In observance of Black History Month, AnswersFromMen.com asked one of our resident African American writers to give us a few historical facts about Black History. Instead, he gave us this.
There are a lot of misconceptions about Black people, and because this is Black History Month, everyone should have the opportunity to get closer to the Black people in their lives. Here is your chance to understand Black people a little better, and to learn what is offensive and what is not offensive to Black people.
1. Everything and anything can be offensive to any person depending on how you say it. However, a condescending statement and a sour face will get you a bad attitude in response from almost any Black person.
2. Anything and anyone can be labelled racist. A perfect example of this phenomena is the “One and Done” Rule in the NBA. The National Basketball Association passed a rule that prohibits high school players from entering the NBA draft until a year after they graduate. The rule was initiated to help protect the game of basketball, and ease the pressure on general managers in the league. It was a financial decision, however it only affects Black athletes. In the history of the NBA draft, only one white athlete has ever made the jump from high school to the pros and he failed miserably. In tennis, golf, and countless other sports where minorities are scarce, athletes can go pro while still in high school if they are talented enough to do so. The “One and Done” rule has racial implications even though it was meant to help the NBA. It’s “racist”.
3. Being called racist or making a racist statement does not mean that you are Klansman and that you hate Black people. But, it usually does mean one of three things.
A. You said something that was ignorant and fairly insensitive unintentionally.
B. You are talking to a person who is ignorant and throws the term “racist” around unwarranted (These people do exist.).
C. You purposefully said something that was offensive and ignorant, because you actually do hate Black people.
4. Please do not say “Good morning,” to the White man or woman in front of me, and say “What’s up?” to me. I do speak the English language as it is spoken in most formal settings. Connecting with minorities through slang does not make you cool. Being cool makes you cool.
5. All Black people are not cool. Black people fall into all the same categories that most other people do. There are popular people, jocks, nerds, weird kids, and assholes.
6. All Black people do not naturally have rhythm. There are plenty of dark-skinned people who could not find the beat of a song if it hit them over the head, and there are plenty of melanin deficient people who are rhythmically inclined.
7. Most Black people do have rhythm, though.
8. Please do not say that “I am cool,” and that “I am not like other Black people,” because I am just like the other Black people. You just do not know enough Black people to make an informed decision.
9. Please do not expect every Black person to have supported President Obama or to even have voted for him. Black people are actually more unemployed now than they were before his presidency, though the overall unemployment rate has improved under his reign. You will find just as many disenfranchised Black voters as you will any other ethnicity.
10. And while we are on the subject, all Black people are not Democrats.
11. The words “ashy” and “nappy” should not be used by anyone, Black or not.
12. If any person of any race tells you that they are a thug, they are either deluded or lying. Thugs do not broadcast their status. But, Black people are much more likely to say that they are thugging.
13. Most Black people think that there are some real benefits to being White. But, most of them would never say it out loud.
14. On a related note, if Tim Tebow were Black then he would not be a quarterback.
15. All Black mothers were born with a paralyzing stare and the “angry whisper.” The stare freezes the kid in place. It is used solely to stop him or her from committing the act that was deemed unacceptable by his or her mother. Then comes the angry whisper, which is when the mom gives death threats to her children through her teeth. Nothing is more frightening or effective.
16. Most Black people do not trust the law. With all the racial profiling, police brutality, and unwarranted harassment that Black people have endured in the past, Black people do not think that officers of the court have their best interests at heart.
17. Black people handle turmoil in the office place differently than other races. Rather than tell the boss about a problem and have him relay that message to the offending person, Black people generally go straight to the source of the problem. Black people find the right time and the right abandoned space to tell the offender that their actions were less than desirable. This verbal assault may not necessarily be a threat, even though it probably will be delivered abrasively. It is usually just an animated and abrupt suggestion.
18. Everybody loves fried chicken, not just Black people.
19. The same goes for watermelon.
20. The words “nigga” and “nigger” are like the word “cunt”. There is never an appropriate time to use either word without sounding like an ignorant douchebag.
21. Black people are better at sports. Just accept it.
22. They are also better coaches than they are given credit for being. The full court press that coaches like John Beilein and Rick Pitino regularly use now were used by Black coaches like Nolan Richardson in the 60′ and 70′s. The uptempo guard-oriented offenses that are instilled by Coach K were taught by Black coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines in the 50′s. Black people are still under-represented in the coaching ranks.
23. It is disappointing that slavery is glossed over in American history classes. It was brutal and the idea of it is unappealing, but it did happen. This country was built on the backs of slaves.
24. Some Black people still want reparations for slavery. The Japanese got reparations. Jewish people play Holocaust themed movies year around on television. They got reparations too. Black people got an apology from Dubya.
25. Black people can be a little more boisterous and animated than other races. Don’t be alarmed.
26. The media really does show the faces of minorities who are alleged to have committed crimes more often than they show the face of incriminated White people.
27. Every Black person that you meet is not from the hood.
28. And even though I am from the hood, no I don’t have the “hook-up” on some weed or any other illegal drug. Get high by yourself.