Recently, a Dr. Phil story about a young lady by the name of Treasure Richards has been circulating the internet.
This young woman claims to be ‘transracial’ and wants to identify as Caucasian. She has disassociated herself from the black community by saying things that are so disgusting that I refuse to give it any attention here. A quick Google or YouTube search will bring up the results if you want to find the story.
While this story has recently been exposed as being fabricated by Treasure’s alleged elder sister, Nina, I think we need to acknowledge and be aware that there are REAL Treasure’s out here and we need to talk about it.
I had a friend back in the day that I’ll call, Nikki.
When Nikki would come over we used to play Disney Princess games on my computer. Nikki would always choose Cinderella because she said she wished she was pretty like Cinderella with her blue eyes and blonde hair.
She would say that she loved going over to her friend, Katy’s, house because they had such a nice, normal family.
She said she thought white celebrities were prettier or more talented than the black ones, and wanted posters of almost all white singers for her walls.
Over out our thirteen year friendship, Nikki’s self hatred would manifest in ways that seemed harmless. Such as admiring white celebrities almost exclusively. To things that were overtly problematic. Such as her calling my Urban Fiction novels, which featured black characters on the front, “Nigger books.” There was also the time she considered having sex with a guy who was a known redneck in our school, whose parents wouldn’t have even wanted her to use the front door, let alone sleep with their son.
The most egregious offense was when she laughed at my natural hair with a random white guy we landed on in chatroulette. Something which, at the time, was a major source of insecurity for me.
For all her faults, I tried to remain understanding. I wanted to keep our friendship going. Nikki was a very sweet, bubbly, generous friend when she wanted to be, but the toxicity of her self-hatred hung over her and our friendship like a storm cloud. Shortly after I went to college, our friendship dissipated.
I recently watched an interview that YouTuber, Tasha K, did with Nina, elder sister of Treasure. In the interview, Nina goes into full depth of her family’s history and where Treasure’s toxic behavior stems from.
Needless to say, it all starts at the source. From what I can gather, Nina and Treaure’s mother, Monique, was a troubled woman with a dark history of abuse; a cycle which she continued with her own children.
While listening to this young woman tell her story of a tumultuous childhood of abuse, grief, and trauma, I couldn’t help but think of Nikki and other black children who are products of their environment.
Too many of us in this community can say that we were raised in similar dysfunction, and have had to learn how to deal with childhood traumas, mental illness, and familial issues with little resources and on our own.
The Black American community has always struggled when it comes to coping with our unique traumas and our self image issues. Every decade since the turn of the century it seems, Black expression has evolved and what it means to be Black and proud in America has changed.
With the most recent development of Black pride, being led by Black millennials, it seems that the mental state of the Black community is becoming a growing concern for Black Americans. With this in mind, let’s try to think more critically about people like Treasure. How many of us may know a Treasure, personally? How many of us may struggle or have struggled in the past with our self image and sense of self worth as Black people?
Let’s try to remember that we have a lot of generational trauma to work through and that the walk towards being more mentally and emotionally balanced can begin with us.
Let’s remember to talk to each other, seek professional help, take mental health days, and forgive ourselves.
Let’s remember that our image as Black Americans is not monolithic and it is entirely up to us as a culture and as individuals to determine who we are as a people.