"Sometimes I Wish I Was White" | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

"Sometimes I Wish I Was White"

This is the title of Allen Watty's newest controversial song.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Sometimes I feel, I wish I was white,
so I could feel, just how it feels to be treated right.
I'm not ashamed of me. Just one time, I want to see,
how it feels to be treated equally.

Who wrote this song, and why? Well...

Producer and songwriter Irvin Lee, comments, "First off, we have no self-hatred issues. The purpose of this song is not to say that Blacks should want to be white. Rather, the intent is to make people think and converse about the continuous mistreatment of Blacks in this country."

He continues, "The song portrays the common frustration that many African Americans have when it comes to injustice. As mind-blowing and as absurd as it sounds, in the world that we live in, you have to entertain the concept of being white in order to experience true equality. So, our song is not controversial; the concept of a person having to be white to be treated right is controversial. When we wrote this song, we knew the phrase 'I Wish I Was White' would stir up emotions, and this was intentional to get people to open some new doors of communication."

Share your thoughts. Is a song like this necessary in the 21st century?

Previous Comments

ID
115869
Comment

Hmm... I'm not sure that the song is going to open the doors that they want to open. Why not write a song about wanting to be yourself, but also treated fairly? To me the message of the song perpetuates the idea that only white people are treated fairly, so why bother standing up for your own culture/race? What do you think LW?

Author
andi
Date
2007-11-28T10:38:19-06:00
ID
115870
Comment

To me the message of the song perpetuates the idea that only white people are treated fairly, so why bother standing up for your own culture/race? Andi, what comes to mind right now is whether the song perpetuates anything or if it's just a reflection of what's already occurring. There are blacks who've wished they were white long before this song was written. When I was very young, I used to wish I was a red-haired white girl named Jane. No one sat me down and told me it was better to be white, but I was getting societal cues that made me think that the way I looked was not normal because most of the people I saw on TV or in print did not look like me or had a name like mine. Fortunately, that didn't last long, and I went waaaaay on the other end of the spectrum. Now, I love my brown skin, nappy hair and big ol' African nose. Unfortunately, I still know there are many blacks who do not share that same level of confidence. Sometimes, when things seem to be going well, you forget about injustice for a hot second. Then, you get a wake-up call when you hear about things like the Jena 6.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-28T12:51:34-06:00
ID
115871
Comment

that's true... i guess i just am not sure that the message of the song is going to help anyone overcome feeling like they wish they looked differently. i used to wish that i had black, straight hair when i was little. i didn't like the way i looked. i think that applies to everyone, no matter the race, but i understand he is talking about wanting to be treated differently, more fairly, by being white. i guess i'd rather hear songs that praise people for being themselves, and being proud of who they are -- not wishing to be somebody else. i think that is a more positive message overall.

Author
andi
Date
2007-11-28T13:49:44-06:00
ID
115872
Comment

I understand what you mean, Andi. That's why I like artists such as India.Arie. However, this song is like something out the of blues genre where you sing about the problem rather than the solution. As ugly as it can be, sometimes it's necessary to just expose the issue in its raw form in order to start dealing with it.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-28T15:08:14-06:00
ID
115873
Comment

ahh i love India.Arie and was actually thinking of her when i was thinking of more positive, self-actualized music! but i see what you're saying about this being more like the blues as well. i'll be interested to see how listeners react to it.

Author
andi
Date
2007-11-28T15:38:32-06:00
ID
115874
Comment

i have a song called she wants to be light skinned... its not that big of a deal...i like the concept...however, saying that it wont open doors implies that theyre closed...they are...so maybe that should superman that ho... skipper for mayor 2009 "at least he aint frank"

Author
skipp
Date
2007-11-28T21:18:52-06:00
ID
115875
Comment

however, saying that it wont open doors implies that theyre closed Definitely an AHA moment...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-29T09:14:32-06:00
ID
115876
Comment

I didn't say that it wouldn't open doors at all, just maybe not the doors that they intended to open. And Skipp, you've got my vote. I like your campaign slogan!

Author
andi
Date
2007-11-29T09:22:43-06:00
ID
115877
Comment

And Skipp, you've got my vote. I like your campaign slogan! I agree, Andi. Here's one for the Skipper! LOL

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-11-29T09:52:54-06:00
ID
115878
Comment

but why did i not even realize that this website had blogs?? i must be super slow.... --- so i didn't want to be a little white girl with red hair. and definitely not named jane, since i was boycotting dick and jane books. but, i did want to have fly accessories like white barbie. and, i did wonder why the little black characters in my coloring books were dotted, or oh my gosh striped, to make it clear to us that they were intended to be black. and i did want to go on one of those fly ski trips that my classmates kept taking on spring break. so, umm, i might have associated all of those things with color and colored myself peach in the construction paper family portrait just one time. or something. besides never noticing blogs on this site, i'd also never heard of that song. i would say, i look forward to ever seeing a day when such lyrics are never catalyzed by such experiences as closed doors.

