I went to a Primarily White Institute (PWI) for undergrad.
The office at … well … pretty much every single job I’ve ever had … has been Primarily White.
My grad school right now is … yeah … Primarily White … in a city that is PW.
Basically, I have spent a healthy amount of time with the fairer race. And overall … got nothing but good things to say. They do things that I don’t, and I like things that they just don’t get … but we all get along. We learned to work together.
But … sometimes … I wonder.
Every once in awhile someone says something. And not just anything, but something that brings out that little Al Sharpton voice in your head.. You might just let it go, or you might store it away in your head and think “WTF did he just say?” And then you are there … thinking to yourself “should I curse this motherf**r out?” or “I bet people would think I was in the wrong if I punched him in the throat?” What is a self respecting non-white person to do?
And what about those times when your in that gray area?
Read the following description, sit back and think, and then you vote … racist or not!
At the airport
Girly G: Yeah, I always worry about carrying a big carry-on because I might not be able to pick it up.
SBM: Your an attractive female. To be honest, someone will always be willing to help you. If it was me … different story. No one is doubting a strong guy like me.
Girly G: *giggles*
Johnny J: Yeah, and you … wait, let me not say that. Might be inappropriate.
SBM: Yeah … good thinking.
Johnny J: *looks around oddly* Yeah … you know … big black guy
Professor: Ok class, so who here has had a speeding ticket before.
*half the class raises hand … I put two up in the air*
Professor: *points at some other guy* You, what happened? How fast? How Much
Ronny R: I got caught doing 48 in a 35. Like $300.
Professor: How much did your insurance go up?
Ronny R: Actually … I didn’t have insurance.
Professor: No insurance! What are you Puerto Rican!?! OHHHHH! *followed by hearty laugh*
Still in Class
Ronny R: *laughing even louder than the professor* Speaking of Puerto Ricans, looks it’s Juan!!!
Juan: *looks completely stumped considering he just walked into class*
Outside the club (group of us from school)
Missy M: I hate to admit it, but there is something I do love about black men
SBM: So, you like us … well we like you to0! What does it for you? Our style.
Missy M: IDK … there is just this air of … dangerousness.
Chilling in a group … drinking and playing monopoly
Sammy S: Man … I wish I had a dick like a black guy.
Studying in the library
Lisa L: If only I was born the right race I would have gotten a scholarship.
Yeah … we’ve all been there.
Some are easy … but some aren’t. What happens when the stereotype is a positive one? Is it still a problem if you’re getting play from a girl cause she thinks you might be packing? And how do you react when you hear it? How much do you let go, and when do you check someone?
– SBM aka “I will smack you” aka “No … I don’t care how cool we are you can’t drop the N-bomb”
Do people stereotype because it's easier or more often than not it's true? I'm jus sayin,statistics claim black dudes are bigger. *shrug* Do we do the same thing to white folks? (can't dance,can't play ball,incest,etc) I don't know where the line is. Yay I can comment again. :o) :o)
If that's all you see then that's all you know. If every event you go to that's run by black people starts much later then the time that was told, after a while you'll believe that black people are always late.
I dont think there's any doubting that we are the tardiest race in the world.lol. This is the one stereotype that I don't even try to fight. I just accept it.
Lol, yes we are. I've come to accept that. The only thing I'm consistently on time for are interviews.
There some truth to most stereotypes…sad but true. I just don't get with folks who really believe that ALL Blacks are late…or ALL ____ do x,y and z. There's some of us who know stereotypes are just generalizations then there are others who believe it to be law. I just look at it like probability. For example, if I'm going to a Haitian party, I know there's about an 80% chance that griot will be served…I also know there's about a 20% chance that it will not be. lol
Personally, I think it's a crime to not serve griot at a Haitian party and I don't even eat griot like that.
LOL yeah Griot is a mainstay!
Co-sign on Probability
Hey y'all! Long time lurker, first time commenter 🙂 but lets get to it.
Hmm lets see:
At the airport -> I would let that one slide…nothing too deep on that one.
In Class -> DEF. been in a situation like this and yes it's racist! Just to generalize is just ugh…c'mon now.
Still in Class -> lol same with above…generalizing…
Outside the club (group of us from school) – … -_-; i would've asked…"soooo do you think black men carry around shanks and gats?" they wouldve gotten a massive side eye..racist? a tad. i'd question upbringing.
