Stop Telling Black People What's Not Offensive To Black People...
Let me first make one thing clear… I do NOT hate white people. In fact, I have a white best friend that’s been to my house about 5 times (I figured if white people can use that saying as a way to prove that they’re not a racist, it would work for me). However, I want to write an open letter to all of my white friends and associates.
Dear white friends and associates,
Do not tell me what is and is not racist!
would leave it at that, but I am a person who hates taking orders without clear and logical reasoning, so I will carefully explain why you need to stop telling people of color what is and isn’t racism.
You’re white! Please don’t compare the stares that you get while you’re walking through the hood to get your little dime bag of weed and the actual taking of innocent black lives. I can’t begin to explain just how stupid you sound saying “a black person called me a honky white boy… I know what it’s like!” I can’t tell you what cuts you deeply and what doesn’t, but… bruh! Hearing this is completely frustrating to a person who turns on the news every day to see their people killed and treated poorly simply because of the color of their skin. It’s almost like you’re saying to me “Yes, I’m privileged but look! Black people are mean to me too! They make me feel bad for listening to rap… that makes them racists too!” We’ve all experienced someone who is just a dick for no reason. Assholes don’t have a race or nationally, they’re everywhere, so please don’t use a black person being mean to you as a grounds to put your “disparity” on the same level as ours. In fact, what you’re doing when you say these things is ignoring your white privilege. The two videos below do an awesome job of painting the picture of white privilege and how it impacts society. Take a look!
Simply put, because you are white, you have an advantage. Yup, that’s all you have to do—be white—and you’re assumed to be a hardworking, educated, honest person with a good credit score. On the other hand, because my skin is darker and my hair texture is exquisitely kinky, they assume that I lack education, receive public assistance, and probably have a criminal record. These are all the things that people will assume based on race.
Okay—so, the issue is that we focus too much on race. We dwell on the past and blame the actions of your ancestors on you. We just need to just forget about those things and focus on right now and the future. Hmm… seems like a very white ass statement made by someone that doesn’t realize that blacks are still feeling the effects of slavery. I wish that I could forget, but see the way the system is set up… I can’t transfer your white privilege into my life. That being said, stop saying this stupid ass statement, “Just forget about race and just focus on being the best that you can be today! Slavery is over and we have a black president!” I can’t even begin to find the strength to type words in an order that would make it crystal clear to you just how ignorant you sound when you say things like this. So, to this statement my response will be “fiefni vhfhvnvifhv iihfe9u3r47 dffvi!?*%$” When I read things like that on facebook or in a blog comment section it causes my heart to hurt and my left eye switch to the rhythm of Beyonce’s 7/11. Like, dude… c’mon! We have black man as a president yet police officers can kneel their entire body weight on a 14 year old black girl in a bikini while a group of people watch. We have a black president and we still are killed in our places of worship because we’re black. Sorry, but Obama wasn’t a cure for racism. Fact is, we don’t need to forget about the past, we need to remember it. Because it is still the cause of many of the issues that blacks are facing today. Hundreds of years of oppression and unfair standards that suddenly just stop inflicting pain on the minority because you elect a black guy as the leader of the nation? Nah, sorry to inform you, that’s just not how it works.
When the “scary black guy” calls you whitie as you walk through the inner city, you can take the bus to the North Side of town and retreat to the safety of your Lincoln Park condo. I can’t escape my oppression, it is all around me. Even when I’m in a “safe neighborhood”, I can be stopped and harassed because I am black. You see, you can leave the uncomfortable areas that just have you sooooo oppressed and feeling the strong hand of racism. Me? I can’t really do that so easily. That’s why you can’t truly understand racism when it comes to being the receiver. The only thing that you can do is empathize and try your best to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Speaking of what y’all can do for me… educate yourselves! It seriously perplexes my black soul when white people like to call themselves cultured because they’ve studied abroad or some bullshit. Okay, I’m all about traveling and being cultured. By all means, use that passport, boo boo! However, you can pay thousands of dollars, sit on a plane for 8-15 hours, and deal with jetlag to find out about another country's culture. This is only done after you’ve spent months preparing by reading books on the culture in an effort to not offend the natives upon your arrival. You pride yourself on the many wines that you’ve tasted while on a vineyard tour in Spain. You Instagram the French cuisine in effort to make your social media friends jealous. All this and you’ve never had a batch of properly mixed kool-aid or a bowl of “callah-greens” (collard greens).
You educate yourself on the culture that you want to know and care about. Because you feel that the blacks on the other side of town can’t do anything for you, you can care less about their culture and the things that make them unique. You insist that we are the reasons why you do not know how to interact with us. We are the ones that need to reach out and inform you on your privilege. So, let me get this straight, not only do you get to call me a “black coon bitch” when referring to me with your friends, but I also have the duty to educate you on why you should respect me?! Nah, bruh… that’s where I’m going to draw the line. You can take your Chicago Public Library card and check out a book for FREE.99, watch a documentary, or even ask questions seeking real answers to help you understand. But what I’m going to need for y’all to stop doing at my earliest convenience is blaming me for your ignorance. Speaking of your ignorance… that is also not a pass to say stupid things and blame it on “Well, I don’t know much about the black community so…” When you don’t know the answer in class, you don’t raise your hand to be called on, and you keep your mouth closed. Do that for me—don’t raise your hand and don’t say anything because you don’t know! In a classroom, you stay quiet until you have skimmed over your text and you’re confident that you have a reasonable answer that can add to the class discussion. In the words of my favorite podcasters, Kid Fury and Crissle “You can be loud or you can be wrong. You can’t be loud AND wrong!” Despite what America wants you to believe, you don’t know everything and just because you’re white, it don’t make you right.
With all this said, please, understand, I have nothing but love for everyone. I’m just tired of being sorry for being black. My entire four years at my stupid, racist, sexist, white ass high school I had to apologize for being black and beautiful. I had to make myself uncomfortable to appease the white teachers and students. Well, I’m here to let you know one thing—I ain’t sorry (emphasis on the “ain’t”). I’m tired of putting chemicals on my hair that cause thinning and balding because my natural hair is offensive. I’m tired of feeling bad because I like hip hop and I voted for a black man to be my president. I’m tired of not speaking up in my classroom full of white men about societal issues because I don’t want to be that black girl. No more will I or any of my counterparts apologize for letting you know, “…you’re wrong!” No more being sorry for being me.
Afros and Ovaries
Unapologetic Black Woman