Wednesday, January 30, 2013
it's weird for me to have a conversation with her, because i naturally sound the way that i sound-which is "white". but she's speaking to me the way she probably thinks i should speak. so, i feel a little self conscious while we're having a really interesting conversation because i feel like i should switch into black girl mode just for her sake. i mean, she's in that mode, shouldn't i join her? i don't let myself though because of the fact that she is white, regardless of how she sounds and i will not play into the stereotype.
i've done it before in that kind of situation, but for some reason, my "black" talking doesn't come natural! i literally sound like a white person trying to sound black, i guess because i feel like i'm "trying" or forcing something that i don't do in a professional work place.
what i mean to say is that it's not natural for me to talk comfortably "black" around white people. it's like my subconscious just wont even allow it. but, it is awkward when someone white wants to talk "black" to me.
Friday, January 18, 2013
so i had an off site meeting for work recently, where i noticed other black employees. but there was one particular black woman, around my age probably, who opened her mouth to talk loudly about her "hair" ( it was an obvious weave. funny how white people can't ever tell the difference) with a group of white girls. i'm not sure why this black woman felt the need to explain to a group of about 5 white women how she maintains her weave, how she can't wash her hair as often as whites and then.........
what really got to me was that this black woman went on to say that 'us black people, our hair just doesn't really grow... so that's why WE wear weaves'. o...m...g.....i think i choked on my muffin. i could tell my looking at her that she felt like she was getting some kind of validation or approval or bonding with them somehow??? i wanted to speak up and say "no dear. YOUR hair doesn't grow...but MINE does". and the more i think about it, i want to kick myself for not saying anything, instead i just gave a dirty look that she probably never even saw. but the time and place for just jumping into someones conversation wasn't right. i didn't know those women and if i had inserted myself into their conversation, it would have made me look like an idiot.
but REALLY? none of us black people have hair that grows? seriously? and we ALL have to wear wigs and weaves? does that even sound right? well, i'm sure to underexposed white women it does. but it's black people like her who give the rest of us a bad name. and then to make herself look even worse talking about how rarely she washes her hair. ugh. that's just so trashy.all the white women were oooooh-ing and aaaaaah-ing, which i'm sure made her feel SO special.
i have never worn a weave. i don't even know where i'd go to get a weave. and my hair? like tons and tons of black girls everywhere-grows and grows and grows. and i wash my hair often. not every day, but before it gets gross and stinky. and i would never sit around acquaintance co-workers discussing my personal hygiene- as if they're somehow NOT going to secretly look down on me and assume that about any other new black girl they meet.
so thanks a lot, miss chickenhead, for reaffirming the stereotype without even thinking about it.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
she doesn't even know what it's like to have REAL nappy hair. i mean, i get that she's tuned in with black women and obviously wants to be a part of the natural hair "movement", but her hair is not kinky. it's wavy and soft, not too far from the way white people's hair is. so yeah, it gets under my skin that she tries to act like she knows the struggle/scrutiny/criticism other black women (like me) with real kinky hair face on a daily basis.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
when i got there, there weren't many people at first. but as people started filling up the place, i started to notice that most of the people supporting the cause were white. a couple of black people, a handful of hispanic, but mainly white. and i realized that i started to feel sure and confident about my decision to support the cause because of the number of white people there supporting the cause. and i realized that i've changed my decision in situations like this based on the race of people involved.decisions like choosing a restaurant, or a school or something-the presence of white people makes me feel like i'm making the right decision.
i've been this way for a long time. but it wasn't until the fundraiser that i actually became conscious of it. it's like seeing white people (presumably "smart" white people) means that i must be in the right place. or i must be making the right decision.
i'm not saying this is true or right, but i am recognizing that this is the way i rationalize some decisions i've had to make. and what's strange is that in other situations, i don't like being around a sea of white people. for example, the beer fests that portland is known for. you would never catch me there, mainly because i can't stand being around so many beer-drinking type (white) people.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
so, one of my daughters was invited over to a friends house to play. we're in alameda neighborhood, but their neighborhood might be just slightly one step up from our in terms of safety or the illusion of a happy, safe place. so, my daughter called me from their house saying that their mom lets them walk to the park alone with their 10 yr old brother and wanted to make sure i was okay with that.
the park is probably 4 blocks away. i said no. so a 10 yr old boy would be responsible for my 8 yr old daughter if something happened, or if she had to go use the park bathroom, or if someone tried to lure her away? i don't think so.
