Re: “Raven-Symoné: Don’t Label Me ‘Gay’ Or ‘African-American'”

Oh Raven….. Raven, Raven, Raven.

I’ve been trying to steer away from watching this interview after seeing all of the heat it stirred up on my News Feed from folks I respect and know I would agree with. I praise Raven for having stayed out of the toil and trouble that is Hollywood in her life chapter of ‘growing up’ and ‘coming out’ but what a disappointment it was to listen to a beautiful brown/black womxn so adamantly express on national TV her willingness to detach herself from her culture, her roots, and her ancestral heritage.

Yes– labels were created to confuse us and succeed in separating us from the solidarity and collective action that we need in present day society. Yes– we SHOULD be able to tell each other we love humans and not have to make it a ‘gendered’ decision. BUT to say that you are ‘American’ because you can only draw your roots to Louisiana totally disregards the centuries of oppression and colonialism ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR have endured and are struggling to overcome and become healed from in our present society. By making that choice, you have invalidated the countless acts that your ancestors have fought through, bled through, and died for to give YOU– their babies, their babies’ babies’ and their future generations to come– a RIGHT TO LIVE AND BE FREE in this nation so ironically found on the values of ‘liberty.’

Don’t tell me and don’t tell this generation that an American is a “colorless person.” Because by that, you are telling me an American is white and can only be white. You are telling me that because I claim that I am a person of color and because I label myself a proudly brown F/Pilipina-American that I am not supposed to be living on this land and that because I live in this country– I am supposed to forget about my roots, disregard where I come from, and be oblivious to the beautiful struggle that my people have shown resilience through in forging a ‘better and brighter’ future for their sons and daughters.

No, Raven. I don’t think so.

Being ‘American’ is about being a COLORFUL person. It is about recognizing that this country was built by the hands of people who came from far and wide to seek better opportunities. It is about acknowledging that yes, America is a melting pot; but through that melting pot we can find special ingredients that our ancestors have contributed and stirred through in times of righteous revolution and in times of peaceful integration. It is not about losing those contributions in the melting of the pot but rather identifying them, preserving them, and bringing them forth in our present society to CELEBRATE, LOVE, and SHARE with one another.

Someone enroll this girl in an African American Studies class ASAP.

P.S. I’M LIKE HELLOOOO GURL LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU GOT BEAUTIFUL COLOR RUNNING THROUGH YOUR VEINS ALL THE WAY TO YOUR CRAY-GRADIENT HAIR OF YOURS LIKE C’MON LET’S BE REAL HERE.

P.S.P.S. Mama Oprah tried to stop you. Don’t say no one didn’t warn you.

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