Chilling in a group -> "I wish I had a dick like a black guy." uhm…*______* blank stare
Studying in the library: racist…you didn't get the scholarship just b/c you werent a certain race..there are THOUSANDS of scholarships out there. for being left handed, having a parent in the holocaust, being able to jump on one leg, having one leg…(sigh)
Yes some situations are easy, but it doesnt matter if the stereotype is a positive one, it's all ignorance and generalizations. Right now I'm living in the middle east (Bahrain actually) and if you watch the news, you know about the riots and stuff going on. Well I told my friend and she goes "Oh you know Arabs, that's in their blood to be ruckus" (no friend is not black, she's Japanese/Mexican) but i told her that was racist and you can't just assume how people act ESPECIALLY if you haven't lived amongst Arabs…They are actually friendlier that a lot of Americans.
If the comment was like extra, YES i'm checking you. But have you ever been around a White person and they said comments that are subtley racist, but they just didn't mean it? Like they would say stuff and you want to yell at them but they just have no idea what they did was racist? Like i had a teacher that would want the "black perspective" on a book and would point to me and ask what i thought… o.O "SIR, did your mamma teach you that's rude?" like i have some insight to black america since im the only black person in class…
i got off track, but man most of the time, yes i will speak up because who knows who they'll be around next that may not be so chill and break a bottle and hold it to their neck…
sorry i was a bit long winded…
I appreciated your long winded comment. Welcome from the depths of Lurkersville, don't worry your eyes will adjust to the light soon. 😉
This in particular, I feel needs to be restated for emphasis. No Minaj.
"But have you ever been around a White person and they said comments that are subtley racist, but they just didn’t mean it?"
This is so important, necessary, and helpful. There's a reason it's called ignorance. Race, in large part is a non issue to white people. It's just not thought about that much. I believe we call this White Privilege. Most whites have the luxury of not having to look for hidden meanings or subliminal digs. Just like a man may not notice that it's always Sue that's asked to get the coffee in meetings when she's a Director and Mike is a Manager, but Mary sure as hell notices (Male Privilege). We are naturally more inclined to worry about things that apply to us. So check a person if you find them racist (although I'd recommend not calling them racist, puts them on the defensive and productivity decreases)-if they're not actually racist, at the very least, it will make them think about what they say more.
Great point! I don't always get mad because well frankly, if I was White, I wouldn't think much about Black people either. We really have to define what is ignorant and what is pure racsim. As a Black person, I have to acknowledge that the "priviledge" thinking is natural for majority group people.
Regular lurking reader, delurking… Starita, I so enjoy your comments and replies. I especially agree with this reply, so here is my #cosign. 🙂
Thank you very much Ma’am.
These topics are very sensitive for me personally, and it’s not always easy for me to comment, so I really appreciate that reassurance.
And thanks for delurking! *hands you a drink* Relax! Stay a while. 🙂
so what it’s not my house? I can still be hospitable
I like your comment. Different situations call for diff responses, certain things have made me speak up and other times I have pulled a person aside. Growing up in a PW environment myself there were times I had to educate and other times I had to call people out. My older brother use to say the reason why I dealt racist remarks so well is because I genuinely love people and want the best outcome, whereas he punched first and educated later. I think I just learned from all the whoopins he got that words work better.
They are all racist to varying degrees based on ignorance gained from stereotypes.
They are all racist to varying degrees based on ignorance gained from stereotypes.
I agree with DaijaVoo…
People are just to careless with the words that come out of their mouths. Sometimes a person just needs to stop and think before he or she makes a blanket generalization about another person based on a racial stereotype.
Let me start out by saying I attended PWI's from elementary school until college & every single job I have had I was one of the few blacks (until I smartened up & moved to Atl…now I'm in the majority everywhere I go…yay finally! Lol) When I was in h.s. I was the only black female in my graduating class. You can imagine how many subtle (& not so subtle) racist comments I heard. What I did though was disassociate myself from my peers who made those comments. I dared not to address their comments for fear of being labeled the "angry black girl". It was a catch 22…you set them straight you're now over reacting & proving to them that black girls indeed have bad attitudes (even if you were very calm & non-threatening when you checked their a**). You don't set them straight & now they think its ok to talk that way. Btw I don't think it matters if black people do the same thing to white people because either way its wrong. The stereotypes that I do harbor in regards to other people will stay in my head because its rude & disrespectful to express those types of things…especially in front of those that the stereotype is referring to.
I'm gonna co-sign this whole statement minus the living in a predominantly black area now… I'm still w/ the others. One day… one day… lol.
LOL @ "the others."
