race relations…

My dad has a great saying, “You’re single until you are married”. I begin with this statement in order to explain why I end up fraternizing with so many random people when perhaps I shouldn’t be. That’s not to say that I’m a cheater. But it is to say that I’m smart enough to keep one eye open, you know…just in case. But I digress. During one of my random interactions, I was casually introduced to a friend of a friend while out at an event. Within 45 seconds of conversation, he asked me, “Did you grow up in the valley?”

To which I responded with a questioning, “Nooo….”. His follow up question explained where he was going with this. “Did you grow up around White people?” So then I said, “Why are you asking me that?” and his response was: “Because you talk like a White girl.”

Now before I continue, I’ll pause and let you reflect on that for a moment. It caught me off guard as I haven’t heard such an asinine question since I was about 18. But what does a White girl talk like? Apparently, according to his original projections, they sound like a character in ‘Clueless’ from the valley of California’s Los Angeles area. However, since I do not pepper my sentences with ‘Like’, ‘Oh my God’, ‘Dude!’ and ‘Totally!’, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he was referring to my lack of cleverly dispersed urban youth slang in my speech. But I decided to take off my Assuming hat and see if I could get some clarification.

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, trying really hard not to activate my ‘hood’ side and cuss said ‘brother’ out.

“You sound like…I dunno educated and bourgeoisie. But I mean I guess it probably helps you at work and stuff.” (He actually said ‘booshie’, but I’m trying to make HIM sound more educated. Or not.)

Needless to say, the conversation did not progress much further after that. But I must ask, how disheartening is it that we still attribute education, class and intelligence with being ‘White’?  Even  though our president is Black, young, minority men and women still aren’t learning to value education and the benefits it has to offer.  I’m not going to say what Mr. Intellectual does for a living, but let’s just say it doesn’t require the ‘White’ education  that he had so much disdain for.

With the recent ridiculousness of Donald Trump molesting our new feeds, it is becoming clearer that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Afterall, at the heart of Donald Trump’s 20 questions about Obama’s citizenship and how he got into Harvard is the real question: How the hell is this Black man the president of my country. It HAD to have been affirmative action! (Last I checked affirmative action doesn’t keep you in Harvard, but hey, what do I know? And he’s the President who retrieved the lifeless body Bin Laden so who cares?!?)

And I expect there to be Donald Trumps for the rest of my time here on earth. But the thing that will never cease to amaze me? Minorities endorsing ignorance. I always will be a little shocked when a Black man is so insecure about my intelligence that he tries to make it look like a bad thing and even attributes it to being ‘Non-Minorityish’. When I am not in New York city, whether on vacation in another country or travelling to middle America for work, how can I keep trying to teach and convince people that ‘WE’ aren’t stupid or lackluster or uneducated when ‘We’ don’t even believe it ourselves?

The frustration that some one like Bill Cosby feels perhaps shouldn’t be vocalized in a very public forum. And 50 cent shouldn’t shout Oprah out on her position on helping all people instead of just ‘Black’ people (because technically if she did only cater to Black people she wouldn’t have gotten very far in her career…sad, but true).  And yes- Obama’s politics haven’t catered to ‘Us’ either. (But he is the president of the UNITED states, not just the brown people, so  I’m guessing he might have his reasons) However, how can we expect the universal buy-in of others if we can’t accept and embrace ourselves?  It’s a question I don’t have the answer to. So I guess I’ll just keep wondering. And trying.



About usbottlesandfriends
The tales of unpredictable truths from those guys your mom warned you about.

2 Responses to race relations…

  1. Andre says:

    Hand claps everywhere…

    I’m a teacher and I agree 200% (even though one can only go up to 100%). It’s hard to educate the stubborn parents that their kids are not learning “white” English. I try to explain to their parents that they are learning “business.” One will not be able to speak slang for a fortune 500 company. Jay Z doesn’t even speak slang, he may rap/spit it but in the corporate world, no.

    In my opinion, it will have to die out with that generation. It is in the same manner of the slave talk mentality. Our generation understands the history of our people, but we don’t and won’t let us hold those pitty “we shall overcome someday” parties. And that type of speech slowly died out after segregation. Even Jesse and Al don’t speak like they used to anymore. The dialog has changed.

    I see Obama being a bigger trailblazer than just president. He along with ubf’ers and other intelligent individuals won’t be satisfied with just speaking slang, sagging pants, teeth grilled up, etc. There wil be a movement of sophistication, swag, and excellence.

    Keep teaching and it’ll catch on! It might get worse before it gets better, but keep on teaching.

    • Lolita says:

      Thanks! It is so frustrating to hear our youth embracing the ignorance of “talking black”. It saddens me. And then hearing something so rediculous out of the mouth of a grown man? Tragic. It is true what you say though- Rome wasn’t build in a day and yes- Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton have both stepped their verbal game up, if not their tactics…but that’s a blog for another day. President Obama is a great leader for both minority intelligence AND family. I just wish more people would follow his example and not…oh i don’t know, lil wayne?

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