i kind of felt this eyerolling from the mom, as if i'm just so overprotective. and then it dawned on me.
this family is white. white people have never ever had to watch their backs. they've never had to be aware of someone wanting to hurt or kill them because of their race or who they are. not that i think my daughter is a target because of being mixed, or that lynching or anything like that still happens. but my point is that i think white people in general are more trusting and more laid back in terms of letting their children run free without worry because historically, they have never had to be concerned. whereas, black people, i believe are more cautious naturally because of our history or being targeted.
that's my theory. what do you think?
leave it to white people to decide that if they can't be a part of black people's money-making, just arbitrarily deciding to a)make them criminals, b) unfairly try to regulate it so that they force themselves to get some of the profit, c) take over the craft so that they can learn how to do it better and profit more and then eventually keep black people from doing it at all.
if you have ever taken any latin, here's a phrase for ya. Res ipsa loquitur.
wrong on so many levels. i can barely even bring myself to blog about it. talk amongst yourselves!!!
Monday, July 09, 2012
and i don't even think that white people realize that they feel that way on a conscious level. but i've experienced enough of it to know what i'm talking about, especially in portland, where black people are only like a side dish that someone may or may not choose to taste. wow, did that sound poetic? i wasn't even trying. it was just the first thing that came to my mind.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
so, about a month ago i met up with three of my bestest girlfriends. they're the type of friends that i don't see often, but we have the type of friendship that even if we go a year without getting together, it's like i had just seen them yesterday.
anyhow, we decided to meet up at a trendy little spot on Mississippi Ave for drinks late one night. i should mention by the way, these are my down-home girls who might be a little bit closer to fitting the "loud, black female"stereotype than i am. but i was happy to see them and let loose that night.
so we had our drinks, we talked, we laughed. but every time the white server came by to check on us, or every time it seemed like the white people nearby were glancing at us, i felt like we needed to halt our talking and be on our best (white) behavior. i'm not talking about normal restaurant manners. we weren't being loud obnoxious restaurant patrons. i'm talking about (self consciously) not laughing loud enough for anyone else to hear, or not speaking our relaxed not-so-proper english in a volume where anyone could hear. it's like when white people are in an earshot, i automatically "straighten up" and act the furthest from stereotypical as i possibly can.
but why???? *i* know we're not ghetto, and that we're not the stereotype, so why should i feel like i have to try to prove what i am (not) to people i don't know? when i realized that i was doing this, i realized that i've ALWAYS done this in my adult life without consciously thinking about it. yet i know black people who are totally oblivious to any white people around them, and will act as ghetto and loud as they want to be without thinking twice about it. we weren't that rowdy at the restaurant, but i was still really conscious of how "nice" we fit in with the docile white patrons.
do any other black people do this too??
Thursday, December 15, 2011
but the boy who is about 12 or 13 started doing some rap number in the car on the drive home. he was like, "yo yo yo boyeee....yo yo....blah blah ..etc etc". i started laughing and so did one of my daughters and my son. we all thought it was funny, and then i stopped laughing.
why was that so funny? if my son had done that, i wouldn't think it was funny or cute. i definitely wouldn't want to encourage my son to think that being a rapper was something for him to aspire to. NOT AT ALL. black people don't like to admit it, but the rap world really puts black people in such a bad light, in my opinion. but it's interesting to me how a white person can sing all that nonsense and no one thinks anything of it, it's actually looked up on kind of cool for a white person to emulate a rapper. but when a black kid is doing it, it's looked upon as the expected (negative)outcome.
i don't want my son to have any desire for that life. without getting on my soapbox, the few guys who i've known who have pursued that career have turned out to be nothing but broke-down losers and hustlers. NO THANKS.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
before i break down the conversation we had, let me start out with some background: my hair is in need of a relaxer. i think it's been a good while since my last touch up. i have quite a bit of grow out. i literally have been so swamped with work and my kids' school activities that i've had no time to make an appointment. i'm getting it done soon, but i've felt kind of self-conscious about my hair in the last few weeks. when i have grow out, i can't really style it exactly the way i like, because it just doesn't lay down in places where i want it to lay down. but i've worked with it, putting it up in sophisticated up-dos and things like that. but it doesn't look like 100% to me.
so anyway, my co-worker asks me to walk with her down the street to get a coffee. and it's raining hard. i agree and get my umbrella. as we go out into the rain i started to open the umbrella. she then says:
her: (jokingly)oh yes girl, you better open that umbrella, you can't let your hair get wet! i know, because my best friend growing up was black and she couldn't get her hair wet....
