The Ab Experience Magezine

Everyday we here stories of police brutality. Black men and women dying senselessly. Each time justified by past criminal histories and demonized by talk of drug use or some other stigma. This idea of extermination appeals to non blacks because the narrative remains the same as it has for hundreds of years. With all the negative treatment and assault outside our community, why would we then commit the same acts against our own people because of skin color? I not going to define albinism because it can be researched independently. What I am addressing is the malice continuously served to us because of those who feel inferior. Those who hide behind oppression to harm persons with albinism, because we remind you of those who do NOT see you as equals. If you are Not one of those individuals, this isn’t for you. 

Let’s Really Talk About It

As a black woman, growing up in a predominantly black, low income community it was difficult. My peers were very unaccepting of my fair skin. The same people begging for respect and equality because it’s not granted, because of their appearance… Some say this is “ colorism “, however the definition of colorism is: prejudice or discrimination against persons with a dark skin tone,  typically from persons of the same ethnic/racial background. I can’t speak for everyone’s experience or other ethnic backgrounds, but where I’m from… it seems dehumanizing to make a situation out of albinism and the complexion of a member of your own race, when you feel discriminated against or oppressed. I use my voice and articulate my thoughts around these circumstances because something needs to change. We always talk about discrimination for those with darker skin in the African American Community, but never about this.

Treat People How You Want to Be Treated

How much Merritt will an argument for equal rights hold, when you intentionally deny this to other persons of our community, for their differences in skin color? I want to shine a light on justifying this treatment by saying everyone gets teased…. that’s pure bullshit and it’s not just during childhood. People remain ignorant and disrespectful into adulthood about the effects and seriousness of this behavior. We are in a movement saying, “Black Lives Matter”. However, black persons with albinism are not considered worthy of this protection, especially by members of your own community. 

What is the Real Problem with acceptance in our community? You have semi-celebs and washed up comedians making jokes about persons with albinism because, it is supposed to be funny. However, making jokes is one thing… what is the meaning of saying, Where do albinos stand on, “Black Lives Matter”? All persons with albinism are not black, so what do you think? In addition if you mistreat those persons with albinism within the black community, again what do you think? It’s not ok to push us to the side then ask for, something for yourselves that you refuse to others of your community, who are not wearing “colored” skin. 

Discrimination and disrespect of persons with albinism should not be a life time expectation. Personally, I’m not going out of my way to turn the other cheek for those who mistreat me. I’ve experience prejudice from whites and persons with albinism. These are NOT minor things. People need to learn to respect and appreciate their community as a whole. As long as we remain segmented based on things out of our control, we will never be viewed as equals…with the rest of the world. As a black woman, my children are also black. It’s not about the skin color but DNA. However, I truly believe that persons with albinism within the African American community are not thought of as “Black”. 

When people say ignorant things like, “Albinism is the best of both worlds” or believe white skin makes you privy to anything different than others in your community, it infuriates me. Not, knowing is not true. People simply do not care. Dosen’t matter if a person of color never saw another person with albinism, you should know on sight and respect your own. Instead many do not and in turn offer traumatic bullying, fighting and rejection in every way possible. What concerns me most, these stories ring out around the world. It’s unimaginable that another black woman would say I have no right to date a black man or a black man wanting to be intimate because he feels it’s just like having a white woman, in his bed. This goes beyond ignorance. The pettiness of butt hurt individuals to immediately take a stab at trolling you about skin color because of albinism, is stupid. Everything is about skin color in our community. What’s truly abnormal is the opinion that, all African Americans are brown and those who aren’t deserve to be mistreated, because its believed you can “pass” for white. That there is some benefit or reward that they are not entitled to… but offered to persons with albinism … It’s a lie that’s shared amongst the community to make it ok, to continue this treatment.

There are those of us in the albinism community who think we can change this perception by declaring some power in, using the word “Albino” as a positive descriptive. It’s not a noun it’s an adjective used to describe beasts in the animal kingdom, that crawl, slither and walk on four legs. Ie. “albino python”. I am a person first! A woman foremost and I will Not tolerate any acknowledgement outside of this. No one addresses any other people by a condition, and I refuse to accept the disrespect intended when people use the word “Albino” in reference to me or to address me. As a matter of fact, if that’s the only thing you notice or can remember about me, don’t even bother speaking.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

What disgusts me the most about the way our community approaches the discussion on albinism, is the stereotypes and stigmas that stain the perception of people effected. With all the education and grassroots movements for inclusion, people still only want to come from a place of pity or denial. To pretend you don’t notice or can’t see color, but soon as you get mad… it’s the first thing you strike at, is telling. Everyone with albinism doesn’t have low self esteem, however if a person doesn’t feed into that stigma then … they must be arrogant? More rubbish from my experience. It’s like people from our community feel they should be in charge of how you feel. As though their opinions, backhanded compliments should brighten the day. I find it very difficult to believe these are the only options for understanding albinism. Give the respect you expect to receive! Be the change you want to see and stop making excuses for this behavior, while asking to be recognized as human beings yourselves. Don’t ask for what you can not extend.

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