I can empathize with this. It was a double-edged sword. If I said nothing, I was allowing these people to go un-checked. If I said something, it was the angry black woman or being defensive cause "not everything is cause you're black" argument. I still chose to speak up though, I just made sure I didn't get buck with it…unless it was warranted. I've heard so many ignorant stupid sh*t that if I over-reacted to everything, I would get angry. I pick and choose my battles but if something is said in my direct presence, I'll respond.
Now on the flip side, I want to admit that I've heard more ignorant sh*t come out of Black people's mouths because we're alittle more honest. White people get reckless but they don't speak ignorant sh*t as much as we do in my opinion. My people make me angry sometimes.
Sometimes I get confused when they ask for a view from a black American about black America…but it IS black folks who know what black America is really like…right?
no not necessarily. i mean you would have to define what black america was. is it the certain economic background, where they were raise, their struggles…etc etc its all subjective.
a black american living in the suburbs or with an affluent background would not be able to the "black struggle" or whatever else compared to someone raised in the hood. one black person can't give the POV of another black person that didn't experience the same.
Ask Henry Louis Gtes Jr. if economic backgrounds matters.
Nope it doesn't. I think people tend to think tha tmoney and status will make the world respect blacks more…it doesn't.
Agreed. There a lot of things that I can't relate to in "the black struggle" and that I just absolutely do not understand, and I'm sure there are plenty AA's who can't relate to some of the things that I can.
However, I do think there are plenty commonalities with how we are/can be treated amongst other races.
"What happens when the stereotype is a positive one?" Is this in reference to the stereotype of black men being seuxally endowed?
Yes, it would be a problem if I'm "…getting play…" from a girl because she thinks I might be packing. Simply said, I'm not a lifetime member of the "smash and dash" mentality, (smile) I take "How Deep Is Your Love"" on a whole 'nother level. If she is shallow (just around for d*ck), I'll eventually find out… However, a woman with enough common courtesy to be upfront about what she wants (even if it is about d*ck) will be issued a "thanks, but no thanks". How much I let go and when I would check a chick depends on how "curious" the female in question is…
Professor: No insurance! What are you Puerto Rican!?! OHHHHH! *followed by hearty laugh*
Ok, this one made me laugh.
"And how do you react when you hear it? How much do you let go, and when do you check someone?"
If a girl told me that she like black guys because of the sense of dangerousness, I'll let her know that not all black guys are dangerous. I try not to take things too seriously because some people just don't know any better.
But just about every scenario in this post is racist.
Almost all of the scenarios have some degree of ignorance involved.
"And how do you react when you hear it? How much do you let go, and when do you check someone?"
If I hear it, I may or may not address it. I will address it if it the attitude behind it seems condescending. However, for the ditzy ignorant person, I just laugh to myself and let it ride.
I check people when it is evident that they feel somewhat superior. I have rarely been involved in conversations like those above, so I am not sure. I think people know when to tempt fate…so people don't test me like that, even if it is wrapped up in a slick compliment or humor.
Tis was funny, it made me chuckle because it is so true! I even do that, like I'll watch what I say so that way I don't offend you guys, specially if I don't know exactly what's being talked about when I'm included in a convo…
There's been many a times where I don't comment on here for the same reasons… *shrugs* as long as I'm not insulting or offending any one with my comments or input I'm cool!!!
By the waym that line of "I wanna have a d*ck like a black guy" is hilarious! You have no idea how many times I've heard that lol
"Lisa L: If only I was born the right race I would have gotten a scholarship."
I'mma go out on a limb here and assume "Lisa" is a chick. There are scholarships specifically for them, too. lol
I rarely run into these situations where the person is definitely trying to be offensive (and I live in the South), BUT, I do have a quick story.
I was dating a WM and he had gone to get some pizza and I had gone to the grocery store adjacent to it, well, as I was walking down the hill to join him at the pizza spot, my ex turned around, I waved at him, but he didn't see me wave. Anyway, the cashier (who saw me) made a comment to him that "that black girl is probably coming in here to get some hot wings". Of course, the cashier didn't realize that I was the GF. Anyway, as I approached closer and my ex acknowledged me, by the time my ex had turned around, the cashier had disappeared into the back and never came back out, LOL. My ex would have OWNED him. He didn't play that…he was actually was a little over-sensitive to it, I think. Anyway, so yeah, just a tad bit racist….
BTW, I don't even eat wings.
LMAO at dude disappearing to the back.
LOL I'm more mad that you don't eat wings! O_O How dare you!
I think that all of the scenario's were racist. I have a very low tolerance for racism and I do speak on it whenever I hear it. I don't care if I'm typecast as the angry black woman, because for all intents and purposes, I AM the angry black woman when it comes to racist comments.
