We sat in the car and a friend — an educator said, “its called ‘standardized test'”. He emphasized standardized the way passionate people do. He punctuated it with his hands the way homosexuals do.
Unexpectedly, we were in the presence of modern Vikings. The Dutch military on a plane trounced us in their 6’3″ and above-ness, their statues physiques and politeness. They produced conversation just among us Americans (huddled in a corner, gawking) about what we like; I was called picky. To get a rise out of the tall girl, skin the color of a perfect moccasin, I jokingly said “he must have a high school diploma or a G.E.D.”.
I once had a crush on a boy who smoked. He smoked. He smoked. He smoked. He smoked. Perhaps I shouldn’t call him boy. There was a young man I had a crush on and he smoked and he smoked.
Black children on average since 1970 have had lower standardized test scores than their White counterparts. Studies have shown this happens before kindergarten with the gap widening well into adulthood.
This man with his Black&Milds has a diploma, but dropped out of community college. I have a mother and father with no more formal education that a high school diploma. My generation is the first on both sides of my family to go to university. I was encouraged not to take the SAT, because that standardized test does not adequately measure the aptitude and intellect of African Americans; rather, I was encouraged to take the ACT. I did perform better on the latter rather than the former. I am the first person and only person in my immediate family to graduate with a secondary education degree, but I don’t believe I am the smartest of four boys. I have given brain to plenty of men without secondary degrees. Men that still read more than I ever had. Men that still researched more than I ever had. Men that hypothesized and critically thought better than I ever had.
So when some White man on a plane full of Dutch Gods tells me people with G.E.D.s are lazy or that a diploma is not good enough for his attraction to a partner I reeks of privilege and standardization. Then the moment comes when you try to explain “I know plenty of men that have read more than me, researched more than me, think critically better than me with their G.E.D.s” and he refutes it with all his might and tries to segregate those people as anomalies. You sigh only to see a person of color to confirm with them and then you bring the conversation back to where is began (more lighthearted) about desires you would want in someone climbing your back and all I can think of is:
I don’t date men who are Black and mild–
settling in between thin pink lips
white hands handling them.
He must be of something else–
Black and of earth
and of earth and Black.
It’s becoming like a little black dress
on any plus size woman.
I don’t date men who are Black and mild
he must be rooted and lit