(i hate this misconception, by the way...)
me: well uh actually....i CAN get my hair wet, and at this point i'm in need of a straightening so the rain can't do much to hurt it anyway....
her: but your hair is great! i mean, your hair isn't even like real black hair! you have awesome black hair. it's really not like black hair!
(i must admit it did make me feel less self conscious about my grow-out not looking as bad as i thought it did, but on the other hand....what does 'real black hair' look like? an afro?)
her: i mean, you're like, not even really black! (what does that even mean?)
i could have corrected her and got all afro-centric on her but i just didn't feel like it. and who cares? i won't change the world. i know her, she meant no harm, she's just ignorant, the way a lot of white people are. it's true. i mean, sure there are always going to be the hateful white people who DO mean to be rude and ignorant but some white people just are truly ignorant about things like black hair, levels of blackness (like is a light skinned black person REALLY a black person????) and so on.
although now that i write this i'm thinking maybe i should have said more to break the ignorance-about-black-hair- chain.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
when i began to get comments, i thought "how did people find my blog?" so, i put one of those trackers on the site. i checked every now and then, but i was never motivated by how many visitors i got. i'm still not. sure, i love hearing what you all have to say, but i still just blog what i'm thinking about.
anyway, every time i check my stats (which is like once in a blue moon), i'm always so surprised at how many people find me by googling "black girls" and "why do black people eat chicken and watermelon". i kid you not. the search about black people AND chicken and watermelon is absolutely the number one search topic that gets random strangers to my blog. followed by searching "black girls".
PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHY WE (SUPPOSEDLY, STEREOTYPICALLY) EAT CHICKEN AND WATERMELON!
and, people seem to very curious about black women. more than you know.
Friday, September 09, 2011
it's not that i wanted any of the white people to feel shame, but it just felt awkward, that's all i can really say.
anyhow, the main point i wanted to make was that i, though i have a love/hate relationship with Portland, am a total product of portland. whether i like it or not. there i said it. in a way, it's difficult living here. it's like no matter how much i want to be proud of being black, and make fun of the granola, tree hugging, liberal white people, i realize that i am part of it. well, not the tree hugging, granola, liberal part. but i like white and black music, i eat healthy and couldn't fix soul food if i tried. i have mostly white friends, and i say white words, like "dude" at the beginning of a sentence. i don't have to try to be this way, i just am. i'm a true product of my environment.
my mom, who was born and raised in the deep south sticks of georgia moved here with my father when my brothers and i were babies. she has REALLY differering opinions about white people and black people and all that political type stuff. she gets really worked up about racial issues, and is slightly more sensitive to the light skin/dark skin issue among black people and other issues about white and black people.
don't get me wrong, i do know how some white people can be.
since my mom is not from here, i don't know if she really gets it-probably the way she thinks i don't "get it" either. when we have conversations about race, i'm a little more open minded than she is, and she takes that to be naive. it's not naive, it's just that i'm not from the deep south like she is. i didn't grow up in the deep south in the 50s like she did. so on some level i cannot relate to the issues in movies like The Help. my mom saw the movie before i did, so tonight i called her on the phone to talk about it because she wanted to wait until i had seen it open the floodgates of why she didn't like the negative stereotypes and blah blah blah.
i know she gets irritated when she talks to me, because i can't truly relate. i'm not dark skinned, i didn't grow up during the sixties when blacks were openly and legally treated like animals, i didn't grow up with blue-collar uneducated parents, i didn't grow up with parents who cooked soul food, and i didn't grow up in the sticks of the south. so when she talks to me about certain racial issues that she's seen over time (such as ones brought up in the movie The Help), i can't relate. i can relate in the same way that any other generation X-er.....'oh... how terrible, how sucky....ugh....white people....." . but other than that, it's not that emotional for me, because i haven't been through it.
and, i guess i don't see white people exactly the same as someone who has been through it. you can't get apples from an orange tree. you can't raise a black kid in white portland, and then expect them to "get" the whole black experience. not entirely. and what little black history in schools that we get, what does she expect? she's the one who brought me to the black-forsaken, city in the first place.
she's right about the stereotypes in the movie, but purely from the standpoint of hollywood entertainment, i thought it was a good story. period. without getting into the politics of it all. plus i don't see everything her way, and she gets annoyed when i don't get where she's coming from and vice versa.
