To me being called a nerd was worse. Probably because back then being a nerd was no badge of honor what so ever. I was a big into cartoons, Transformers, science, history etc, so I had to struggle with the pressure to dumb it down and not be myself. Being called white just seemed like an extension of being called a nerd to me, but since I was the son of a militant black man from Arkansas and the grandchild of a woman who was shot in the leg for trying to shop at an all white Piggly Wiggly in South Carolina I knew under no circumstances that would I ever be mistaken for white.
At least for me once I showed I had thick skin, had no problems throwing jokes back and would throw hands on occasion if pushed too far everything was cool. I was still a nerd who was into what I was into, but I still was accepted by my black peers even though I was in the nerd classes and stuff because they knew that I was still proudly one of them.
As someone who has experienced both, I would have to say being called "white" really fucked with me. I have always been into so called "nerd culture" growing up and in my adult life. This has worked to my advantage when "friends" asked me to come do something as simple as set up a "network", hook up their WiFi for a few bucks or get rid of a simple "virus" on their computer. If only these Niggas would learn the power of google. The White thing came when I moved to Kansas, and was attending a school where I was the only black male in my senior class, we had three black females also.
At the time I was playing AAU basketball with a team that had only one white guy on it, and he was in the same school district that I was attending. The area I attended school was Overland Park, KS and this was during the early 90s so people who know that area, know what I am talking about. So basically because my parents had a little money and could afford such an area it was assumed that we thought we were too good for black folk. It was here that I found my first experiences with being called a "white boy". The same thing would happen when we would go and play at different schools. I think being called the "token" cut a little more than "white". I mean don't get it twisted. I knew very well that most of the whites in my school would not have cared as much about me if it was not for me being able to dunk, score touchdowns, and medal state in track. They did not know nor care that I was honor roll, in advance classes, and a member of a local business man's club. They did not care because that is what you are suppose to do in school, I assume. There was just a lot of rich dick's there, and the humbling of the school district I came from could have helped a few of them.
Anyway, my daughter is going through it now, but instead of "white" I guess it is "GG", which is good girl. I told her that is fine because good girls get to run good companies. So let me wrap this up because I am sure when I hear this read back, even I will be like what was the fucking point. To me being called white hurt so much more. To my friends, I am still seen as a bit of a nerd, but my blackness has never been questioned. I guess as we get a little older and learn the different dynamics of "blackness", we understand the complexity of it more. thus allowing us to accept 6-3, 240 pound, former college football player nerds, as simple negros. sorry for the long response.
For me being called white was worse. When I was called white by black kids it was an obvious joke that we all laughed off and chilled. I saw being called white was just another way of saying "you like something weird" never in a "you'se a sell out uncle tom." kind of way . It was more of a problem when the white kids called me white when I joined AP classes. They were far more malicious and constant, trying to earn some weird badge of honor for being blacker than me. And when I was in high school being a "nerd" started to get popular so nerd wasn't an insult that was thrown around. The word didn't carry the same connotation as it did for the time you grew up. But more importantly, black people stop being so hurt when black people call you white. Black people are joking
Around my way back in the day it was synonymous.
Sounding white meant you sounded smart and spoke proper.
Being a nerd meant you were trying to sound smart and people thought you weren't tough.
People fukk with you regardless. Or maybe that was just me. I was in the gifted class and forced to dance by 7th Graders that looked 18. One dude was like a mini Terry Crews. You get checked just to get checked, being black checked was the least of my worries.
Being called white for sure. The nerd chatter all stopped for me in HS because I tested into an optional HS for Science and Engineering where the population was ~20% black . I still got called white around the way on occasion through HS though.