Author
eargasism
Date
2008-01-11T11:29:57-06:00
ID
115879
Comment

Honey, we've had blogs since we launched in 2002! We brought the blogosphere to Mississippi. ;-) Welcome. Enjoying your comments.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-11T11:46:10-06:00
ID
115880
Comment

I can completely feel the writers of this song. The meaning of the song and it's need seem quite clear to me. I don't think he's saying that he wants to be or anyone else should want to be, white. What he is saying is that in an effort to feel equal meaning - a. able to walk down the street as a black man with a older white woman beside him and she not clutch her purse closer - just because he's black; b. not being immitated by your boss on video acting ignorant and unable to complete the job professionally and as trained- just because your black; c. not being pulled over because your car is a lexus instead of a hooptie - just because your black. Now yall can act like this doesn't happen if you want but we KNOW that it does. And it happens because we have been stereotyped and plaqued as unequal in this society. And thus, the white people have been considered the upstanding way to be. Ever heard the phrase - white is right; black get back.....i'm sure some of you have. Point here is, if it takes wishing you were white to even be able to fathom being treated "right" then this song utters the tale. I am sure that those of you who know me understand that I am as proud as proud can be to be black. However, this song, does have a story and it's not as simple as "I wish I was white".

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-01-11T15:12:39-06:00
ID
115881
Comment

queen, i think that in a sense everyone basically agrees with what you're saying. however, mabye we articulated it differently. i was reading a book called "the universal history of numbers" recently, and the author ventured off into the realm of child psychology for a moment and made the point that it is impossible to really remember how we felt as children, or the reasons for it, because we will always clothe our memories, for instance, in the logic and rational of an adult mind. what i was saying is sort of like that. i didn't yet understand economic systems, social justice... the complexities of such things. i did however experience the manisfestations of such things - in the pages of my coloring books, or in the simple fact that we couldn't necessarily afford as a family to take spring break trips. as a child, you make associations. thus, i colored myself white. it's sort of like toni morrison - the bluest eye. it isn't the blue eyes, of course. but, children translate things in terms of the parameters of their experiences in a tangible world. artists, writers... tend to do this as well. of course it isn't as simple as "i wish i were white". there is often something deeper whispering beneath a lyric that catalyzes the song. or, for instance, beneath a black child wishing for red hair, or coloring themselves peach.

Author
eargasism
Date
2008-01-11T15:49:13-06:00
ID
115882
Comment

i wouldn't say that we're acting like this doesn't happen. i would say that the song, in essence, is pointing to the deeper psychosis that such experiences, or fear of such experiences, causes in the conscious state of black people. and, often, after internalizing such dialogue in our own minds for a period of time, we go on to perpetuate such thing in our own communities. "black get back". do you know where i first heard that? on the school bus. and it was coming out of the mouth of a very black friend of mine. but, of course, she'd heard that somewhere. as have i. as have you. i would say that there's equally a case for the fact that such experiences exist as those that you've outlined in your alphabetical points of reference above... as there is a case for the fact that we ourselves internalize such experiences and begin to question our own worth - look at ourselves and wonder if indeed we were a part of the priveledged class, how then would our experiences differ. maybe some of the issue arises in the fact that we aren't having discussions like this enough. the experiences exist. we should definitely fight to amend such behaviors, practices. we also have to be careful of the ideas of our own selves that we are carrying in our own minds. life is defined as growth. the evolution of consciousness occurs when we understand that there is a deeper reality that underlies the lyric, the conversation, the story. and we confront that. some of it is self work, undoubtedly.

Author
eargasism
Date
2008-01-11T15:58:07-06:00
ID
115883
Comment

i read your responses and i wasn't indicating what your opinion was; i was merely offering mine. maybe the statement regarding "yall" acting like it doesn't exist thru you. I didn't mean to say that as if I was speaking directly to anyone in particular. Just a statement.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-01-11T16:01:54-06:00
ID
115884
Comment

yes, yes, i can dig it. do you have any idea who this artist is? i hadn't even heard of him before i read this.

Author
eargasism
Date
2008-01-11T16:07:16-06:00
ID
115885
Comment

do you have any idea who this artist is? i hadn't even heard of him before i read this. I never heard of him either before this song. I think he's an indie artist.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-01-11T20:45:46-06:00

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