Miss me with the bullshit, seriously, I don't put my "stuff" on other people, so don't even THINK that you can put your stuff onto me.
Outside of that I'm a pretty easy going person. Just sayin.
"Outside of that I’m a pretty easy going person. Just sayin."
I believe you!! As am I, right it right though.
damn my grammar…"is" I meant. LOL
Nah, none of it is racist; maybe some of it is ignant, some foolish. Racist is when someone in a position of power uses some stereotypical idea to deal with a person rather than dealing with the person as a person.
I was raised with, went to school with, work with and live amongst whites. So yeah, if I had a $1 for every "what did they say?" moment, I'd be filthy rich right now. Especially if you talk proper and look "different", they get real comfortable around you and start talking reckless. I also get an inside view at how they really think and just how disgusting Black sell-outs can really be.
I won't list the down right racist things I've heard because that will just ruin my mood but I will list a perfect example of "I know you probably didn't mean it but that was racist as fug" moments. I was at a photo shoot (not a model) I was marketing and unofficially organizing for my boss. We were taking a break so we went out to eat and one of the stylists got REAL comfortable talking about how much she loves the people of the Bahamas. And I quote: "Yeah, the towns people are so friendly and hard workers. I was short staffed so I got some locals to help me carry equipment. It was great! They worked so hard for nothing. They were like my slaves." PAUSE. I kid you not, everyone looked at me like "Ooooh". She kept saying she was no racist. I actually believe that she wasn't…but she still fugged up so I had to check her in front of everyone.
I have nooo problem checking people on racism. Intentional or not, you're not going to get ignorant around me. Especially if you aren't a part of my race and for this reason, I almost never talk reckless around "others". icant.
When people get really relaxed (me included) it is AMAZING what the darnest things that come out of our mouths…
Yeah, in my opinion all those examples are in it's essence RACIST. Hell motherfucking yeah it is. I can't even begin to tell you how much these slight comments are generally passed or excused because we're trying to figure out "was that appropriate?" Truth be told, the best way to react to ALL comments of disrespect is to be consistent. If the comments were made by a strangers I can't waste time correcting them on their "inconspicuous" disrespect but let it be someone I know or deal with on a regular basis. I will check them by questioning them into a corner. Making them realize they're be a bit extra with their stereotypes and or generalizations. I'll do this with my friends, family, Hispanic and white co workers too because respect is respect. Now don't get me wrong I'm no fucking square, I have my own strong opinions and generalizations that I leave for places and or conversations when its appropriate but people just spewing dumbness in the name of humor makes me feel they're simple and I don't like simple and/or disrespectful people. Maybe they'll think before they speak going forward once they've been checked…maybe not…who knows, but they'll think twice before saying it around me.
My brother says
"I would love to live in Texas, cause at least Cracker don't like me & I don't like him… In the New York, they hide under suits"
At least to something to that effect…
I'M glad that we get the severe watered down version of racism that my ancestors received…. Life sucked for them…
I am wary of anybody liking or hating me just because I come from a particular ethnic group… But I'll take advantage of someone prejudice for my benefit
All examples were alarmingly racist… however as a country we will never get past racism & stereotypes because we are too afraid to talk about it in an intelligent manner… But we will sensationalize it at the drop a hat…
As far as stereotypes, I just have to work twice as hard to rise above them… small price to pay
My point is if you start to take issue with everything you're just going to end up bitter and twisted. Angry 24/7. Don't get me wrong there is a creativity to the anger: check out bell hooks on black rage. You can harness that anger and change things but you have to pick your battles. James Baldwin says something like you gotta get the White out of your eyes if you want to see straight! I think in everyday jostle some of that stuff should just pass you by so that when you see some real racist stuff you can harness the correct degree if anger. No vote, racist cops, discriminatory tariff for black folk on health insurance and mortgage rates, poor educational attainment. The stuff which affects your life chances. Some stereotypical comment about donkey kong dicks, well it ain't gonna hurt you.
