Friday, November 17, 2006

Why do black people love fried chicken and watermelon?




why are the women so attitude-y?

why do they name their kids Shaniqkwa and jaequaan?

why do they call themselves the "N" word?

come on, white readers. you KNOW you've always wondered about that. but you know you'd never ask one of us.

this book looks waaay interesting and entertaining. i haven't read it yet, but i plan to go get my hands on it this weekend some time. it's got some good reviews and is supposedly a really funny read.

when i saw the table of contents, it reminded me how i've been really wanting to address the Attitude thing. i want to address it, because most of the time, it's only a perception issue. meaning, black women and white women (major generalization here, i know) just act differently. white women are usually all smiley, and cheery and can be really phony when they don't like you--whereas, in my experience black women wont pretend to like you if they really dont (emphasis on : in my experience). and not to say that black women don't smile and aren't happy, it's just that our happiness display might be different from theirs.

but i learned the hard way that regardless of what i felt the inside, i had perception issues. i was raised by educated parents and there was no anger or attitudes in our home. so why was i always perceived as having an attitude? i have no idea. in my early to mid twenties i had two jobs where i was constantly being told that i wasn't friendly enough. i didn't smile enough. i wasn't happy enough. geez people! this wasn't disneyland!! the white men in management were always on my case. day after day they would tell me this. it bugged the shit outta me. i wasn't rude or mean to anyone. i'm a mellow, semi-serious person by nature, i don't walk around with a silly grin all the time, and i guess that was perceived as having an attitude.

have you ever seen a white woman act serious or mellow and not all smiley- smiley? i sure have. and no one classifies them as having an attitude. i personally think that that stereotype of black women having attitudes is so deeply ingrained that white people just automatically assume it about black women whenever we act different than they think we should.

so a couple jobs later, the same thing happened. again, it was my white male manager who told me the same thing. over and over. i was always "in trouble" because of it. what's wrong? are you having some problems? why aren't you more social [with all the cheery white people]? what are you upset about? why aren't you smiling? and so on and so on.

i seriously couldn't figure it out until one day, we had a meeting and he told me that i had a perception problem. i hated him, i hated him, i hated him. but that was the best thing he could have ever said to me, because i realized that he was right. the fact that i DID NOT have an attitude didn't matter. it was the fact that i gave that impression. the fact that i appeared to have an attitude was more important than the fact that i didn't have one. from that point forward, i did a 360 degree change. i realized that the only way i would ever get ahead in my career is to change the way people saw me.

i took a long, hard look at myself. when i came into work in the morning, i never greeted anyone. i never said "good morning" to people. when i left, i never said "goodbye" to anyone that i didn't really, really like. i never said "hello" to people in passing, and if i did, i didn't smile. those words "you have a perception problem" have stayed with me. i looked in the mirror and realized that i actually looked prettier when i smiled. imagine that!! a free makeover! and i stopped to think how good it actually felt when people smiled at me and said good morning to me, or hello, even if they didn't know me that well. why couldn't i do that? i could and i did.

so to this day, at work, or anywhere, it's very natural for me to be smiling for no reason and to say hello and good morning to people. and when i leave work, i always tell those around me to have a great night. or weekend. it took practice for me. some people do that naturally, for me, even though i'm a nice person, outward "friendliness" was a learned skill. it has actually made my life a lot better.

So, thank you, Mitch. I hated you, but Thank you, thank you, thank you.

45 comments:

Mr. Viddy said...

Great post. Speaking as an individual you really brought up some great points that apply to all of us, regardless of race.

ellie said...

Heh.

Perception is right.

Little do some people know that my "fake smiley" act hides an "attitude."

Yay for us fakers.

H. Lewis Smith said...

BOOK CRITICAL OF AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO USE THE N-WORD

Los Angeles, CA., Author H. Lewis Smith has written a thought provoking, culturally divided book that will not only spark heated conversation, but can also bring about real change. The N-word is often used in the African American community amongst each other and is generally not a problem when spoken by another African American. However, once the word is used by a Caucasian person, it brings on other effects. The question is "who can use the word and why?" Smith believes it is a word that should be BURIED!!!!

