This past week I found out that I wasn’t invited to a BBQ that I didn’t know existed. I later found out that it was actually a cookout, that I still wasn’t invited too. I mean honestly, what’s the difference? Well, I found out when my good friend Shanice Wilson and manager Milan Zoe explained to me what the “cookout” was and to the dismay of many, re-invited me. Apparently, anyone of stature with respect in the black community can re-invite a disinvited individual. Confused? Well so am I. Not because of the whole bbq vs cookout dilemma and my invitation being revoked and then reinstated but because after fully comprehending “The Cookout”, I questioned the need for a cookout to begin with.
It was explained to me that the “cookout” is an analogy for a private club of sorts that has a whole list of special requirements the most crucial one being that you have to be black. So why wasn’t I invited you ask? Well, the trolling Instagrammer who told me I was uninvited was trying to insinuate that I wasn’t black or black enough because of my support of Joy Villa. Being a Republican is another sure way to be disinvited.
My response – Get in line sister. I have been disowned, kicked out, and blacklisted by liberals of every race for having viewpoints that differ from melanin masses and yet despite their hate I love them because they are me and I am them just the same.
I have been berated for making comments suggesting we get rid of BET and questioning why we accept black history to be highlighted and celebrated one month out of the year (and the shortest month at that). While my comments may have seemed like disrespect to the entities that were created to celebrate black people it was actually quite the contrary. Much like the idea of the cookout I ask the same question I’ve always asked. Why do we as a people have a continuous innate need for separatism? How do we expect equality while simultaneously creating both physical and figurative environments where a certain hue of melanin is the VIP ticket in? How can we ever expect inclusion when we are taking the time to even separate the BBQ vs The Cookout? To a color blind individual, both look like a gathering of people enjoying good conversation while enjoying great food. But for all that is good and Holy please do not confuse the two. I found out the hard way that insinuating that they were essentially the same thing was just pure disrespect In its highest form. Sigh…
While the troller was attempting to hurt both my ego and my feelings by disinviting me the truth of the matter is yes I want to be invited to the cookout but I also want to be invited to the bbq and the Bar mitzvah, and the Holy Communion and the quinceanera and all of the other official and unofficial cultural events celebrated all over the world. Yes, I am black and Mexican but I’m also human and I would like to be able to be just that, human. In every environment, in every circle, in every way of the word. It is only when we expect and accept being treated as humans will true inclusion begin to happen. Until then if we limit ourselves to the cookout that is where we will stay. Out of the circle, Out of the loop, and out of the world we strive to be a part of. When I asked what BBQ I was genuinely asking unaware. Now that I am clear about what it is, again I ask, what bbq?