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More By Kofi
Being able to determine what a thing is, and then classifying it along with other things is one of the attributes that has allowed humans to advance to the point we are at today. We classified and developed different plants to make medicines, rocks minerals to make tools, animals to make use of them, and other substances to make use as we see fit. Historically, we also classified other humans into groups and subgroups to be able to determine how to interact with them to our best benefit. Today, most groups of humans still separate themselves and other humans into groups many are very low-key about it though.
Over the past few years, I've gotten in many debates and discussions with Black people on the topic of what exactly a Black person is. Too many times, I've had to exit the conversation because many of the parties disagree with what makes a person Black. Some people say "A person has to have one Black parent to be considered Black" others say "A person has to have two Black parents." I've often read/heard other ways people determine Blackness but most of the time, folks say that you have to look at the parents. My response is usually "Okay, well how do you determine if their parent is Black?" and by this point folks either think I'm playing semantics or they keep pointing to the parents, and parents of parents ad infinitum. As a my colleague, Cree 7 illustrated in her most recent discussion on the topic, asking most people how to determine Blackness is like facing two mirrors. The reflection duplicates forever.
It it high time that we all adopt a mechanism for determining once and for all if a person is Black. Over the past year or so, a small group of people have been developing a tool for just that. Its called the Counter-Racist Evolving Engineer (Cree) Tool
Why The Cree Tool is needed
There are two major for problems that this tool could potentially help to solve. The first problem is Black people's inability to consistently determine who is Black, who is non-Black, and who is lying about being Black. At any given time, not knowing a person's racial background could, and generally does have detrimental consequences. People call themselves Black, and us, not being sophisticated in our understanding of human racial groups accept them as that. We offer them resources, information, and comfort. Ultimately those tangibles are removed from our collective pool and we're worse off. Conversely, Black people are recognized by every group instantly and would never be accepted into another group, let alone offered resources on the basis that we were one of them.
The second problem of the hypothetical of corrective programs dealing with the historical wrongs suffered by Black people. If there ever comes a time that non-Black people are forced, corerced or convinced to repair Black people, as it stands, non-Black people who claim to be Black will probably benefit most! Black people need a way to batten down the hatches, so to speak and clean our racial house of people that don't belong here.