Stereotypes are inappropriate when applied to “all” people or things. People forget to say “Some” or “Most” when they begin to generalize. A positive stereotype is still promoting ignorance, which is not productive. The descriptions above are all examples of ignorance. Only the last description is an example of racism because Lisa’s attributing her race (skin complexion) as a reason (not being the “right” skin tone) for not qualifying/receiving a scholarship. I usually address ignorance and racism head on because I have such a low tolerance for it. These behaviors are an ugly characteristic for people to have. Also, it doesn’t matter which ethnicity is doing the stereotyping because ignorance is ignorance and racism is racism. The first thing that comes out of my mouth when dealing with an ignorant person or racist is “What made you say that”? I like to get inside their head and question them to get at the root of why they think the way they do. Some people are unaware that it’s okay to think outside the box and explore this world. Others know better, but just don’t give a damn. I love to confront a racist because they self-destruct when I challenge their hatred for a certain ethnicity. The hostility in their voice and the angry look on their face is truly a Kodak moment. I can’t single handedly omit racism, but I can definitely defog the mirror that so many people are looking at.
I’m white and I get mad at people for being racist. They just don’t take me seriously. I mean they’ll believe that I’m upset, but they don’t think I have any reason to be upset. I also get upset with people who talk bad about homosexuals and other minorities, even though I don’t have much leg to stand on on that one either. But that doesn’t mean I should stop trying, because maybe one of these people will just think about what they said and maybe consider the fact that it could/would be hurtful to say stuff like that about someone else.
Just because you would “not say that in front of a black person” (explanation I’ve heard many times) doesn’t mean it suddenly becomes appropriate when there are no blacks around. The prejudices are being held up by these so-called jokes and stories. Ignorance is almost as big a crime as racism, and I don’t think it should be tolerated.
" Also, it doesn’t matter which ethnicity is doing the stereotyping because ignorance is ignorance and racism is racism"
Can you imagine the pressure if you had to go around calling people out every day? Homophobia, racism, sexism? Even this very blog is littered with arguably sexist comments week in and week out. I take it all, sort of tongue in cheek and just get on with the business at hand which is commenting and sharing information. racism and ignorance can seriously affect lives and so on a certain level we have to address it, but I just have a suspicion that we have to close our eyes to some hurt so that we can focus the rage on the bigger issues.
Example, some people here think that skinny jeans are like evidence of some latent form of homsexuality rather than just a satorial preference. Now, where are you going to begin dealing with that kind of attitude? You have to get the stuff out of your eye before you go around trying to get the stuff out of other people's vision.
I suppose the reproach to my comment is like if you dont start to enforce some modicum of acceptable behaviour as a bare minimum it all goes to pot pretty quickly and descends inot no standards at all. I would probably agree with that to some extent.
There’s no pressure for me in calling people out on their bs because there's a constructive and productive way in doing so. I’m a natural conversationalist and I enjoy engaging in discussions. I guess I’m an activist in promoting effective communication. Closing my eyes and mouth will not help solve bigger issues. The preference and perceptions behind skinny jeans is a light weight discussion compared to racism and ignorance. Racism and ignorance have taken human lives, skinny jeans have not. I’m not going to solve all racism and ignorance I encounter, but I’m also not going to accept it as the bare minimum or status quo.
I'm also in a predominantly white area and here stuff like that too. Foreigners are as bad about that and even worse, because they take stereotypes as an incontrovertible, unchangeable fact.There's no changing them.
I call people out on it: So what does being PR have to do with insurance? I don't get it; break it down for me. Then repeat back everything they say. They'll soon realize how stupid they sound.
Say someone says, Black women are so exotic to me. Me: Excuse me? What did you say, I didn't hear you. After a few repetitions they get the point and drop it.
If I'm in a foul mood, I ignore the statement and change the subject. Again, most people catch on quick and drop the subject.
I've not yet run into anyone bold enough to tell me they like Black men, but if that ever happens I'd ask them to break it down and tell me where they got that impression, demonstrate to them that they're being socially engineered by the media, and remind them that they wouldn't want to be chased after because of a stereotype; it's disrespectful and an insult to human dignity. There's nothing wrong with their own men if they'd give them a chance, and stop hating their own people.
Most "positive" stereotypes can be explained as the result of culture or genetics, but there are always exceptions. It's dangerous to insist on them because it leaves no room for the Black that doesn't fit the stereotype to be Black. Makes life really hard for the Black weirdos out there.
I wouldn't just let stereotypes , positive or negative,slide, though.
Even being late is a cultural thing and has a lot to do with a perception of time that is different from European culture.
I agree with you that some attitudes cost lives, that is why I say pick your battles and fight the good fight. Don't quite agree with you that skinny jeans thing is trivial as it underlies a certain homophobia, ie "real" men wear baggy jeans. You may think it trivial but in some neighbourhoods it can lead to abuse or assault, and more importantly it is the cultural tolerance for prejudice which is just as much a part of the problem. Not, so?
I am not saying be silent, just focus on the bigger picture.
The fairer race?