I will breathe - Part 4 (Light skin vs dark skin)
A few days had passed since my grandfather’s arrival in Montreal, and I was gradually able to put the lip-tuck incident behind me in order to move forward and get to know him more. I had heard great things about my grandpops. He was known for being a successful man in Haiti, and because of that, I was eager to ask him several questions about the general lifestyle back in his country. However, Papa Biron was a very boastful person. From my perspective, his stories always seemed to appear a little more grandiose than they needed to be. I was reluctant to believe “the hype’’, but if I was being honest, listening to him talk about his great accomplishments was entertaining and amusing. To me, he simply was the typical retired old guy who had an infinite number of stories to share with his grandchildren. I also told myself not to be too quick to judge my grandad considering that, at some point in life, I may become just like him.
Some time went by, and one day, my uncle came to pick up my father to go run some errands, which left Papa Biron and me alone in the house. Papa Biron took that opportunity to come meet me in the basement and sit next to me while I was watching TV. He looked behind him to check if anyone was around and then proceeded to say some of the most disturbing things that I had heard in my entire life. He said, ‘’You know, son…you are a good person. I know that you have some good in you just like your granddaddy. The reason why I know this is ‘cause you and I got the same skin tone. And unlike your uncle, your father, and your brother Rodney, us light skin people are inherently good. However, keep in mind that dark skin Negroes have evil in them. So, always make sure to watch your back because even though they are your siblings, they will ultimately, at some point, have evil ways towards you.’’ I was stunned. I stopped breathing for a split second, then followed up with a head nod in support of his statement.