Response to What Black People Want to Ask White People
First, if you haven't watched the video above, I suggest you do, because this blog post is in response to those 24 questions.
Have you watched it yet?
Here are my answers to these questions:
- Umm, horror movies are real life and don't reflect real life. You really need to ask the Hollywood directors and writers about this, though I think you'll find that a group splits up to create tension and move the plot line forward.
- I don't freak out when a black person plays a white fictional character. In fact, I like when Hollywood takes previously all-white media and changes the line-up to better reflect real life.
- Umm, okay I stopped watching James Bond movies a while ago, but I might start watching them again if Idris Elba played Mr. Bond. He's a fantastic actor.
- I never heard this prejudice about big butts and big lips until right now. Who says they're unattractive on a black woman?
- No, I never thought Miley created twerking. But I also am not a Miley fan.
- Has someone really asked you to teach him/her to twerk?
- Hmmm, I think that you assume that everyone knows about every trend that ever existed. Just because one set of people do or know something does not imply that everyone does or knows the same thing. And this may not be a black vs white thing; it's probably an urban vs suburban thing.
- I don't think that anyone wearing her/his hair naturally is inappropriate.
- Okay, I don't understand why you are upset that someone wants to have hair similar to yours. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
- I don't think there is enough context for me to respond here. I think you might be discussing how white people are "appropriating" black trends, but what does that have to do with student loans? And how do you define a "black" trend? Why can't it just be a trend?
- You ask a good question, sir. Why do we tend to generalize a community's reputation on one person's crime in one case and not the other? Or does this truly happen? In my experience, neighborhoods with low socio-economic factors tend to have more crime, regardless of who lives in the neighborhood.. Is it possible that you're misinterpreting someone's reaction to hearing about a crime that happens in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood with the color of the alleged criminal's skin?
- Thank you for not assuming all white people are serial killers. Ironically, as a kid I moved to Florida the year that the authorities captured Ted Bundy. Hearing about him and serial killers made me a bit paranoid around white men until I realized that only a teeny-tiny percentage of the population were serial killers. All was well until my senior year of high school, when a friend of mine was kidnapped and killed by a serial killer.
- I'm not uncomfortable talking about race.
- No, I don't think I'll be perceived as a racist.
- No, I don't think that racism is over, though I do think that a non-white president is a good start. By the way, I specifically said "non-white" because Mr. Obama is the first non-white person in the White House, as well as the first black president, but non-white is the larger category.
- I don't really notice either situation, because usually there are black, white, Latino, Asian... around.
- My goal has never to be colorblind. I like both the green and red cones in my eyes.
- Again, not wanting colorblindness.
- I don't want to say "nigger" so badly. It's never been a longing of mine.
- Nor do I say "nigger" unless I'm answering someone's question.
Tangent: I don't use the phrase "the n-word" because just like "Voldemort", not saying "nigger" you give the word more power.
- Ew! Do people walk up to you and touch your hair?
- No one should touch you without your permission. How often does this happen to you?
- I don't think the number of black friends a person has or doesn't have relates to that person's racism. Personally, I do have black friends because they are nice people, not because they are black.
- Again, I'm not racist because I'm not racist. Friends don't have anything to do with it.
- I don't curse at my parents.
- I don't own a dog; I am exceedingly allergic to them.
- This is a linguistics question more than a race question. English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish all come from the same source and are classified as "Romance Languages". Each language, while distinct, has similar pronunciation rules, thereby allowing a speaker of one language to reasonably guess the pronunciation of a name in another Romance language. African languages have a different source, different pronunciation rules, and different sounds. So I know that I cannot look at an African name and pronounce it without asking for some help, because using English pronunciation rules won't work.
However, since I know this I generally ask for help pronouncing a name the first time.
- I'm going to address the next three questions/comments here. Lions and black people - there is no limit to how many problems people care about. People can care about Cecil the Lion getting killed and care about black people getting killed in America. These are not mutually exclusive. The media played up the death of the lion because it's a problem that mostly everyone can agree is wrong, and through solidarity get more ratings. The media's approach does not reflect the general public's feelings on these subjects.
- I don't think the way white people are treated should be considered a "privilege". I think that everyone should be treated this way, and that it should be the norm.
Instead of trying to get white people to give up their "privileges", maybe we need to change society so that everyone gets the same "privileges" as well.
- I don't consider you to be the spokesperson for all black people in America. I don't really consider any person to be a spokesperson for a group of people, unless you're a formally chosen ambassador.