The book is written in a manner that all can understand. The points are
well-taken and the wording is easy to follow. There are quotes from great
people in our history including Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin and many, many others. Smith has mixed history with honesty, love with life, education with effects. This is a great book for educators, parents, managers, professionals, newsmen, and anyone else wanting an in-depth look at the N-word, the effects and the solutions. A MUST READ!!!!


H. Lewis Smith has studied the idioms, meanings and the psychological impact of words, its energy and vibratory effects on the human mind for more than two decades. He has been a guest on several talk shows, The Power, The Exchange, Andrea Williams’ Jamin 98.3 and many more. To learn more about Bury that Sucka, please visit http://www.burythatsucka.com

AB said...

Sometimes it is as important to manage your image as it is to manage your work in my experience.
I also noticed that some people can be so professionally friendly that it can be mistaken for actual friendship - that hostess in a certain restaurant comes to mind.

john said...

WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS SHIT

kaekae said...

I am a young white lady and I have been called out because I wasn't smiley-smiley, I was told I had an attidude when I was always polite and respectful (Ok, maybe once or twice a year I would lose my temper for a minute or too, but never anything too bad) Anyway, I was told that Ihad an attitude problem that people didn't like and I was ever Forced to go to Dale carnegie Training. so I think the skin color may not have so much to do with it, managers expect young women to be smiley, smiley and bubbley and if they don't they are either depressed or have an attitude.

cooleyhigh said...

I don't know how much your skin color had to do with it... before this new leaf of yours, you sound like you maybe might have been just a little tiny bit ANTI-SOCIAL. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that... but to not say a single 'hello' or 'good-bye' to the same dreadful people you see day-in and day-out for years... that is a bit odd.

You don't have to like the people you work with, but it doesn't hurt to acknowledge someone's existence. Purposefully not greeting someone every day for years... sounds like an attitude problem to me... and what is attitude? -- Perception. So you may not want to call it that because in your mind/experience 'attitude problems' are associated with 'sassy' black women (another favorite of mine)... that exactly what it was friend --- a glaring attitude problem... or perception problem if that sounds better.

Good for you, though... you don't want to be remembered as the woman at that desk who never even said hi to anyone.

-- Borderline Racist, http://borderlineracist.wordpress.com

John Wellington said...

Black people, as a general rule, are stupid baboons.

Anonymous said...

try growing up in the black ghetto ( no parks no future no role models just violence) trust me you wont smile a whole lot. its only when i left did i begin to see how good life could be.

_Latino

Anonymous said...

LOL John. Anyways, I'm an anti social person and from experience I still get the same lectures about people thinking im depressed or something. Cant just change who you are. I refuse to change just to fit into a society that expects what the majority feels is "right".

Anonymous said...

Who the hell cares about a "hello!" when your just going to see there old floppy ass the next day? and the next day...and the next day... When you first meet them all you should say is "Hello, hello, hello, hello! Now I don't have to talk to your ass until Thursday."

Anonymous said...

why are the women so attitude-y?

why do they name their kids Shaniqkwa and jaequaan?

why do they call themselves the "N" word?


Why.?


Why Is There A Black President..

Anonymous said...

I personally think white women have more of an attitude problem than black women, by far. They don't usually express their happiness truthfully which is very deceiving to other people. Haven't you ever been around white women in the south? They're absolutely ridiculous. They'll act all cheery to your face and tear your name to shreds behind your back...not to mention they're usually whores. Living in the south has made me start to hate every white woman I've met...and I myself am a white woman.

Anonymous said...

I am going to guess you are black! No problem other then the fact that your final statement kind of knocks your race. To answer your question "Why is there a Black president?" He was elected by the people. Now on another note, did you know that out of 1000 African americans polledonly 22% knew who the Vice presidential running mate was with Obama"Media didn;t tell you that" and the white people would have been called racist if they would have exposed it". Did you know that 27% thought that Palin was a democrat? DOn;t be stupid like most of the people out there, use your own mind and not the media's representation of what they think is your mind.

