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Race Revisited

18 Nov

Originally written in 2011.  Not to predict doom and gloom, but a race war seems on the cusp of inevitability very soon in Ferguson, Missouri.

I thought there was really no reason for another article on race relations, but while researching another subject, I happened upon an article about the cultural and social differences of a certain race. Since I don’t propagate or reward ignorance, I won’t say where I found this article, but in cooler talks at work my buddies have said or asked some of the same questions about various black people in the office. As a person that has always had friends of all races, I figured the most responsible thing was to pose these questions to both one of my black friends and one of my white friends to remove my own personal biases.

By one of my black friends, a physician

1. Why is it okay for black people to use the N-word, but not okay for white people to use it? It’s akin to women calling each other the C-word.

1st off, I’ve heard one group of white women calling each other the C-word playfully, and I’ve heard many different groups of women calling each other the B-word. As for the N-word, I don’t think it’s necessarily okay for anybody to use the N-word, even though it’s worse for a white guy to say it. Black people were oppressed by white people in this country for hundreds of years, even post-slavery. Anyway, I think the thought is that by embracing the word as a term of endearment, the word loses its power. I don’t like it, but it is what is. And if you ain’t black, don’t drop the N-bomb or you might get slapped.

2. Why are black girls so loud?

Black people as a whole are just more fun-loving and boisterous. I don’t think that black girls are any more loud than anyone else. I’ve heard loud people from different ethnicities.

3. Black guys, do you really like white girls or do you do that just to piss white guys off?

Wow. This a stupid question. Do you really think there’s any thought put into white guys if I talk to a cute, white chick? Dude, I like women, not just black or white, but brown, yellow, whatever. If I talk to a white chick, it’s because I think she looks good. Plus, white women and black women are so different. The average white woman might be a little more open to try new things than the average black woman. Different cultures, you know.

4. Are you guys really still mad about slavery?

No black person is mad about slavery; we didn’t live through it. We are upset about the prejudices that are still in existence today. You probably won’t believe or understand that until you have one of the countless incidents of racism that any black person has had. Like women clutching their purses on elevators despite my clean-shaven, well groomed appearance. Or being stopped constantly on the way home by the police, because I work in an affluent neighborhood. I’m never ticketed by the way, just stopped “routinely.”

5. Do you guys really like pig’s feet?

And I thought the other question was stupid. No black people do not like pig’s feet. Poor, country people like pig’s feet.

6. Do you guys really think D.L. Hughley is funny?

If you don’t think D.L. Hughley is funny, watch Kings of Comedy again. A lot of people think he’s funnier the second time around. And, if you still don’t think he’s funny it might be because you don’t have the same experiences that a lot of black folks have. It might just be that you don’t have a base of knowledge for his comedy because he does talk a lot about racial differences.

7. Is everything really racist?

No, “everything” is not racist. That doesn’t mean that you’re the judge of what is racist or is not, though. There are occasions when some decision was made solely on preconceived notions about someone’s race. The other side of that is, I hate when people bring race into something that has nothing to do with race. I also hate when white people say “Hi,” to a white guy, and seconds later says “What’s up?” to me. It doesn’t mean the person is Hitler’s grandson, or that he thinks I’m a thug, but it does bother me a little. I’m not cool just because I’m black.

8. Which rapper is it okay to like?

Eminem. I’m playing man. Like whatever type of person or music that does it for you.

9. How come you all look alike?

I hope that’s a joke. Racial groups do not all look alike. That’s ridiculous and probably a little racist. White, Black, Asian, and Latin people do not look alike. Why am I even answering this? Pay a little more attention to details and you’ll see that racial groups look very dissimilar within the whole. Get some friends from a different ethnic group.

10. Did you really spend $200 on (tennis) shoes?

I’m grown, so I don’t buy tennis shoes. Buying these shoes is like a status symbol for black kids. White kids buy over-priced clothes from American Eagle, Asian kids buy over-priced clothes from Armani Exchange. Black kids buy over-priced shoes from Michael Jordan.

By one of my white friends, an educator

1. Why is it okay for black people to use the N-word, but not okay for white people to use it? It’s akin to women calling each other the C-word.

Because white people oppressed black people for 400 years calling them this word. It is especially demeaning, degrading and abhorrent when used by a white person. By the way, I really don’t think black people should use it either.

2. Why are black girls so loud?

All black girls are not loud. Poor, ignorant people are loud regardless of their race or gender.

3. Black guys, do you really like white girls or do you do it just to piss white guys off?

Wait, DO black guys really like white girls? I’m just joking around. Really, I’m sure that if a black guy is talking to a white girl, he likes her.

4. Are you guys really still mad about slavery?

America still airs stories about the Holocaust. Were the travesties of slavery not as important to American and World culture? Entire chapters of books are devoted to Holocaust, while only smaller sections of one chapter is devoted to slavery. The Holocaust lasted 12 years slavery lasted 400. Do I need to continue?

5. Do black really like pig’s feet?

Can anyone really like pig’s feet?

6. Do you guys really think D.L. Hughley is funny?

I think the Kings of Comedy are hilarious. You don’t have to be black to think he’s funny and he’s also very candid about race and racial differences. I think America needs to hear some truth about the black point of view from actual black people. Good for him. In fact, I think he was recently a correspondent for CNN too.

7. Is everything really racist?

A lot of things have racist implications* that the average person might not see. So, while everything is not racist, there are plenty of smaller instances that actually are.

8. What rapper is it okay to like?

I like Jay-Z and Kanye West right now. Not because of their artistry, but because Jay-Z married Beyonce and she is HOT! And because Kanye West is an idiot and I don’t know what he’ll say next. “President Bush hates black people.” Hilarious.

9. How come all of you look alike?

Black people do not look any more like each other than any other race. This is an ignorant question, because most of the black people in America are of mixed ancestry, meaning they have white ancestors and therefore a variation of white features.

10. Did you really spend $200 on (tennis) shoes?

I have on $400 loafers right now. A shoe is about look and comfort, right? I could buy some $40 shoes, but my feet, back, and posture could suffer for it. I know what I’m getting,  if I spend the money to get it.

*This is an example of a picture with unintentional racial implications. The most physically gifted athlete in sports, a black man,  with the the most loved supermodel in the world, a white woman, reminded a photographer of an Army campaign poster of an ape stealing Lady Liberty.

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