Friday, February 10, 2012

The White Boy Pass

Ok, I am a fan of words and I have no problem using them as weapons when faced with conflict. Boy 1 is the exact opposite. Boy 1’s toolbox in which to argue/debate is damn near empty. He has two responses to any form of confrontation. The first level response is "yeah, iiight.” That translates into "Yeah. Alright" for those of us who don't speak 15 year old boy. You also have to throw your head slightly back to make it authentic. If "yeah, iiight" does not suffice and his opponent continues the attack, the next and final level of response is "Ayo, Ima punch you in your face.” Which he quickly follows up. He is a bit of a Neanderthal, but he is mine!

So, he tells me that there is this thing at his school called "The White Boy Pass". The White Boy Pass is when a Black kid gives a White kid permission, a pass, to use the N-word. As the story goes, a White kid called another White kid the N-word in front of Boy 1. Boy 1 immediately looked at the kid but exchanged no words, of course. Remember whom we are working with here. That's when the White kids explained The White Boy Pass. Boy 1 responded "Yeah iiight. Nah.” That extra "nah" is very important. "Nah" translates into "try that @#$% with me and see what happens." It’s an elevated form of his first level response that let’s you know that the second level response will not come with a warning. Fortunately, these boys speak 15-year-old Boy too and understood the message. From there it became known on their small campus that Boy 1 does not condone The White Boy Pass and one should not use the N-word in front of him. Additionally, Boy 1 “confronted” the distributor of The White Boy Pass. “Ayo, The White Boy Pass? Nah, son” is what Boy 1 said to the Black kid who was the authorized dealer of The White Boy Pass. That translates to “I can’t believe you have created something called The White Boy Pass, thus condoning racist rhetoric amongst our teammates. You are dishonoring our past and our present. You are willing to be belittled for acceptance amongst these kids. I am ashamed of you. You will no longer grant The White Boy Pass. Do we understand each other?”

I was spared all the details, but apparently a White teammate assumed that his close knit sports-based relationship with Boy 1 would supersede my son’s stance on The White Boy pass. In the locker room, this child decided to refer to the opposing team as a collective group of N-words. In Boy 1’s world, he had already used his first level response for confrontation and did not feel it necessary to repeat himself. In fact, he had used the elevated form of his first level response and included the “Nah.” Therefore, there was no need for the verbal “Ayo, Ima punch you in your face” and he immediately clocked the kid. It didn’t escalate into a locker room brawl or a race riot. In fact, it wasn’t a “big deal” at all in Boy 1’s world. As far as all parties were concerned, “Yeah, iiight. Nah” was a full dissertation on Boy 1’s stance on the N-word and all he did was keep his word.

So, how did I come to learn of this story? Remember, Boy 1 is not a talker. I was dropping Boy 1 off on campus. As we enter his hallway, I see a young man look at Boy 1 and immediately go in his room and shut the door. I noticed this odd reaction, but I didn’t question it. I think all teenage boys are odd. Boy 1 realizes that he forgot his key to the storage area. He went to knock on the door of the hall-mate that had just shut his door moments earlier. As he walks toward the young man’s room he says to me “Watch this, Ma”. Boy 1 knocks on the door. The voice from the other side says, “I’m not letting you in”. Boy 1 says, “Yeah, iiight. I just need the storage key.” The voice from the other side says, “I’m not letting you in. You’re gonna hit me. Go ask somebody else.” I am completely bewildered. Boy 1 is cracking up. Boy 1 says, “Ayo, my mother is right HERE. I’m not gonna do anything to you. Just lend me the key.” The voice from the other side says nothing and slides the key under the door. I need an immediate explanation. And that is how I learned of The White Boy Pass. The voice on the other side was the teammate that tested Boy 1’s stance on the N-word.

So, there is no moral to the story. I will not be providing a summary or a final analysis as a mother or as a Sociologist. There will be no opinions expressed on violence, non-violence, racial pride, communication, assimilation, entitlement or anything else. This is just a glimpse of a page in the daily life of me. Till the next episode, walk good, iiight.

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