Saturday, July 09, 2011
i know you thought i was being rude today. and maybe i was. but when you had to check and recheck and then check again that i had the same number of items coming out as going in, that was annoying. i felt like 1)you secretly thought i stole something and 2)you did it only because i am black.
i didn't like that. i showed you that i had the five items to match the "number 5" tag that you gave me going in, and you insisted on examining the items inside and out, wasting my time. it wasn't necessary.
so when i abruptly snatched the items i chose to buy from your grip, i may have been rude. but you were ruder.
Monday, July 04, 2011
beyonce was talking to pierce morgan about some award she had won recently...yadda yadda. i wasn't paying too close attention because i can't stand her anyway. but, i happened to be on vacation and unable to sleep and this interview was the only interesting thing on tv.
I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY "ITS" IN PLACE OF "THERE WAS" OR "THERE IS".
for example, beyonce said something like "i was nervous because IT was so many people!!!" and on and on. and she kept saying "it's so many this, it's so many that...."
sherri shepherd does the exact same thing.
i'll admit, i make grammatical errors from time to time, but i do know the basics. and you can bet that if i were on a national talk show, and even had millions of dollars, i would speak correct english.
Friday, June 10, 2011
i started to thinking about this when i was thinking about my neighbor. i don't try to be the center of attention, but i have known white women who BARELY gave me the time of day when they've never even had the chance to know me( to dislike me). but yet, they'll mingle with another unknown white person( let's assume we're all at a party and no one knows each other) and will be super chummy. i believe that most white people think that interacting with a black person is a low priority-we're not potential friends, we're just sort of invisible to them. and if we happen to be too bold to be invisible, they're scared and intimidated.
this theory of mine is nothing new, although i'm not sure if i've ever put it into words in this blog. but what i started to realize, as i was driving down the street today, after being snubbed by my neighbor was this:
whenever i interact with a white person for the first time, i instantly categorize them afterwards this way (based on their behavior when we interacted):
1)they are a white person who has never been around black people, who has never had any real/meaningful interaction with black people, and is basically afraid or intimidated (warranted or not). this person views the black person as a sort of "foreigner" in their world and doesn't believe they can relate to them on any level. this person prefers to only deal with them on a need-to basis, and never "sees" the black people around them in daily life. thinks of all black people as the stereotype, and doesn't know that it's a stereotype.
2)a white person who is familiar with black people, may have gone to school with black people, might even have one or two as friends. they're not scared of black people, they're friendly only because it's not their nature to be rude, but that's the extent of it. they don't necessary dislike black people, but they don't want or care to have more than the token black friend. most black people seem "exotic" to them.
3)a white person who was probably raised in an area around black people( or spent any lenth of time ) in a diverse area (workplace or neighborhood) with black people. has several black friends. is not scared or intimidated by black people unless there's a valid reason to be, and open to talking and hanging out with black people.
i realized today that i instantly categorize white people this way after meeting them. i didn't even consciously know i was doing it, until i analyzed my thoughts in sort of a daze while driving today. i was thinking about my white neighbor and how she snubs me for no good reason. and i listened to the voice in my head automatically put her into category 1, and decided that that was why she treats me that way.
Monday, May 30, 2011
i'm almost certain she was his girlfriend. yet when i walked by, he says, "hi. how you doin'?" while he stood there waiting for my response. how am i doing? why do you want to know? how is your girlfriend doing? i mean, how disrespectful to his girlfriend is that? and maybe she wasn't his girlfriend. maybe she was just his friend who happened to be a girl. or parole officer. but still. it was just awkward. i mean, i don't ask ANY strangers 'how they're doing'. even if they are black.
and what is the point of asking me how i'm doing? if he wanted to be friendly because we're both black, well then fine. just give me a nod and a smile. but when you ask me how i'm doing, do you really expect me to say something like, "i'm good. and how are you?" and then proceed to converse?
i'm a "stanger" snob. if i don't know you, i don't really want to talk to you. unless of course it appears that we have something in common- kids, lifestyle, etc. or if the weather's nice and i just feel like being overly friendly. otherwise, even though i consider myself to be a nice person, i don't really want to talk to people i don't know.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
so these guys-sorry to say, looked trifling. one of them was standing in the vicinity with what i call "gangsta gear"- ultra sagging pants, and an oversized plaid, short sleeved button up shirt. AND he's smoking a teeny tiny cigarette. i don't know if it was a cigarette or a joint. but he looked foul. and his friends sitting closer to the display looked pitiful. i mean, they looked tired and worn out-as if they had been out there ALL day and to top it off, they looked dirty, raggedy and desperate.
