I’ve been called “Black on the outside, White on the inside” many times. And that’s because too many Black people agree with White racists that a Black person’s skin colour shapes who they are.
If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, “Black on the outside, White on the inside”, it’s a racial epithet to describe Black people who do not “act Black”. The phrase is synonymous with other racial slurs like “oreo”, “coon”, and “uncle tom”.
These racial slurs shame and label some Black people—Black people like me—as self-hating traitors who worship White people. Black people who say that about me offend me more than White racists do. Their insults are more painful than a White person calling me a nigger.
When a White person says I’m a nigger, he’s expressing his hatred for what I look like. When a Black person says I’m “Black on the outside, White on the inside”, he’s expressing his hatred for who I am.
Black people shame me for who I am more often than White people do. Black people call me a “coon” and an “uncle tom” more often than White people call me nigger. It’s not White people who openly use racial slurs against me, it’s Black people.
The phrase “Black on the outside, white on the inside” suggests that for many Black people, blackness is more than skin deep. Increasingly, a person’s blackness has more to do with their allegiance to Afrocentrism than their African ancestry.
Afrocentrism and woke ideology has become the purity test for Black people. Blackness has become a culture and a political ideology. Hip-Hop culture and leftist politics have become as (or perhaps even more) fundamental to blackness as black skin. Therefore, Black people who dissent from the hip-hop culture or leftist politics are considered guilty of treason and heresy.
In his book, Black Theology and Black Power, James Cone said: “Being black in America has little to do with skin color. Being black means that your heart, your soul, your mind, and your body are where the dispossessed are.”
That definition for Blackness has become mainstream, and it’s infiltrating some Christian circles.
Nevertheless, many Black people, namely Black leftists have become much like the people they hate. By embracing woke ideology, Black leftists have adopted and evolved ideas that were originally developed by White supremacists.
Like White supremacists, Black leftists believe a person’s skin colour is the core of their identity. They agree with White supremacists that a person’s skin colour shapes who they are. They believe Black people are a monolithic group. They believe a person’s skin colour should form their behaviour and interests. And they use racial slurs to shame Black people.
White supremacists are wrong about what it means to be Black. And woke, Black leftists are wrong about what it means to be Black too.
As I explained last week, Blackness isn’t a history or a culture. It’s just a skin colour. Blackness is just the level of melanin in a person’s skin. Blackness is only skin deep. My mind isn’t black. My heart isn’t black. My soul isn’t black.
White supremacists and Black leftists disagree, but my skin colour is the least significant thing about me.
If I woke up as a White person tomorrow morning, it wouldn’t change who I am. I would be the same person—except I would pack sunscreen in my bag, instead of cocoa butter.
So, what does it mean to be Black? It means the same thing as being White, Asian, and Brown: human.
Black people aren’t niggers. And we aren’t “Black on the outside, White on the inside” either. We’re just Black—beautifully Black. And we should celebrate that. God made us beautiful for his pleasure. We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made—all of us. Nothing more, nothing less.