Why do black people use those names? Because for years they have tried to become apart of the majority but at the same time wanted to distinguish themselves as individuals with purpose and challenge. It is human nature to want to distinguish yourself or a group in order to have some say of rights or control(1000yrs ago people created villages.Cant do that now). On a second note, when there is a interaction involving customer service and a lower class african american and a middle class white american there is a confrontation 50% of the time. If you are Black just to let you know I think black people are racist not white people. Lower class Black people act as if they are owed something(they get my taxes most of the time), Well, you now have a black president, so I think that is great, now stop with the afirmative action crap and stop with "this is first black head coach in NFL to win the superbowl, crap". Stop with the united negro college fund.....and definelty stop using the f'n "N" word already(This is America and everyone has a chance for happiness. And cancel BET or I want a AWC."all white channel". Grow up people, get over your needs to have everything be your way and just roll with it.

Why do Black people like chicken? Because it is a culture in their history. Why do white people like to be upity and have cook outs and eat burgers and steaks? Because it is our heritage and history. It usually is because we as children seen our parents doing this and they were haveing a good time. So we do the same as we get older. I don;t care about color, I care about respect for the next person and not enforcing other people values on another. But if you cross that line then I would rather you not be on this planet, basically "you suck" Black people "get a clue" - Obama has shown you that no one can hold you back. White people "get a clue" Stand up for your rights and stop settling for laws and regulations that give stupid people too many chances. Nobody owes anybody anything. Hell the white americans that came to this country had to suffer through prosecution and fight for their rights to get on the boats to come here. "most were criminals looking for freedom" Black people aren't personally prosecuted, they are put there cbecause they committed a crime. Do black people think that now there is a black president that all black crime will stop or judges will be afraid to put African american males away to prison? Yeah- Right...Can you imagine if Obama signed a pardon for all black males in prison? Our world would goto shit and I bet most mothers of those prisoners want noone out but their baby. Doesn;t work that way people----GET A F'N Grip. Educate yourself, standup for what is right, don't ask for a handout, and respect the person next to your for standing up for what they believe in.

Work Unions should be torn down and so should racism, especially on the black side.

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Anonymous said...

LOL YOURE STILL A NIGGER THOUGH

Anonymous said...

You did a 180, not a 360 change. If you did a 360 you would still be facing the same way as when you started, since you did a complete circle. A 180 means you completely changed direction. Learn math.

gleitzeit said...

what a sad story. Broken by peer pressure to set up a fake smile is something I cannot relate to at all. Maybe it's a cultural thing. It seemed very common to me to be fake smiled at in the US while back in Europe people tended to be more straightforward. Of course this differed a bit from country to country.

Ashley said...

some of these post were unneccessary!!! Go to: AskAshley.net

AlbertWesker said...

Porchmonkey...Coon...spook...spade...moolie...jigaboo...nig-nog

Justin W said...

Just wanted to say that I found your post both interesting and enlightening. One of the problems that one must face in the workplace is, unfortunately, how to balance one's natural personality against the social norms in that workplace.

I'm one of those "smiley" people at work - indeed you'd probably classify me as "silly" (though I am still very productive, guess being cheerful does that), and while I abhor the fake smiliness that some individuals put on even for those that they want to stab in the face, I think that social niceties and an upbeat attitude do go a long way to helping other people be more productive. Also, you never know who you will need a favor from!

I had a female boss for a while that was dreadfully serious during "get stuff done" time, but who was very social, fun, etc between meetings, etc. I think that's a good balance for a naturally serious person.

Thanks for sharing your insight. Indeed our public face is one of many tools in our toolbox, and I'd have done much better in some previous jobs to have managed mine more thoroughly. I think my public face needs to be a little more serious, in order to engender more respect.

ADO Another Damn Opinion said...

this is probably your best i've read so far. i can relate because i am slightly anti-social as well. the more i get to know people---the more they work my nerves. so to keep everything running smoothly. i stay to myself. i usually only speak until spoken to. and i don't initiate conversation. it's interesting how the biggest whiners about why people don't say good morning or speak are the ones that don't speak themselves! i don't question why you walked passed me without speaking (i could really care less) so why are you trippin' off it??? this is why i won't make it too far in the corporate world. a$$ kissing is just not my thing lolol

Anonymous said...

I like to use capitals at the beginings of my sentances.

And she worked in an office

Anonymous said...

