that basically accused me of thinking I was the Great White Hope. That phrase, like AmeriKKKa and others I’ve heard since, didn’t have a historical or cultural significance to me at the time.