“What do you play?”
If you are a black male on a large, predominantly white college campus, you’ve likely answered this question when someone—usually a white person—innocently assumed you play a sport that landed you at their prestigious university. As a 16-year-old freshman at SEC football powerhouse Auburn University, I stood 5’5” and weighed 120 pounds if I was soaking wet wearing a pair of Timberlands and you also measured my high-top fade. Still, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked that question, and I always wish I could come up with a sharp, witty answer.
One of the least-mentioned symptoms of the psychosis we call white supremacy is the delusion of merit. Many white people subliminally believe that there is a separate entrance through which black people can sneak their way onto the grand white stage simply because they are black. If they ever find a black person standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them, they assume the black person got there through affirmative action, athletic ability or by diving through some “minorities-only” loophole that allows the “underprivileged” people with melanin to exist in white spaces.
It’s why many white people still believe that black people get to go to college for free. It’s also why white people think affirmative actions “lower the standard” so black people can be admitted to a college or get jobs.
It’s also why Barack Obama will always be the “Black President.”
Barack Obama was better-educated, less scandalous and more successful than any president this generation has seen. Unlike George W. Bush, Obama didn’t lie to get us into war. Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama never faced impeachment. He didn’t help hide a guns-for-cocaine plot like George H.W. Bush. And at the end of Obama’s presidency, 138 people in his administration hadn’t been convicted, indicted, or become targets of official investigations for misconduct and/or criminal violations, like Ronald Reagan.
And because the current commander in chief is a white supremacist, tax-evading, broke-ass bitch with delusions of grandeur and a ball of laundromat dryer lint for a brain, Donald Trump still can’t comprehend how Obama earned a Nobel Peace Prize.
And it tears him apart.
On Monday, during a Press conference during the U.N. General Assembly, Trump once again whined about Obama’s 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace and how he hasn’t received one yet.
The Washington Post reports:
“I think I’m gonna get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things — if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” Trump said at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, responding to a Pakistani journalist who told him he would deserve the award if he could work out the decades-old dispute between India and Pakistan over the territory of Kashmir.
Trump offered no real evidence that the five-person Nobel committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian parliament, is actually rigged — except that it awarded Obama, then the president, the prize in 2009.
“They gave one to Obama immediately after his ascent to the presidency, and he had no idea why he got it,” Trump said. “You know what, that was the only thing I agreed with him on.”
Goddamn, this man is thirsty.
In 2018, 18 Republicans nominated Donald Trump for the prestigious honor because of his efforts to “end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula, and bring peace to the region.”
Also, none of that shit happened.
Unless the Nobel Committee introduces a new category and Trump wins the Nobel Prize for Lying Motherfuckers, he probably will always envy Obama’s accomplishment. But Trump’s claims that the Nobel Prize is rigged is typical of the psychosis that won’t allow him to admit that Obama won more electoral votes (both times), had a larger inauguration audience and probably has a bigger...ummm...hand size.
Seriously, I was gonna say hand size.
Trump’s delusion is not atypical. He is, after all, just a dumb white man stricken with the mental illness of whiteness. To be fair, being white is not a mental disorder. However, whiteness makes one susceptible to the idea that one has climbed their way to one’s positions, prestige and perch atop the social strata while the rest of us were lollygagging on the negro-only escalator. Because, if they admitted that the system was rigged in their favor, they would also have to acknowledge that their unwillingness to dismantle the system of white supremacy makes them, in some small way, white supremacists, too.
All of them.
Just the other day, during a late-night Walmart search for Hostess chocolate cupcakes (I don’t eat that shit but, oh, the things we do for love), an elderly white man wearing a Crimson Tide t-shirt stopped me and asked where he could find some kind of seasoning. I don’t know why, but even after I told him I didn’t work there, he rambled into a long explanation of how he seasoned his pork chops. I wish I could remember the particular herb, but all I could say was: “That’s the only seasoning you use?”
In less than a minute, he revealed that his wife had taught him this seasoning method and he never really cared for it. But after she passed away, he began eating his chops that way. His voice began to crack and, I have no idea why, but this small little glimpse into his sorrow also made me tear up. For a minute and a half, under the fluorescent superstore lighting, he was just an old man telling his story and I was just a human looking for shitty, preservative-filled cupcakes.
Just before I walked away, he joked: “Why are you wearing that shirt?”
I looked down and realized I was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that said “AuburnAF” written in bright orange letters. From a distance, it was easy to mistake the tee for a Walmart uniform, which was probably why he stopped me in the first place. I knew he was needling me because, like most of the people in the area, he was a fan of AU’s archrival, the University of Alabama.
“Oh,” I answered. “That’s where I went to school.”
“Really?” he asked.
“So, what did you play?”
I still don’t have a good answer.