Black people were once white. They led outdoor lifestyles from hunting and such, and the sun turned them dark and eventually their DNA reflected this.You can tell they were once white by looking at their palms.
There has been scientific research that says black people's DNA has not evolved as quickly as white people's. It also claims that black people's brains are inferior in development.
I would imagine this is why they act like animals. They are not evolving very rapidly. They still harbor primitive urges. This is why there is so much crime and rape among them. I also think this explains why they like drugs so much. If you aren't developed enough to get natural pleasure out of your life, you turn to drugs to make you feel better. Also, research has shown that black people don't understand "tipping" waiters at restaurant. It isn't that they are being nasty by not tipping, it is because they are not educated on the procedure. Many black communities do not have sit down restaurants. They have walk up windows, that have bullet proof glass, and the food is rolled out to them in tiny openings. This is what they are used to. So, when they go to real restaurants, they do not know what to do.
There is talk that a law will be imposed on poor black communities to stop having babies. There will be a limit of two children to each black family.

Paspalho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Why do monkeys fling their poop when they're angry?

It's all about perception, you see.

Anonymous said...

I think racism should stop all together...there are ignorant people in every race! I do agree certain "african americans" have not overcome the racism from slavery..now I've never had a slave nor has anyone still around been a slave so wth is the problem..if the Jews & Germans can get along why can't history be history! Not to mention history has said that Africans sold their own people hmm..betrayel in my eyes! I have a Father from Venezuela born & raised, a mother of German descent, 2nd generation & an uncle through marriage who is Jewish...we all love each other & get along. Let's put ignorance behind us & if you have to walk holding your croch YOUR PANTS ARE TO BIG...that's for all shades of skin..& btw Obama is just as much "white" as he is "black" so quick to say the "first black president" his father was African his mother was white he made him she raised him its more like the "first black first lady"! Your in North America = opportunity everywhere & if came from nothing & became something You deserve respect regardless of race...My perception & my attidude! Chao

Anonymous said...

About the original post... If you make a 360 degree turn, you end up facing exactly the direction you were facing before the turn. ^^

Monae said...

You know... i am 14. This saddens me to see that ignorance is all over. Think about this, why do you choose to put down black people? jesus bless you poor hearts!

Anonymous said...

You are a black racist!

Anonymous said...

What about when black girls always say "i dont care what you think about me"? What then?

Sarah said...

I just saw a meme of a man with very googly(?) eyes that was beside a picture with some food on it. I looked at it and didn't quiet get it. Maybe because he was black? Nah. Looked at the food again. Watermelon and chicken. What was so funny about that? Then it hit me. When I read "fool on the hill", there was this black guy joking about how his father would die of hunger if he was ever to be stranded on an island with just melons and a chicken farm. So I was curious. That's how I came here.

I like your writing style, even though I STILL don't know what this food thing is about. Have a great week!

xo

Sarah said...

lololol just saw on your frontpage that you wrote about getting your most hits because of this!!!
also, that book I was referring to is from 1988, so this isn't just a new thing, right?

Anonymous said...

Jesus? Ignorance? Lol what!

Anonymous said...

I suppose I am quite late to this wonderful discussion, however, I will still state a few things...

As for the anonymous guy who posted Dec. 5, you forgot to mention how your ancestors (assuming you are white) stole the Natives' land. So, please, save the history lesson, however, everything else you said was quite moving.

Also, for those mathematicians out there, this is a work of prose, and therefore, the author used "360" in symbolic way to show how she changed. I doubt she actually meant it in a literal way.

Finally, all those who post purposefully ignorant comments just shows your lack of character.

There is something amazing that I think you ignorant fellows should know: no matter the race, we all bleed red.

Amazing, isn't it??

Race is nothing but a boundary that only the truly ignorant, and petty human abides by.

-Victoria

Anonymous said...

Victoria kiss my black ass

Anonymous said...

Lets go over this again maybe you need you big black ass spanked.Take those big african lips and suck down a malt liquor with michael jordan, and don king you niggar .

Ingrid C said...

