It is not a form of nonverbal communication as one’s physical features do not actually communicate physical behaviors. Because there must be a bad connection as the calls are all the same. Black is bad, can’t be half bad but must be all bad, a bad apple that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, gives you bad vibes and is bad sign. And bad news travels fast. On the other hand, white is good, good to go, as good as gold and it is always good talking to you. Yet, some have never had it so good.
Though many persons perceive it and employ it as such, race should not be coupled with facial expressions or the body’s movements. More so, we cannot accurately read a person’s body language using the sociopolitical construct of race because it employs stereotypes, wrong and self- interested perceptions made right. And they are ingrained, ground in, rubbed in. They blend in well, so that we cannot tell that this is not our voice but the voice of an oppressor from hundreds of years past.
Oppressor and oppressed, we start to all sound alike. Our words run together. Evil travels in packs. These conversations are circular, cyclical. We never go anywhere and always end up where we started. America has never left the plantation.
We think we know so much based solely on the so- called or better still, the social coloring of skin. Based on light- skin, supposed white skin and the hides we have colored in beige, brown, red, yellow and black (Because I’ve never seen that, these colored people walking around anywhere.), we claim to know what a person is all about. But I declare that you know nothing about me.
These racialized identities spout hearsay, group singular stories and bind them up as my own, pass them along as the gospel. I have never liked playing the game telephone. Human beings did not speak me into existence and they certainly cannot pass my identity along. I cannot be repeated, captured by human lips, summed up by a single word, the totality of my existence expressed in flesh. No, because I am a living soul and I will leave this skin behind along with old earth.
“Your kingdom come.” We pray but still don’t get the message. We still confuse the message, decline and don’t pick up on the message. Forget the words you have made flesh and substitute them with our best guesses: beige, brown, black, red, yellow, white.
And these people on the telephone don’t know my message, why I am here on this day or any other. If you say that I am black, then you have never heard me—because I would never say that. And we have never had a proper introduction. Because I am not a color. I am God’s creation. I am not a single characteristic or an adjective pretending to be a noun.
Instead, I am a complete sentence and “I am black or a black person” is not and never will be one.