and then had the nerve to have some handwritten sign that read "fundraising". fundraising for what? WEED? who did they think was going to get out and buy their stuff? i looked at the products and suddenly i just had this vision in my head of some hoodrats in a dirty apartment piecing it all together, trying to make it look nice, hoping someone would buy it.
i'm all for people trying to make a creative living. but these guys just looked so....so...trashy. no one wants to buy crap from people who look like trash. clean yourself up, put on some decent clothing. how about nice pants that fit with a decent shirt to start? how about tossing that nasty ciggaweed?
some black men really need to try harder. stop aiming for the minimum.
and don't even get me started on the "hand car wash" not far away. where a group of black men sit around all day waiting to hand-wash your car. really? how can they pay the rent with five dollars a car wash? everytime i drive by, there they are, sitting around shooting the shit with each other. the only cars i ever see are the owner's and employees of the business. pimped out cadillacs, mercedes, and other cars with $10k rims and tires polished to a tee. that is SO 1992.
get a real job! cut off your braids! find clothing that fits! speak proper english!
Friday, February 18, 2011
don't get me wrong. i don't have any beef with the obamas. what i have a beef with is the the cover of ebony that says, "celebrate black love".
what exactly does that mean? just what exactly is 'black love'? is it different than white love? if my husband is white, or asian, or hispanic, can i NOT celebrate that love? i don't get it. and ebony needs to get with the times.
i have always acknowledged the social and cultural differences between white and black people. but i know for a fact, that if cosmo, or redbook or any other magazine said, "celebrate white love" that there would be some really unhappy black people making a huge stink about it. so why should ebony magazine be any different?
we are no longer living in a world where blacks are only with blacks(DUH, REALLY??!!), so why would ebony magazine suggest that celebrating black love is something that only black-on-black couples can participate in?
and is their love better than love between a white man and black woman? a black woman and an asian man, etc., etc.,...?
i don't understand why ebony can't just make the article about celebrating LOVE. regardless of what color it is.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
but one of the days last week as i was walking to my car through the crowded lot, i heard footsteps behind me. it was some really big black guy. i'll admit, i got kind of scared. and before you rush to judgement and call me whatever it is you want to call me, let me say this:
i don't go to the hood much. i see black people all the time, but not in such concentration as when you go over to the partially-gentrified 'hood. and i'm sorry- but just because i'm black doesn't mean i automatically feel some kinship to every black man i see.
if you look scary, you look scary. regardless of what race you are. it just so happened that this black guy walking closely behind me looked a little bit intimidating. and then it dawned on me that every. single. black. man/boy at that campus that i've seen looks either thuggish/scary/intimidating or basically kinda trashy and ghetto.
when i say ghetto, i mean wearing either the stereotypical p-diddy-style warm-up suits , with both ears pierced and gaudy gold and faddish shoes or sagging jeans with the latest hip-hop style (rapper) faddish clothing. every last one of them. it's disgusting. and if they're not wearing one of those two options, they're really tore-down looking. i mean, it just is SO OLD and SO PLAYED OUT.
still? they still aspire to look like the stereotype?
i don't spend a lot of time in the hood but today i thought, "really? black men STILL look like this? i mean, come on. didn't obama (at least) getting into office inspire you to pull your pants up? look professional? stop dressing like the stereotype? a little bit?
i guess we should just be glad they're in school.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
How ironic that I'm discussing this after my last post. But whatever. So I took my kids swimming at a local aquatic park. When we got there, it just so happened that there weren't anymore seats left for parents to watch. My initial (absolutely first) thought that popped into my head to ask the staff were these words: "ya'll ain't got no more chairs up in here?" ( I think it was just my mood) And I had to laugh because my "filter" would never allow it to come out that way.
And then it dawned on me how easily I could turn that dialect on instantly without thinking. It's almost like lazy-talk. Like the way non-native english speakers or those with a southern dialect,etc. have a stronger accent when they are tired. It doesn't sound forced, or fake. But if you've ever heard a white person try to do it, it always sounds very fake and contrived.
Actually I always knew I could bust out in this dialect, but what dawned on me was that it came so natural like, without even trying. Yet at the same time i don't have to* try* to speak proper,sounding" white", as some would say.
So I'm wondering if all black people have this so called "ability". Do you?