Why are White people always asking about fried chicken and watermelon? This insult has been used for more than 3 centuries. Fried chicken is enjoyed by all cultures. Black people please realize that this is an insult question from whites! Chicken was and is tender bird that was affordable and plentiful. Just like slavery itself,most of the foods provided for, allow and eaten were controlled. Frying it was an easy method. Chickens were possibly eaten by slaves on Sunday only. The slavemaster and other whites probably made fun of the eagerness of the way the slaves-relished a food they were only going to get on Sundays-Hence "Gospel Bird" and the SlaveMaster family had fried chicken too-prepared my the Black Cook. The Cornel-KFC did not make his fortune on black people-although I can just about bet a black woman was in his home kitchen cooking it-probably her recipe.
Watermelon is enjoyed by all, it was a sweet treat for anyone only in season. whenever a picture is shown of a black person eating watermelon, the picture is a caricature-usually a child whose skin has been darkened, hair is buzzed, eyes are bulged, lips are made larger. The child is never light skined. The person is eating down into the watermelon with vigor. Under these circumstances-slavery,cool watermelon was a tasty treat. A white person just decided to make fun of it-for insult perposes. Now white people are using collard greens the same way-remember the insult to Tiger Woods over the Master's Meal he was to plan " some white male said-"I hope they don't have and Collard Greens" . . . Now there are whites asking black people about collard greens- don't deny that you like these delicious and nutritious foods. Whites know that they can insult you with subject of these 3 foods. I am a black woman who enjoy these foods. I'm sure bland food, nasty refriderator salads(take everything in the crisper, dump it in a bowl with anything and throw some kind of dressing in it is something you might ask them about! Remember that while whites were making loud insults that blacks couln't defend. There were and are negetive things about them that were witnessed. There are always stereotypes about non Anglo Saxon Protestants. But do know that there are plenty of negetive stereotypes about Anglos bu all other races of people who have encountered you. And lastly, whenever it comes to attitude,it can be positive, negative or neutral. If black women were treated with the same value as white women, they would not have to be as defensive. Black women are not born with bad attitudes,however, the world treats and perceived us so negatively. These signs start young. Whenever a black woman has developed the so called "negative attitude" she as taken so much negative energy from society about basically her looks-hair texture, skin color, body shape-even by black men. She must stand up against the negative in order to survive and keep the family going, in many cases with love and support! Understand she has and is trying hard to be valued against the percieved standards of beauty and acceptance.

Anonymous said...

You can hit the shift key to make capital letters. It will make you look less like a third grader...

ravyn_loonatyk said...

I'm not "bubbly-smiley-fakey-fakey" with anyone. If I don't like you, you know it. It's not an "attitude" it's just who I am. I smile and greet people when I have to shake hands, but generally do not smile or say "hello" to others in passing, even at work.
So, it's not just a "black" female thing. We redneck chicks do it too!

Umani Bell said...

Gud fer u u fixed ur problem its jus learn to be more social an communicating it doesn't hurt this a hi goodbye or good night or something is just a word doesn't have to be like u be friends with them or something cuz if they're nice to you you be nice back treat a person the way you want to be treated if you want to be treated Rude I can treat you rude but I'm not because I don't want to be treated that way so at least u fix your problem Saul good

Anonymous said...

You are so funny, who can even get mad at you. You talk about being primitive. I think you just came out of your cave and noticed there was sunlight.
Go back in I think you are suffering from a heat stroke!

Anonymous said...

I am really appalled by the
many ignorant people who are still present in todays society.
How can they hold on to so much ignorance and still function.
They have to be very unhappy, I really feel sorry for the ones that lady the unintelligent statements. Do they really have the audacity to believe they are the chosen one's?!!
They truly are pathetic. Can you please help them, or maybe we really should leave them in God's hands. I think He will do a "better job"

Mrs. Walpanheim said...

I think, myself being a young black woman who is in college and trying to do some positive things in my life; I have also been told I am "too serious" at such a young age. When in reality I have a lot of drive and I have a plan that I'm following. So I will be fake and do the smiles and all of that phoney small talk just so people can leave me alone. By my nature I like to be in peace and quiet, I don't like a lot of people being around and I prefer reading a book on my breaks than sitting there talking. I feel like work is work and play time is play time.

John Lafferty said...

I loved this post and I went through this exact series of events. people always asking me what's wrong? Or telling me to smile but since I'm white at the very worst I was perceived as stuck up? Or better than everyone else but the thing I always would take around the block again oh no I'm not mad or no I'm in a good mood or nothings wrong. When I grew into adult I had to learn it that smiling and being happy on the outside makes it a lot easier to be happier on the inside its rewarding in the end of the day but mind you when I don't like someone ..if I really don't care for them they'll know I can't cover up my real attitude lol. Though I too came to realize I'm prettier when I smile.